Shelby town supervisor responds to ‘spin,’ says town stays under tax cap

Posted 22 June 2021 at 11:58 am


Edward Zelazny, how do you expect to be an effective board member when you are engaged in a lawsuit against that same board?

Also, how can you complain about the legal costs if you are part of the reason for the costs? I totally get the part about landowner rights and your right to fight for those rights. I don’t get how you expect to have it both ways.

I very much resent that you are trying to paint the board as a secretive, deceitful group.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We have three or four budget planning meetings each year which are open to the public. In the three budgets done since I joined the board, we had one non-board member person attend. All this is very much in the open and I have never seen you take an interest until now when it helps you politically. Yes, you have attended board meetings but I don’t remember you speaking.

Before you make statements about budget roll over you should get some education about fund accounting which we have to use in public settings. As I have learned, because I run a farm business too, it is totally different than cash-based accounting. If we have a line item, such as legal fees, we can only spend what is in that line for the year. You can’t go over or move money from other lines.

So, the usual process is to have a safety margin in the budget numbers and hope to not use it. If the money is not spent it can be used in the next year’s budget and keep tax increases lower.  Not how we do it on the farm, but how it is done in public accounting.

New York State has a tax cap of 2% per year for public entities. We have been at or below it every year. The 2021 budget, because of how NY calculates it, our tax cap was 1.3%.

Ed, we have known each other all our lives. I know you as good man and an excellent farmer. I can hopefully claim those same traits, and have tried to bring those to my work as Town of Shelby Supervisor.

I know all those on the board have been trying to do what is best for the town. I do know from being on the inside of the town board that we are doing a good job, and we are always trying to do better.

I do not like politics and am certainly not a spin doctor, but I have responded over the last several days because some good board members have been attacked for political gain with statements which were spun to your advantage.

Jeff Smith

Town of Shelby Supervisor