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Village will assist efficiency group

Donald P. Quinlan, the head of a government efficiency advisory group in Orchard Park, got what he wanted from the Village Board on Monday night: assurances that the village will cooperate with the group's study.

But that doesn't mean Mayor John B. Wilson is any happier about the group, which was appointed by Town Supervisor Mary Travers Murphy.

Wilson said he wasn't notified of the group's creation until he was handed a copy of a news release June 11 -- the release was dated June 6. He said he has received no other written correspondence since.

After Monday night's meeting, Wilson voiced his doubts about the group in general, connecting it with a statewide initiative.

"It seems to be in lockstep with what the governor is interested in doing," Wilson said.

"I don't agree with a whole lot of things they're looking at doing. The state needs to clean up their act as far as what they're doing before they start talking to villages that are run efficiently."

Former Lt. Gov. Stan Lundine was named in April to head a new state panel to make more than 4,200 local governments more efficient. In addition, Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer sent a letter to all local governments asking them to identify at least one merger or consolidation idea that is under way or can be under way in the next year.

Travers Murphy's advisory group is looking at village and town budgets with the aim of streamlining the governments.

Quinlan, the retired chairman of Graphic Controls, said he decided to attend Monday's meeting after his group was accused at a Town Board meeting of not reaching out to the village.

He asked for the Village Board's assistance and was told village staffers would answer his group's queries and would contact board members if other assistance was needed.

"It's nice to be able to quickly contact them and get clarifications," Quinlan said. "We didn't want anybody to be in a position of going to a staffer and seemingly bypassing a board member."

Quinlan said the group has been actively meeting for about four weeks, and he said he expects a "first-pass" report potentially to be completed by the end of July.

Wilson, meanwhile, said he didn't expect the village to take up the efficiency group's offer to include a village representative.

"We haven't looked for anybody to be on this committee," Wilson said. "When they're done and have a report to submit, we'll probably review it and see what it has to offer."


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