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Murray candidate says town uses water department for piggybank, more oversight needed

Posted 30 October 2018 at 8:07 am

Editor:

Comptroller audits of municipalities clearly suggest the Supervisor bears ultimate responsibility for Town finances. The audits suggest relying on bookkeepers and department heads without oversight is not sound financial practice.

Successful businesses regularly question accountants and department heads. When it’s your money you pay close attention. Pay close attention people, it’s your money.

The Murray Water Department continues to lose money and our officials offer no solution. Town documents show losses of $78,838 for the period 2015-2017. However, a closer look at the finances show the water department actually lost $258,707 for that period. The numbers are taken directly from Town documents and not 3rd-hand information.

By using your unamortized bond payments to offset operational losses, the water department shows misleading figures. Residents paid an extra $179,869 in water tax to reduce losses to $78,838. Depending on which water district you live in determines how much you are unfairly paying into that black hole. It varies greatly from district to district.

The tentative 2019 Murray Water District Budget is also in the red and the final numbers not yet available.

The fact remains: The Murray water department is losing a lot of money. As water district bonds mature there will be no source of cash to rob Peter to pay Paul. Then what? Build an Orleans County Water Authority??

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Acknowledge the facts. Numbers don’t lie. Stop using the Murray water department as the town piggy bank. Don’t rely on bookkeepers and department heads to manage your money. Budget fat is born in bad policy. Better oversight is needed. Drive the Town to a more sustainable future while reaching for something better.

Murray Government should be creating economic confidence in its community, not more government. Encourage private sector investment to create the jobs that pay real living wages.

When we enforce Murray’s strict property maintenance laws we address a symptom, not the illness. Most people struggle to make ends meet. Many can’t afford to paint their homes, buy a lawnmower, fix their cars or roof their houses. Stop ignoring the real underlying issues in our community and let’s work to fix them.

This Town election is not about signs at the side of the road or at the school. This election is about real-life issues. Free speech and better town government. Creating confidence in our government and confidence in our town economy.

Abolish the entrenched status quo mindset. Move forward where everyone has a voice that is heard with respect. Where every opinion matters. Where ideas are welcomed and not put down. Build a community that embraces accountability, vision and clarity.

Joe Sidonio

Murray