A full-color brochure mailed recently to many Amherst homes by the town's Industrial Development Agency has won praise from Republican Councilwoman Jane S. Woodward.
Supervisor Daniel J. Ward, a Democrat, last week branded the brochure as mostly "self-serving propaganda" in support of unpopular industrial-growth policies.
But in a letter Monday to James J. Allen, executive director of the Amherst IDA, Mrs. Woodward called the brochure "a very professional attempt to make more people aware of your activities and, indeed, your very existence."
The councilwoman dismissed Ward's contention that his election as supervisor was "a mandate" to change the town's growth policies.
"I do not for a moment believe . . . that voters were looking for a change in the town's growth policies," Mrs. Woodward said.
"Rather, (Ward's election last year) was a matter of timing and personality, and also an indication of the considerable time and effort Ward put into his campaign."
If voters were "so interested in a change in our growth policies, then why is it that all Republican councilmen were re-elected at the same time?" Mrs. Woodward asked.
She also said she attends Amherst IDA meetings, and "I fail to see any of the arrogance (on the part of the agency) that Ward implies.
"I see an agency dedicated to the planned, thoughtful attraction of businesses to Amherst, which will bring jobs for our residents and taxes to our treasury," she told Allen.
"Because of the current economic slowdown" and state and federal wetlands policies, "Amherst can see firsthand what problems result from a municipality's inability to continue to grow -- decreasing revenue and increasing taxes.
"The supervisor's growth philosophy is really a no-growth policy and would have a negative impact on all Amherst residents if put into practice," Mrs. Woodward said.
Ward replied that Mrs. Woodward's defense of the agency "is another example of the same sort of connection she's always had with the pro-growth agencies and policies in this community.
"It was the same thing with rapid transit; she was very supportive of extending it through Eggertsville," Ward asserted.
"Her jumping to the defense of this agency is articulating the same Republican pro-growth arguments that were fought in the campaign of 1989," the supervisor said.