Residents should demand Murray officials work harder to reduce taxes

Posted 21 February 2016 at 12:00 am


Having read the article in the “Letters to the Editor” section of the Orleans Hub by Mr. Sidonio pertaining to the exorbitant tax “rate” increases (second straight year) in the Town of Murray and the article in the Batavia News pertaining to the Town of Murray Town Board meeting held on Feb. 9, 2016, I have to expand on the issues.

So, what could be the reason or reasons for these tax “rate” increases which in total amounts to a 15.5 percent increase in the last two yours? Is it a poor bookkeeping system? Is it a lack of the Town Board members’ knowledge of what it takes to try to reduce the stress on their people and businesses in the town? Are the board members making decisions and voting on their own? Is it entirely a “One Man Show”? Do they even care?

The Town of Murray tax “rate” has risen from the lowest third in the county to the sixth highest in the last two years. The Town Board on Feb. 9 stated that it is considering cutting services or raising taxes in 2017.

Mr Sidonio pointed out ways to cut costs in fringe benefit areas to elected officials but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Murray it seems would rather pay elected officials thousands of dollars to receive payments for not taking health insurance particularly to those who are covered by spouses working at the county – in other words double-dipping.

A Town Board member and former school administrator that has experience in presenting budgets to the public in such a manner that forms a “Rose Colored Picture” so that the budgets will pass, talked about the 40 other towns in the western NY region. Forget about that scenario and concentrate on the towns in Orleans County which make up our real community.

This academic uses the liberal ideology of manipulating the facts to reach the desired results for his personal agenda. This same individual makes light of and glosses over the NYS Comptroller’s audit reports of both the Orleans County EDA – remember no “recapture clauses” – and the Town of Murray Capital Projects activity.

The two audits highlight the lack of accountability of the elected and appointed individuals to the taxpayers they represent. Thanks to Mr. Sidonio, an independent thinker who saw through the smoke and mirrors and posted the real local facts in front of us.

You would tend to believe that the Town of Murray being the “prime residence” of the Orleans County Republican Party chairman, the chairman of the Town of Murray Republican Committee and the Town of Murray Highway Superintendent all being the one individual would be a showplace of Republican values like “limited government” and “less taxation,” but that is not the case.

It is time the residents of Murray called their election district representatives, aka Murray Committee men/women and demand to know what in the sam hill is going on that makes it so important that taxes have to be raised by such a large percentage.

The former school official will accentuate the fact that I am not a Murray resident like he did with Mr. Longers letter on the Orleans Hub. (This was done verbally at the Murray Town Board meeting). I don’t care to see this type of mindset take root in other towns in the county or more so in the Orleans County Legislature. Hopefully the Murray residents will nip this practice in the bud.

If your election district committee person is unknown to you, call me at 659-8382 and I will get the information to you.

In closing, I would like to thank Mr. Sidonio for bringing this circumstance to the public’s attention.

Allen Lofthouse
(Mr. Lofthouse is chairman of the Orleans County Conservative Party.)