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PANEL LOOKING INTO CONSOLIDATING DEPARTMENTS

Coming on the heels of an announcement from the current tax receiver that she is not seeking re-election, Clarence has established a committee to investigate consolidation options for that department and others.

Kathleen Hallock, a two-term receiver of taxes, is challenging fellow Republican and incumbent Daniel A. Herberger for the office of supervisor in the November election.

With that vacancy, the time is right to focus on ways to make the Clarence town government more efficient, Herberger said. Besides, he added, regionalism wherever possible is high on the priority list.

"We consolidated our Water Department and merged with Erie County Water Authority. We're continuing to study the town's internal functions of government and we're looking at the recommendations of the Who Does What? Commission," he said.

Research and making recommendations are the tasks of the newly formed Government Operations Review Committee. The panel's first meeting was last week, Herberger announced during Wednesday's Town Board meeting.

Appointed to the advisory panel are six members from the business community and "just plain people interested in government," Herberger said.

Alternatives that will be taken into consideration include merging the tax receiver's office with another department or using an outside vendor for the services.

"They're going to look into all options," Herberger said, "including the status quo, whatever it takes to get the same services or better, the same accountability or better, the same methodology or better as a convenience to the public."

The second meeting will be held at the end of the month, Herberger said, and all offices that could be affected by the committee's recommendations have been invited to attend the meeting.

The committee members are Michael Powers, Tom Culligan, Flora Leamer, Diane Cortese, Gary Brost and Paul McCarthy.

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