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Letters to the editor for the week of June 28, 2012

Disappointed with the bicentennial parade

Editor, The Sun

What if a parade is held and very few spectators came? Every television station should have been notified and the Buffalo News to. This was the bicentennial parade of the Town of Hamburg and it ended up only “showing off Woodlawn Beach.” Some people came to the parade and noticed the small number of participants and left.

If the parade would have been held in the Village of Hamburg the crowds would have been in the thousands (with the proper publicity from all of the media). This is a sharp contrast to the small number of spectators at Woodlawn Beach.

Every fire department in the Town of Hamburg should have been contacted and they may have sent a fire truck or car to the parade. Every group and organization in the town should have been called and asked to participate. Political dignitaries (past and present) should have been asked to participate to.

I talked to some of the members of the Hamburg Kingsmen Drum and Bugle Corps. This drum corps was in the top 10 of all the senior drum corps in the United States in the 60s and 70s. After many hours and months of practice, they were ready to entertain the public and they did. It was an outstanding performance.

Some of the members came from California, Arizona, Virginia and Florida. Others came from Kane and Erie, Pa., Jamestown and Dunkirk, NY. Some members even came from Canada.

When you try to combine too many things together in order to get many solutions, you end up getting a parade like this. Hopefully the seagulls were entertained.

Richard Wuertzer

Gaughan opposes recent Sun editorials

Editor, The Sun

In November 2009, Town of Hamburg voters overwhelmingly adopted a measure to return their town board to its original size of three members, joining five other local towns, three counties, and one village in making their government adapt to our community’s now 35-year chronic path of economic decline.

Hamburg residents took this step partially in response to a study that I conducted in 2008, which revealed that Erie County had 439 politicians, which is 10 times more than any like-sized American community, and four more than the 435 members of the United States Congress, who represent 290 million citizens.

With 45 local governments, Erie County leads the nation in its concentration of taxing jurisdictions, politicians and school administrators. That’s why out of 3,086 counties in the United States, Erie County taxpayers, including every Hamburg resident, pay the fifth highest local property taxes in the nation. As well, to sustain this excessive number of politicians, taxpayers foot the highest sales tax in New York State, which has the highest sales tax of any state in the country. As a result, since 1970 our community has lost more than 294,00 residents, 91,000 private sector jobs, and 30 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 34.

Against this backdrop, and in light of poor behavior of the Hamburg Town Board – whining rather than adapting to our dying economy by doing more with less, as every family and business has – The Sun editorial board suggests that Hamburg residents add the cost of two more town board members.

Even after voters eliminated two elected offices, every Hamburg taxpayer pays for 19 politicians, including 13 legislators: three town board members, and 10 village board members in the villages of Hamburg and Blasdell. Town taxpayers pay directly for their town board through property taxes, and indirectly for village trustees through state and sales taxes (state aid and sales tax revenue to village governments has skyrocketed in the past decade). In addition, Hamburg’s annual town budget includes millions of dollars that pay for lifetime benefits received by living and former part-time politicians, instead of for town services. When Hamburg voters downsized their board, they reduced these “legacy costs” by 40 percent, which over the years will save town residents hundreds of thousands of dollars.

With due respect to The Sun editorial board, Hamburg residents should be given the chance to reap the taxpayer savings of their downsizing decision. Hamburg board members, like the thousands of three-member boards throughout America (mostly, of course, outside of New York State), will eventually calm down and embrace their new responsibilities. That’s what all good politicians do.

And if voters decide to send me to the state legislature so I can pursue my plan to downsize Albany – something with which, I believe, every New York resident agrees – we will have taken important first steps in aligning our community with the future. A future of prosperity and growth to which every Hamburg resident aspires and deserves.

Kevin Gaughan
Democratic Candidate
New York State Assembly
149th District

Master plan in the Town of Boston?

Editor, The Sun

Is there a master plan in place to make North Boston the commercial section of the Town? The article on the Herman Hill re-zoning request caught my attention because the dollar store construction has begun not far from there, and suddenly North Boston seems to be getting crowded.

When the store was in the planning stages, I asked the supervisor’s office whether a traffic study would be done. I was told that there would be such a study. I recently inquired again with the supervisor’s office, but I haven’t received a response. I don’t see any room being left to widen the road, however.

The part of Boston State Road between the 219 exit and Herman Hill / Zimmerman is only two lanes. There are times of the day when a right turn from Tim Horton’s or the Post Office plaza is difficult, and a left turn is an accident waiting to happen.

It appears that no traffic flow improvement is planned. There is, however, more vacant land just begging to be filled up with businesses.

When the current supervisor ran for election, he said that he planned to bring small businesses to Boston. Evidently he is a man of his word.

So if that is the plan, I’d like the following considerations for those of us who came to Boston because of its peace and quiet:

1) select the businesses very judiciously and place them NIMBY (not in my back yard) or anybody else’s;

2) take action now to ease the traffic congestion;

3) absolutely DO NOT fill local roads with commercial vehicles;

4) scrap any plans to make Boston a business center. –But maybe we coulduse a traffic circle.

Sandie Davison


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