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Town Board candidates focus on reval

The main question in the race for Sardinia Town Board is whether townwide revaluation is a question at all.

The Republican candidates, incumbent Ann Bean and Daniel Miller, say it's an issue, and they're against it.

"People say a reval is no real problem because we don't have a town or highway tax," said Bean. "But it could hurt them with their county or school taxes . . . especially the school tax."

If the revaluation of the town's properties was done, the assessments would be raised to 100 percent of full value, instead of the 68 percent it's at right now.

The problem, according to Democrats Norm Uhteg and Charles Tobin Sr., is that nobody has proposed doing a revaluation.

"I know it costs a lot of money, and if we don't have to, I don't see any reason to do a reval," said Uhteg. "I think somebody's trying to make it an issue."

Tobin, likewise, said he doesn't support a reval, saying the topic may simply have been mentioned at a Town Board meeting.

As usual for the past two years, Supervisor Kathy Balus' name is invoked over the issue. Bean and Miller say she suggested the reval. The Republicans have battled with her since her election in 2005.

Tobin and Uhteg say they can work with the supervisor, although they bristle at the suggestion they would be "yes men."

Here are the candidates:

* Bean, 64, was appointed to the board in 2002 and won a full four-year term in 2003. She's a retired administrative assistant with Roswell Park Cancer Institute's lab in Springville, where she worked for 35 years. "There are still some things that are not finished yet," she said, pointing to youth and senior citizen projects.

* Uhteg, 64, was a councilman from 1993 to 2001. A retired electrician with Fisher-Price, he likewise supports maintaining seniors programs while expanding youth offerings. He said the bickering at town meetings and failure to accomplish much prompted him to run again.

* Tobin, 68, who retired after 45 years as a union carpenter, said if he's elected, his first motion would be to move public comment back to the start of meetings -- before Town Board members vote on their resolutions. The current Town Board majority moved it to the end of the meetings. "Things are done by the board without the people having anything to say about it," said Tobin.

* Miller, 58, is a retiree who spent 35 years with the Erie County Highway Department, finishing as a foreman. He said his main goal is to create a dedicated fund for the money the town receives from its host community agreement for the Waste Management landfill. The money pays all of the town's taxes, Miller said, "but right now it just goes in the bank and it's spent." Miller is also chairman of the Planning Board.

* Darren Farthing, 33, a retail salesman with Sears, is running on the Working Families line after losing in the Democratic primary in September. He said he's most concerned about how that money is spent, because roads and phone lines are in need of repair. "Nobody's trying to pressure the utilities or anything, and the town buildings are falling down," said Farthing. "We do have the resources to take care of these issues." Farthing is also a member of the Planning Board.

Incumbent Nelson LeFort is unopposed for town justice.


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