Miller, candidate for Murray town supervisor, says opponent using ‘falsehoods’ in campaign
I am a graduate of Kendall Junior Senior High School, Class of 1977. Recently, I had the opportunity to run into one of my old teachers, out with his Mother for lunch at a diner in Holley. The first time I ran into him was several years ago at the Orleans County 4H Fair. He did not recognize me at that time. However, this time he did, and introduced me to his Mother.
We had an amiable chat, and I left. Afterwards, I felt remiss that I had not taken the opportunity to tell his Mother what an influence her son had on me, and that he was one of my most respected teachers. So much so, that when I did return to college, my chosen minor was Political Science.
My misgivings have been tempered. It seems that from his position as the de facto patriarch of the county Democrat Party, he has taken the opportunity to come out in public support of my opponent. While I defend his right to make that decision, I do feel it is for all the wrong reasons, namely partisan politics.
I am disappointed that he did not take the time to ask me about my qualifications. I would explain that I have a fresh perspective on town government, and desire to see what we can accomplish when we work together for a common purpose. Hardly the “status quo,” I want to make the Town of Murray even more accessible to the owners, the citizens. By creating an environment where we consider our collective betterment, rather than just looking out for ourselves, to be our top priority.
I want to reintroduce a Town Newsletter to keep people abreast of what is going on in their community. I am confident that this can be accomplished at no cost to the taxpayers, and provide an insight into the operations of the municipal government, but also events going on at the Community Free Library, the High School, and the Historical Society, just to name a few.
I believe the future is bright in Murray. Home sales are brisk, and I have spoken to many new residents who are glad they moved here. Businesses are expanding, and we are doing all we can to make a better environment for new businesses to call the Town of Murray home.
Were my former teacher to discuss the matter with me, he would see that I intend to be the best possible advocate for the citizens of Murray. I am proud that we have compiled a preliminary budget that holds the line on taxes this year, remaining below the tax cap. Murray currently enjoys a highly enviable score for Fiscal Stress, according the State Comptroller’s Office website, ranking much better than the average of “All Towns,” “Finger Lake Towns,” and “Medium Upstate Towns.” Please, check it out for yourself.
I am trying to operate a campaign based on facts, integrity, and honesty, traits I would imagine my former teacher values. This is difficult in light of the many falsehoods that others are hearing from my opponent. The following are some of the things I have been told are fact (if only because my opponent said them), in no particular order:
Claim – Everyone at the Town Offices has had their assessments reduced.
False. Over the past two years, anyone with tillable land experienced an increase, due to the price of such land on the current market. Four of the thirteen evaluated did not go up, and just three of these were reduced in accordance with the formulas used. My opponent knows this to be the case. Personally, mine went up 19 percent. Do I like it? No. Do I think it was done fairly? Yes.
Claim – The Town of Murray leases all of its Highway Department equipment.
False again. Everything at the Town Offices inclusive of the Highway Department is a Capital Asset, with the exception of the commercial copier. The citizens of Murray own our equipment, we do not lease! My opponent is well aware of this fact also, yet says otherwise.
Claim – The Town of Murray is overtaxing the citizens for their water.
False again! As part of the agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development Agency, which is the agency who approves our grants and low interest bonds for the water districts, we are not only asked to tax and maintain an adequate fund balance in reserves, and for operation and maintenance, we are required to do so contractually. My opponent knows this as well, but strategically omits that fact, claiming we are “overtaxing.”
The explanation of why my opponent wishes only those who are connected to the town water system to pay this cost is simple. He is connected to the Village of Holley water system! On the three properties owned by my opponent or his corporations in the Town of Murray, all are agricultural exempt. Meaning he does not pay water taxes for those properties. Shifting the expense of operation and maintenance to the ratepayers would raise the current rates of $4.25 per 1,000 gallons to as high as $6.25 in some districts, and almost $18.00 per 1,000 gallons in others. This would constitute a grossly unfair system of taxation. It also totally ignores the value added to your property from having municipal water access available, as well as fire protection.
Perhaps he will want the fire departments to install a meter at the hydrant should your house catch fire? At a thousand gallons per minute, per hose, that would add up fast! Obviously, I would not allow that to happen.
I have been accused by my opponent of being a puppet for others. I assure you, this could not be further from the truth. Anyone who knows me knows that I will not hesitate to ask questions, gather all the facts, and make my decisions in the best interest of others and not myself. I will not back down when the cause is just.
Regardless of your voter registration, if you believe as I do that local municipal policies should be above partisan politics, and the integrity of the individual you place in charge of your Town is important, then I humbly ask for your vote on November 7.
Robert G. Miller
Candidate for Town of Murray Supervisor