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Thread: Cheektowaga refuses to look for ways to save money

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    Cheektowaga refuses to look for ways to save money

    As you can see Cheektowaga officals continue to spend with no concern about how much our taxes increase.Reading the News yesterday showed how Cheektowaga's taxes taken in since 2000 was far above the rest of the area.They increased by 60%tru 2004 while other areas stayed close to even.This only goes to show how unconcerned our leaders are about looking to cut costs.The same names have been in office so long they don't fear being voted out,it's so bad that when they do step aside their replaced by someone in their family.

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    Member cheeky043's Avatar
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    let's Clean HOUSE

    When will people realize that the current administration is not working for the "PEOPLE" ?
    We must CLEAN HOUSE in Cheektowaga. There may be (4) council seats up this year, (3) for sure. Cheektowaga needs a fresh new face, someone who will be the peoples candidate. Where oh where can she/he be????????

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    Agree!!

    i live in cheektowaga and i refuse to vote for anyone currently in office...............throw the bums out!!

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    Member Riven37's Avatar
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    moving on

    Well we know that both Tom Johnson and Tom Massier (spelling) are going to run to EC legislators...that's 2 seats open. So you guys now can run for their seats....
    Riven37
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    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Re: Cheektowaga refuses to look for ways to save money

    Originally posted by Albie
    As you can see Cheektowaga officals continue to spend with no concern about how much our taxes increase.Reading the News yesterday showed how Cheektowaga's taxes taken in since 2000 was far above the rest of the area.They increased by 60%tru 2004 while other areas stayed close to even.This only goes to show how unconcerned our leaders are about looking to cut costs.The same names have been in office so long they don't fear being voted out,it's so bad that when they do step aside their replaced by someone in their family.

    Remember when they were talking all this mall growth, business growth, stripmall growth was good for cheektowaga? With all this growth why are the taxes still going up?

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    Member cheeky043's Avatar
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    Riven37 wrote:
    Well we know that both Tom Johnson and Tom Massier (spelling) are going to run to EC legislators...that's 2 seats open. So you guys now can run for their seats....
    Maybe I will run, who knows????????????? Someone has to change things in this town and I do not see anyone eles stepping up.
    Cheeky043

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    Re: Re: Cheektowaga refuses to look for ways to save money

    Originally posted by WNYresident
    Remember when they were talking all this mall growth, business growth, stripmall growth was good for cheektowaga? With all this growth why are the taxes still going up?
    I think all the businesses are getting the "in lieu of" deal where they pay a pre-agreed upon amount instead of paying based on assessed value like the rest of us. They mostly have that deal with school taxes, too. It brings the businesses in, but doesn't change our share of the load. Besides, they said it was good for Cheektowaga, they never said it was good for the taxpayers.
    Linda
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    I don't want to move, I want to make a difference.

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    Re: Agree!!

    Originally posted by butch
    i live in cheektowaga and i refuse to vote for anyone currently in office...............throw the bums out!!
    Hey, read my truck -- it's vote the bums out. What we need is an educated electorate, not a passel of people who'll vote on name recognition. This is the best shot we'll ever have at doing it, too. If we can't get a change with taxpayers as riled up as I've ever seen them, we may as well change from the land of the crabapple to the land of the bankrupt citizen.
    Linda
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    I don't want to move, I want to make a difference.

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    Member cheeky043's Avatar
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    FYI

    Tom Mazur is running for County Legislator so his seat on the Cheektowaga Town Board will be open TOO!

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    isn't Tom the one that looks like he's sleeping at the town board meetings?

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    Member cheeky043's Avatar
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    isn't Tom the one that looks like he's sleeping at the town board meetings?
    YES, that's him. Now let's see if these ninnies here in Cheektowaga vote him into the Erie County legislature. I know, we can pay him more and he can still sleep at those meetings.
    it will be interesting to see what happens......
    cheeky043

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    Member ReformWNY's Avatar
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    Cheektowaga

    I'll kick in here in regard to the Town Board... Here is the word on the street:

    Tom Johnson - We all know he is running for Dusza's spot. If he gets past the primary, which doesn't seem to be a problem, then he should shoe in for the spot. Personal opinion? VERY rough and abrasive person to deal with.. BUT a hard worker. The town will be in worse condition with him NOT on the board and god forbid another empty suit.

    Tom Mazur - Also running for Dusza's spot. Rumors have circled that he was not going to run for Town Board again anyway.

    Dennis G - Still sitting as Supervisor... but why wouldn't he have eyes on loftier goals?

    Jeff Swiatek - We constantly hear about him aspiring to other spots, including maybe a run for CE if the timing is right.

    Jim Jankowiak - He carries a lot of power within the town, but rumor has it that he may take a post elsewhere within the town if given the opportunity... such as in Parks & Rec or something along those lines.

    Alice Majierski, Pat J - Both are up for election this year, and running on a united slate.

    Jim Rogowski - Jim is running on his father's name. Do with that what you will, good or bad, depending on your opinion of Bill R.


    So given that, You have Johnson and Mazur most likely out (2 seats), Dennis G, Swiatek, and Jankowiak also with their heads looking in other directions (potential 3 more people), one new face, and 2 veterans, albiet Alice is only a year in.

    Just passing on my unopinionated 2 cents...

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    I narrowed down the 2005 State of the Town Address by Supervisor Dennis H.Gabryszak and put into bold some of the things mentioned that will save taxpayers money.

    With a Town government that is on solid financial footing, with a regional shopping Mecca in the center of Town that continues to attract additional retail opportunities, and with many residents living, working and raising families here as small business entrepreneurs who are the backbone of our Town's economy, Cheektowaga continues to be a model community in Erie County. The Town Board and Department Heads blazed many trails in the last year to encourage economic development and neighborhood preservation to ensure that our area is safe and secure. And, let me assure you that we will continue striving to make our Town the best it can be, because "We can always do better."

    The Town's solid financial footing can be attributed to my colleagues on the Town Board who have displayed fiscal responsibility and made prudent financial decisions when called to so. We have towed the line on the Town's employee union contracts, yet we were fair in our negotiations. During the early months of 2004, the Town Board negotiated new contracts with The Town of Cheektowaga Supervisory Unit and the Public Safety Dispatchers' Association that eliminated the town's participation in Blue Cross/Blue Shield traditional coverage while also reducing the cost of providing HMO benefits by increasing co-pays. The cooperation with our unions allowed us to provide our employees adequate medical coverage while saving taxpayer dollars.

    As Chief Financial Officer, I am committed to acting prudently to insure that the Town is operating in a fiscally responsible manner. Protecting the Town's AA3 Moody's Bond Rating is my highest priority. Our bond rating continues to be the best of any municipality in Western New York. One of the contributing factors to our high bond rating as noted by Moody's is our low debt burden. The Town has maintained its debt at short amortization terms. We have reduced our bonded debt from $25.2 million in 2001 down to $16.9 million in 2004. That's a reduction of 33% in just three years.

    Unfortunately, we had to raise taxes in the 2005 final budget, due mainly to mandatory retirement contribution increases. The Town will pay $4.5 mm for pension costs in 2005 compared to $2.6 mm in 2004. Most supply, maintenance and contractual lines will remain at or below last year's level. To illustrate why the Town Board has taken steps to ensure that we remain on strong financial footing, we need to look no further than to the county's budget problems. Under my administration, I will continue to keep my commitment to employ the financial prudence necessary to avoid the budget crisis that Erie County finds itself in while working to provide our residents with quality programs and services that they have come to expect.

    I am happy to report that the Town reinstituted its recycling program this last year through a contract with BFI. The new program has solved many of the problems that residents raised in the past, as we have provided blue recycling bins at no direct cost to the resident while simplifying a previously complex schedule by providing for all recyclable materials to be picked up every week. The Town will save approximately $600,000 a year based on the recycling costs that the Town used to budget when this service was provided in-house. Additionally, we now receive $10 per ton for recyclable materials. As residents increase their participation in the recycling program, the savings will be greater to the Town and the taxpayer.

    2005 will see the elimination of the Receiver of Taxes position. Since taking that position in 2003, Bill Rogowski has updated the department's computer operations so his office could operate more efficiently, reduced the number of part-time employees in his office, and contracted with Brittany Industries to mail the tax bills, reducing office costs by $10,000. Over the coming year, Bill Rogowski will be working with Town Clerk Mary Holtz to cross-train her employees in tax collecting to ensure that there is a smooth transition when the Tax Receiver's Office consolidation is complete at the end of 2005. The elimination of the Tax Receiver's position will save the Town a significant amount of money, and I'm sure that after 40 years in public service Bill Rogowski is looking forward to a well deserved retirement.

    To further bolster the Town's efforts in neighborhood preservation, the Town Community Development Office applied for and received a grant of $300,000 from New York State in 2004 for rehabilitation work in targeted areas of the Town, including the Town's border neighborhoods. Utilizing federal and state resources, the Community Development Office anticipates rehabilitating approximately 35 to 40 homes during 2005.

    In the same vein, the Building Inspection Department's Housing and Neighborhood Preservation Office contributed to keeping our neighborhoods strong by conducting almost 16,000 general housing inspections, representing an increase of 7.3% over 2003. The Department continues their enforcement work while identifying, cleaning up and securing vacant property. The Town expended $61,000 to enforce the cleanup and securing of vacant buildings, addressing 109 properties in 2004, with some being cleaned up more than once. I am happy to state that Tom Adamczak from our Building Inspection Department reports that the number of vacant properties in Town dropped approximately 30% in 2004.

    The second community education initiative that the Town Board took on was to combat rodent problems in various areas of the Town. Councilmembers Alice Magierski and Patricia Jaworowicz worked with town and county agencies and devised a residential rodent control strategy. The program included an informational mailing blitz on preventing rodent infestation while inspectors responded to residential complaints by locating burrows and worked with private companies to bait the properties. The Town Board moved rapidly because we wanted our residents to know that we viewed this situation as an imperative health and safety issue. In the spring of 2005, Town departments responsible for maintaining our ditch system will be out in force to take proactive steps to subdue the rodent population. But, we need our residents to redouble their efforts to maintain their properties to keep the rodent problem from escalating. To show the importance of this problem, Pat and Alice have worked to get an additional $50,000 appropriated to fight the battle. And Cheektowaga is not alone when it comes to the rodent problem. This is a problem affecting many communities in the county. I cannot underscore the severity of this countywide problem enough, which is why the Town Board sponsored a resolution asking the County to recognize this problem on a regional basis. Now, I call upon County Executive Giambra to add this to his regionalism agenda and commit the funds and resources necessary to battle this countywide problem.

    Cheektowaga continues to be a hub of commercial and senior residential development in Western New York. The overall number of building permits increased to 1,576, setting a new record. Due to fee increases in 2003 and 2004, revenues for the permits exceeded all expectations and will fund over half of the Building Inspection Department's yearly budget.

    One area where we didn't do a good job of reaching out to the public was as it relates to the installation of solar lights in sections of the Town. The Town conducted a pilot program on Gary Lane from November 2003 to May 2004 and worked to get resident input. When the final product was installed in a greater cross section of the Town - Believe me your voices were heard loud and clear. We have since halted the installation of solar lights and we are reviewing performance, aesthetics, design and maintenance issues before any further decisions are made. We will reach out to a greater cross section of the Town for their feedback. The premise for the elimination of the gas lights was financially sound and environmentally friendly however the vehicle to change may have been flawed. I would be remiss if I just stood here and told you all the good things we achieved. When we make mistakes, we will be upfront in our admission and timely rectification.

    2005 holds the hope of great things and even greater challenges. The Town will address in some way a deer reduction program. The DEC has recommended that the deer population should be 15 deer per square mile in the Stiglmeier Park Area. It is estimated that the deer population is approximately 10 times that amount or 150 deer per square mile. While the method has not yet been determined, it is clear from an ecological standpoint, car/deer accident data and resident complaints something has to be done. I will be exploring, along with the Town Board, the possibility of eliminating the elected Highway Superintendent position, and the Highway Department will then become a Department of Public Works. In the past we eliminated the elected receiver of taxes position and gained savings and efficiencies, and we will explore the same possibility here. If this is considered, it will be brought to the voters in the form of a referendum. And finally, we must all be very conscious and somewhat concerned about the current county/city merger talks and how it affects not only Cheektowaga taxpayers but all suburban taxpayers. It is said that the devil is in the details and few details are available. Unfortunately, invitations to a wide cross section of suburban leaders to be present at these discussions were not issued. While I do not oppose the County take over of truly regional assets like Shea's Buffalo, the Zoo or Dunn Tire Park, I must question and oppose the county taking over city functions and passing those costs onto all county taxpayers. We pay for all the services provided by respective towns and villages, and to add the burden of city costs onto suburban taxpayers is unconscionable. All taxpayers must watch this issue very carefully stay informed and educated, and voice your opinion and vote when necessary.
    from this thread.As you can see Cheektowaga officals continue to spend with no concern about how much our taxes increase.Reading the News yesterday showed how Cheektowaga's taxes taken in since 2000 was far above the rest of the area.They increased by 60%tru 2004 while other areas stayed close to even.

    from the state of the town address.
    Unfortunately, we had to raise taxes in the 2005 final budget, due mainly to mandatory retirement contribution increases. The Town will pay $4.5 mm for pension costs in 2005 compared to $2.6 mm in 2004. Most supply, maintenance and contractual lines will remain at or below last year's level. To illustrate why the Town Board has taken steps to ensure that we remain on strong financial footing, we need to look no further than to the county's budget problems.
    I don't know much about Cheektowaga, but I hope this helps some.

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