Murray town supervisor candidate takes issue with many statements from Sidonio
With the Republican Primary now just a month away, I feel it is time to speak the truth. That has been in short supply from my opponent lately, particularly when it comes to his letter posted in this forum, dated August 11.
Yes, I was “hand-picked” as he says by the Town of Murray Republican Committee to be appointed to the Town Council in January. As a life-long Republican, I have not had to change my party affiliation from the “Green Party” for the sole purpose of personal advancement.
As a former Republican Committeeman and Chairman, my credentials, I believe, stand on their own. However, this is not the sole reason I was chosen for that position. I was interviewed, along with my opponent and others, and was informed that my selection was based on my sense of personal ethics and integrity, exceeding that exhibited by my opponent. He also questions my qualifications by stating I have never been to a Town Board meeting. This, like so much else of what he says, is totally false.
One last thing, on the subject of the Republican Committee, this is not the first primary in more than three decades, to paraphrase my opponent. He forced a primary last year for the sole purpose of getting on the Republican Committee, at considerable cost to the taxpayer. Afterwards, when he determined he could not force his will on the Town Board from the committee, he has been a regular no-show at the Committee meetings. He did not assist at the fundraiser, despite getting emails. He pursued endorsements outside the party, and did not carry the petitions prepared by the party for the endorsed candidates, but rather distributed his own petitions. As a real Republican, I would be disappointed in his representing my interests on the committee. Seems he just represents his own.
Water seems to be a huge issue with my opponent, which seems strange, in that he does not pay a dime to the Town of Murray for water. He champions the cause of the common man, in trying to keep expenses down, or so he says. Yet, when the water districts were being installed, only two families in the entire Town of Murray demanded the Town pay an easement to cross their property – my opponent’s family, and that of another vocal critic of the Town of Murray water system. Just so I am clear, and to reiterate, only those two families required payment of your tax money for an easement. Furthermore, because he derives his water from the Village of Holley, he refused to sign the required petitions to bring water services down his road, thereby depriving his neighbors of water for two years longer than it should have taken. He works for you? This is yet another example of him caring solely for himself.
There has been an unacceptable loss of water in the water districts north of the Erie Canal in the Town. This issue has been discussed at Town Board meetings in the past. Continually, steps are being taken to identify the issues involved. New equipment has been obtained to listen for leaks, particular to the types of water lines in the area. Meters are being tested, and there is an ongoing effort to isolate portions of the systems involved to better narrow the focus of remedial actions.
However, to be clear, this is always an ongoing situation with any water system. There will be leaks, breaks, and loss in any water system. I have personal knowledge of a leak in front of my own residence that was brought to my attention by the Water Superintendent, Ed Morgan, who found it as he was driving by. These issues are never ignored, and are promptly repaired when located. I am proud to say that I have been actively involved with Mr. Morgan and his staff in seeking answers to these concerns, rather than being a “rubber stamp.”
The numbers for water loss stated by my opponent, in his letter to the editor, represent an accumulated loss over an extended period. These are intentionally inflated to make the situation appear worse than it is. Much like his claim (since proven false) of “double-digit” tax increases, his “statements” always require a qualification by my opponent. Mine do not. I stand by what I say without qualification.
As for raising the water rates, that was a decision not entered into lightly, but after careful consideration, and with an eye toward making our rates more equitable for all involved. Simultaneously, the Town Board initiated new rules to guarantee the safety of the water system. Steps taken include purchasing new equipment as needed, and making it mandatory that hydrant meters be installed by a Town employee. This was in response to publically voiced concerns over past practices.
So much for being unresponsive, in fact, in this Orleans Hub article dated April 12 of this year, Editor Tom Rivers wrote “Morgan and the Town Board were praised by resident (my opponent) for the revised procedures. ‘I think it is admirable,’ my opponent said about the changes, ‘Thanks for hearing our voice.’.” This is why I find his most recent comments about accountability rather curious. Perhaps like everything he says, this is just disingenuous and designed to create confusion among the voters.
Tough policy decisions do need to be made. The Planning Board makes them also. My opponent’s not being re-appointed to the Planning Board stemmed from his antagonism towards new businesses that desired to establish themselves in the Town of Murray. Because they did not fit his personal vision of what the town should look like, either they were turned away, or their application process was met with resistance. The inability to work with others is a hallmark of my opponent, and yet another reason he should not be your Town Supervisor.
From the outset of my campaign, I have attempted to be positive and honest in my dealings with the people of the Town of Murray. They should expect this from their representatives. However, since, unlike Pinocchio, my opponent’s nose does not grow for every “statement” he makes, someone needs to challenge him. The people need to know, and deserve, the truth.
He would rather manipulate emotions, while willfully bending or breaking the rules at every turn, crying that he is a victim. I can assure you, I am nobody’s victim. I refuse to be. I believe that truth, ethics, and accountability are the key to making a difference for the Town of Murray.
Paul Hendel, Mike Mele, and I, adhere to these principles. That is why I am proud to have them on my team! Team Murray is going to work for you! We look forward to your support on Primary Day, September 12, 2017!
Robert G. Miller
(Miller is a candidate for Murray town supervisor.)