Former Gaines code officer praises town supervisor

Posted 28 May 2015 at 12:00 am


My name is Roger Kopas and I was a citizen of Gaines from 2011 to 2014. I was privileged to serve Gaines as Code/Zoning Enforcement Officer from 2012 to 2014.

I write to express my respect and support for Carol Culhane as Gaines Town Supervisor.

Not long after my wife and I bought our home in Gaines, Orleans County increased our property taxes in spectacular fashion. I telephoned Gaines Town Hall and was impressed when the Town Supervisor handled my call personally. She helped us understand how to address our situation with the county. Not only was she sympathetic; she shared the concerns of an overburdened taxpayer.

I later applied and interviewed for the part-time position of Gaines Code and Zoning Enforcement Officer. During this process, I became acquainted with Carol’s knowledge and reverence for the Constitution of the United States of America.

This respect for the Constitution is reflected in her everyday dealings with her constituents. She believes that the townspeople of Gaines have the right to an honest, open and evenhanded government. This includes independent audits and reconciliation of the Town’s “books.”

Operating in this fashion has unearthed some unsettling facts which have generated questions and controversy regarding the administration of government services in Gaines.

This was not the easy way or the politically safe way, but Carol judged it to be the only way. As a small business owner, Carol knows how hard the townspeople work to pay their taxes and their water bills, and honors their right to know how elected officials handle the people’s money.

I know from personal experience that there are those who consider themselves exempt from codes of conduct that most citizens are held to. Carol does not subscribe to that notion and has obviously garnered the enmity of those accustomed to and expecting special treatment.

Despite this enmity, Carol will continue to represent the truth and her townspeople fearlessly. She will not forsake her oath of office to maintain the “status quo.” Carol will not leave as she is a Gaines townswoman and cares deeply for her hometown.

My wife and I left Gaines because we became the owners of my old Florida home. There were many considerations but it really came down to the mortgage. We own the Florida land outright with no mortgage.

I have the honor and privilege to have served amongst some of America’s finest citizens and Carol Culhane is one of them.

Yours very truly,

Roger Kopas
Former code enforcement officer in Gaines