Local politics rant

Most of you probably won't care about the issue I going to go off on, but any lurkers from the Rochester area may understand. It relates to this article in our local newspaper. It relates to an audit done of the finances of the town of Gates, where I grew up and lived in until last year, when I moved to the neighboring town.

The current supervisor has been in office for a long time. I'm not sure how many terms, but most of my adult life. The state conducted an audit of the town's finances and found many poor practices. Instead of reviewing the report and noting areas for improvement, the town supervisor labeled the auditors "incompetent or partisan". It would be amusing if this were an isolated incident.

The fact is, that is the standard mode of operation for this supervisor whenever criticized. Shoot back at the attacker and obscure the real issues as nothing but an attack against him. Because, you see, he seems to think he rules the town. In the last election, he said he couldn't work with the person he defeated because he couldn't trust her and be sure she would be loyal.

Which is the core of his problem. He surrounds himself with people that will be loyal above all else. The town board is nothing more than a rubber stamp for his policies. He rules with an iron fist. One library employee once had the nerve to "embarrass" him in front of county Republican leaders. What really happened was he was using the library meeting hall for his meeting and the librarian was trying to close up the building at 9 pm like she was supposed to do. Instead of doing the usual polite thing and say something like, "Oh, I didn't realize it was so late," he accused the librarian of doing it on purpose to make him look bad. Amazingly, the library's budget got cut the next year and the librarian wasn't employed there for much longer.

In another incident, he rather roughly treated a boy scout that went to interview him as part of a requirement for scouting. Why did he treat this kid like crap? Because the kid's dad was the leader of the town Democratic party. And don't try to start a business in Gates unless you know how to grease town hall. One potential businessman sent a letter to the town board giving up due to all the obstacles placed in his path.

All this has gone on without too many people in the town complaining because he kept town taxes low for many years. He did this because the town got a part of the county sales tax when it was 8.25%. Problem is, that extra .25% the county was collecting has gone away. And a major business closed its doors in the town. So now town revenue is down. And taxes are going up. And the town is probably mimicing the administration by spending money it doesn't have.

BTW, I think the residents are finally starting to wise up. In a HEAVILY Republican town, the supervisor won with only about 53% of the vote. He keeps this up, and next time around it may be the other guy getting 53%.

I'm so glad I moved out of that town.


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