Shelby town supervisor’s numbers don’t add up in explaining high legal costs
We write this in objection to the Supervisor’s letter. This election is not about individual attacks. It comes down to whether we want change or carry on with the status quo?
Knowledge is power and boy did we learn some interesting things from a FOIL request. Here are the facts. You don’t have to take our word for it. These numbers exist in the budget that every person has a right to see. These facts help tell a story of what is happening in the Town of Shelby that politicians don’t want us to uncover.
In 2017 the Town spent $53,904 on attorney fees, an increase of over two times from the previous year. In 2018, the Town budgeted $80,000 and spent $122,152.11, this is the year of the land owners’ fight. In 2019, the Town spent $73,931.16, which cannot be wholly attributed to land owners. In 2020, the Town spent $105,057, certainly not wholly attributed to land owners. In 2021, they budgeted $127,500 and we’re curious as to what they will spend on that.
See there’s no reason to believe that spending will go down based on the trends. Since 2017, the Town has seen an increase of nearly 60% for budgeted attorney fees. That is the definition of out of control. Many of us own our business. Since when do we rollover unused money in a budget line while increasing the costs of goods and services? That’s not how budgets work and frankly, it’s just a spin to distract from the real issues.
Real issues such as tax hikes and town wide reassessment. Our taxes have gone up every single year since 2016. Additionally, our taxes have jumped nearly 10% since 2016! Again these are facts and public knowledge. These budgets are the same ones that Seitz and Bacon approve in unison every year. When you add up the spending, the attorney fees, the increase tax rates, and the town wide reassessment, we come to only one conclusion – failure.
If Seitz and Bacon are trying to tell citizens that we shouldn’t fight for our rights then this is more reason we need change! If they would conduct business in the open and stop targeting our own citizens, we wouldn’t need to have these high priced attorneys.
The land owners’ lawsuit vs. the Town was an attempt to protect our personal property. Right or wrong, we as citizens have that right to do so. It wasn’t frivolous, it was important. That lawsuit comprised of more than 20 people, not just one person.
Don’t let the political spin distort the facts. Town of Shelby residents deserve representation that fights for them not against them.
Susan M Slingerland
Brian Murray, Sr.
Donald Garrett, Sr.