Culhane likes to take credit for Gaines successes, while disrespecting many others at Town Hall

Posted 8 September 2017 at 11:10 pm


LOL.  The Gaines Supervisor has a relative in Rochester writing you about rumors here in Gaines. Rumors are not facts. Elections are supposed to be about facts, and the facts are the problem, so here are a few facts:

  • Claims tax rate reductions are a result of her hard budget work. That is misleading, to put it nicely. The fact is on tax re-valuation years, as the assessed value of property goes up, the tax rate should go down. Then, the use of additional fund balance or “cash surplus” to cover any difference in budget growth will also make the tax rate go down. (I have been Deputy Budget Officer for 25+ years, I know how this works. For those who don’t understand what I mean, please don’t hesitate to call me.)
  • Took credit for correcting the over-levying of water districts, but she knows I personally pointed it out to her, and explained it. ($175,000 fund balance divided by 89 parcels, we overpaid, do the math). She saw this fund balance growing for years, prior to me attending a Budget hearing, but apparently didn’t understand it. It was corrected only after I told her in an e-mail I would be at a meeting to address this in public. Now, she takes credit for “finding” the error. We both know what is true, don’t we? I have the e-mails to prove it. (Water District 4 has approx. $85,000 still unaccounted for, based on resolutions I can find.  Did our money pay for the new meter reader, or the overspent water districts?)
  • She dismissed the Town Attorney with 20+ years of the Town’s legal history, and prior to taking office.
  • Illegally eliminated the Planning Board. (She calls her friends the “posse” and then puts them on boards. One “posse” member appears to pay for her political ads).
  • Degraded and/or harassed every single employee in the Town Hall until they left. Talks to new employees inappropriately about other current employees; ask anyone who has worked there.
  • Fails to answer questions or is outright rude. Don’t believe me, attend a Board meeting. If you are a “posse” member, you may stand up and say “good job” but if not, a letter will appear in the paper bashing you from one of the “posse” that she uses as her henchmen, as I well know. It can be from someone who wasn’t even at the meeting.
  • Claims disrespectfully that past Supervisors “didn’t know what they were doing” at a public meeting, no less. She’s the only one who knows everything…hmmm?
  • Touts Shared Services. In fact did exactly the opposite: Purchased a $30,000+ water meter reader to be “independent.” (Was this a budgeted item?) Currently we pay a small fee to the Town of Murray ($150 per quarter/$600 per year) to read our meters; it will take 50 years to be “independent.” Not only does this lack common sense, it goes completely against the Governor’s Shared Services Plan.
  • Failed to do appropriate paperwork or follow Civil Services laws for hiring and firing employees.
  • When the Clerk was asked who she was appointing Deputy Clerk, her response was “they didn’t tell me yet.” The Law clearly allows the Town Clerk to appoint her own deputy, not the Town Supervisor or Town Board. Apparently, no experience or skills were required.
  • Claims she isn’t a politician, but shows up for photo ops when she has nothing to do with a new business opening; or new houses being built; or businesses that are thriving. She’s a real politician who wants to take credit for everything. On the other hand, public servants know who they are, we work every day helping people, we care about doing the best for people, we fix things we can fix, for people we don’t even know because it’s what true public servants do. (Everybody knows I’m a public servant). Public servants don’t do photo ops or serve coffee. Having a “coffee pot on” doesn’t make the cut for seriously helping people. I witnessed a gentleman saying he had been to the town hall numerous times, and still no one was helping him, she invited him for another cup of coffee. I wonder how many more times he has to visit to resolve an issue?
  • Use of Public Funds to advance herself and her agenda: Political campaigning in our water bills; with personal messages that are clearly “politicking” (paper, copies & stamps at town expense). Primary Election in 2016 to oust Republican Committee members in an attempt to get the “posse” members on the committee ($2,500+)
  • She is now forcing a Primary election in 2017, when she did not ask to be endorsed by the Republican Committee, nor did Councilwoman Smith; the Committee had to seek our own candidates.. There was no indication they even wanted to run, we thought they wanted to retire. ($2,500+)

(Side note: Joe Grube is a really smart guy and was the obvious choice for a number of positions. The local Republican committee is not a “posse”; the committee chose him as our Chairman, and we also chose him to run for Supervisor. He’s smart, he’s articulate, with personality plus.

He has had a stellar career in Cattaraugus County, was so highly thought of, after retirement, they wanted him to stay. I was recently told by my counterpart in Cattaraugus they still miss him. Joe is an expert on many fronts: budgets, managing employees, union contracts, grant writing, public relations, public speaking skills, and Town government (as former councilman in the Town of Otto, NY). Throwing mud, and hoping it sticks, seems to be the current Supervisor’s last hurrah, and shame on her. P.S. He works from home, travels occasionally, but she wants you to think he will be unavailable, which is not true).

And one last laugh:  The Supervisor takes “exception to an entire candidacy built on vengeance and getting even” but again, fails to see her own words apply to both herself and Councilwoman Smith. The Supervisor and Councilwoman Smith use their political position to put their property interests ahead of the town. The truth hurts, but it’s a fact.

Gaines Voters:  We don’t need a relative from Rochester to tell us who is best for our town, the actual facts speak for themselves. It’s time for new leadership. Vote Joe Grube!  A man of true character and a true public servant. Vote Republican Primary, September 12th – Noon to 9 p.m.


Susan Heard


(Heard is the current Orleans County treasurer.)