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As a candidate for county comptroller and as a Cheektowaga councilman, I must respond to a recent letter concerning town budget matters and my proposals to improve our county comptroller's office. First, the proposed budget before the Town Board has not yet been approved. To the contrary, the board is working hard to significantly cut the proposed budget. Second, I have never voted for a 13 percent tax increase, and will never vote for one. I am confident that when our final budget is approved, it will be as lean as possible while still allowing the town to provide vital services.

As a town councilman, I've worked hard to control government spending, and as a municipal attorney I have proposed and helped to implement cost control methods for many municipalities. I obtained the first reduction in staffing size in Cheektowaga in over 20 years. I have led efforts to reorganize and streamline departments. As a result of these and other sound fiscal policies, Cheektowaga has the highest bond rating in Erie County.

As the county faces a potential deficit, it is clear that we will need creative and cooperative solutions, and not business as usual.


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