Valley Viewpoints: No raises in Granby

by Cheryl Holmes, Fulton

While watching the Fox News Channel Oct. 16, Fox talked about our federal government giving the seniors their cost of living raise. The senior citizens are going to get a huge 1.7-percent raise on their Social Security Check.

If you are lucky enough to get a Social Security Check of $1,000.00 a month you will get an increase of $17 a month or a big whopping $204 for the year. The government then increases the cost of the Medicare insurance so that the cost of living is eliminated.

Then the towns, the county and the state want even more of that little check that the seniors worked so hard for all of their lives, raise taxes and take more of their money.

For the senior, the cost of gas is more than $3.80 a gallon for their cars.   Food in the stores is more, everything has gone up and they live on a Social Security check that is fixed. Taxpayers are working two and sometimes three jobs just to take care of their families.

When will our town board think of the Granby residents first and town employees second? Town council persons Blackburn and Richardson have said, “Let the residents pay, increase the taxes.”

Our town supervisor and town board, comprised of Supervisor Edward Williamson and councilors Lori Blackburn, Susan Richardson, Joseph Cortini and Matthew Callen, are having preliminary budget hearings, which started a couple weeks ago. I went to the first budget hearing. I didn’t stay long; it was a disappointment.

The board spent at least 10 minutes discussing whether to give our town clerk a raise. She did not ask for a raise; she did not ask for anything extra. She truly believes she ran to serve the town residents and she is giving back to her town.

You may notice she is available more, our town clerk’s office is open one evening and on Saturday mornings. I give Janet great credit; she is truly a servant to the people.

Our town board should take the lead from Janet. When you run for an office, you run to serve the people of that town, to keep budgets low and be a steward of the people’s money. You are giving back to the town by helping to keep taxes down and making sure taxpayers that elect you get the most for their tax dollars.

As some of you might know, I serve on the Town of Granby Republican Committee and Lori Blackburn came in front of us to be endorsed. At that time, she was asked if she was a Conservative and believed in our Constitution with smaller government and lower taxes. She said, “Oh yes.”

Well Lori Blackburn has proven she isn’t Conservative and sure not for smaller government and lower taxes. Well between Lori, Susan, Joe and Matt, they seem to think that everyone that works for our town or that was elected should have a considerable pay raise and that raise is a lot more than 1.7 percent.

Our new highway superintendent wants a $2,000 raise — that’s a 4.5 percent increase the first year. I heard the board might give him $800.00 to $1,700.

Our town board last November bought two new pickup trucks one with a plow and one with a dump bed on it for the highway department.

So let me give you a run down. Highway has 7-10 wheel dump trucks with plows, three pickup trucks with two plows on them. We have two mowing tractors (one new one) — both broke down this summer, one gradeall without air conditioning that the highway superintendent thinks we need to replace, and one payloader.   Mr. Sullivan seems to want to replace existing equipment with new everything.

I feel that this past year, my highway department was not run as well as when Mr. Moyer ran it. The board wants to give Mr. Sullivan a raise?

Let him prove to the people that he can run an efficient department with one less man and less money and get more accomplished than what has been done this year. Maybe less coffee breaks and sitting around talking with the boss and more work would be a new idea.

The assessor-code clerk is leaving. Let’s go to a part-time person and let the codes and assessor do more of their own paper work. Maybe you wouldn’t see a code officer with his feet up watching a movie on the town computer and maybe the assessor would have to do more work to earn his $26,501 per year. The assessor works one day a week, which is a maximum of 48 days a year or $552.10 a day. By the way, the assessor wanted $1,000 more in the new budget.

Our town board needs to start remembering they are there to serve the town residents — not the employees. The town board needs to run a leaner more efficient town with lower taxes. It is time for our elected officials to step up, take control and remember that government works for the people, not the people enslaved by the government.

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