Collins needs to keep promise to taxpayers
Chris Collins was elected county executive by an overwhelming majority of Erie County voters last November after he promised to run government like a business, and ease the burden on the taxpayers after the budget crisis in 2004-2005. During that campaign, Collins stated that his Democratic opponent would be the individual who would raise taxes. Now, after only 10 months in office, Collins submits a budget that calls for a tax increase of 3.8 percent.
This tax increase is actually 8 percent; however, due to homes being reassessed over this past year he is able to get away with quoting a smaller number. How dare Collins impose a tax increase on us! We as voters and taxpayers were lied to last year when he was campaigning.
Collins wasn't even in office when he demanded that his campaign staff, which also made up his transition team, be placed on the county payroll. He also demanded that his newly appointed county attorney be given a pay increase and, when the Legislature questioned his motive, Collins stated that the Democratically controlled Legislature didn't want to give the county attorney a raise because she was a woman.
Although Collins' proposed budget calls for a reduction in county positions, it also greatly increases the salaries of his politically appointed commissioners. He is having a good old time with the taxpayers' dime.
Our country needs a pro-life president
In the final presidential debate, "life" issues were given five short minutes. Why? It's a non-issue. No wonder we have such a culture of death. I have come to the conclusion that many people don't believe that God exists. Why else would they even consider giving Barack Obama the chance to fulfill his promise to reinstate partial-birth abortion?
How can they ignore his belief that a survivor of abortion should get a death needle? What about cloning for body parts? Why is embryonic stem-cell research still a hot topic when adult cells have proven so effective? What else can explain the growing acceptance of euthanasia, making death your choice, not God's?
If elected, Obama's first priority will be to enact the Freedom of Choice Act, which will make Roe v. Wade look like child's play. Next, he will appoint liberal judges who will be willing to uphold all pro-choice issues.
Do you think that either party is going to fix our country's mess? If not, why not choose John McCain, and make one thing right? Choose life.
Turning rails to trails is unfair to homeowners
The Rails to Trails Conservancy is seeking to purchase the railroad corridor and right of way from Orchard Park to West Valley, through West Falls, Colden, Glenwood, Concord and Springville, to turn our back yards into their playground for hiking, biking, horseback riding and snowmobiles. They say this expensive endeavor will increase our property value, but fail to mention that it could also increase our property taxes. They say it would be well patrolled, but fail to say who would be patrolling, how they would be selected or overseen and if or how they would be compensated.
Just think! People from all over using the trail 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no records or access permits. I do not impose my lifestyle choices upon other people in their place and do not appreciate those who would impose their desires upon my life. I enjoy the serenity of my hard-earned quiet life in the country and do not wish to invite the hassles and menaces involved in hundreds of unwelcome people trespassing. The noise, headlights, water and land pollution, disturbances of wildlife and pets and the intrusion of privacy are more than I am willing to tolerate.
In Erie County there are ample public parks and trails available for use, without invading the privacy of our back yards and imposing higher taxes.
Nurses at Children's deserve a fair pension
On Sept. 30, employees of Women and Children's Hospital, supporters and SEIU conducted an informational picket to inform the community that we have been without a contract since June. For two contracts, we have been promised by management they would look at our pension "next time." Time is running out for many. Management feels money should be spent on incoming employee salaries rather than taking care of employees dedicated to the hospital for the long haul.
When Kaleida Health merged in 2000, other Kaleida employees received pay parity, but pension was left with a wide disparity. When Buffalo General's pension fund was in jeopardy, Children's Hospital bailed it out by going to a cheaper prescription plan.
Many professionals are in disbelief when they hear how low our pension is. We are not asking for a pension of CEOs or upper management. We would only like to be comparable to staff at other Kaleida sites working in the same capacity. At retirement, nurses at Children's will typically receive one-third what nurses at other Kaleida sites will receive. We are the people who take care of your families when they are sick or injured. Why aren't we valued for what we do?
Denise Vitale, R.N.
Nasty ads won't help Volker win any votes
Please don't tell me, Sen. Dale Volker, that you did not approve this "message." I was appalled to receive a mailing from the New York Republican State Committee "slinging mud" on his opponent, Kathy Konst. It was unconscionable. The use of an unflattering picture, inference to a personality disorder and accusation of a federal offense is a far cry from what I expect from a senior state senator. If there's an offense, then why isn't she being prosecuted? Volker has always had my vote. No more. I don't know him.
Paul R. Wiech
Powell's endorsement is a pleasant surprise
Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama comes as a pleasant surprise. Wouldn't it be great if Powell were our next secretary of state? For the first time since 9/1 1, the possibility of restoring America's image throughout the world seems closer to reality.
It has been sad to watch my past choice for president, Sen. John McCain, and his pathetic excuse for vice president stumbling and fibbing (I'm being nice) their way through this presidential campaign. We've seen McCain's "hero halo" disintegrating as Gov. Sarah Palin has done his dirty work.
Philip L. Wiggle