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Five appointed to examine government efficiency

Orchard Park Supervisor Mary Travers Murphy has appointed five businessmen -- including Donald P. Quinlan, former Graphic Controls chairman and chief executive officer -- to a new advisory group charged with studying government efficiency.

The panel will have no legal authority but is expected to look for ways to streamline government in the town.

"I have no agenda other than to see if all this brainpower can show us how to do it better," Travers Murphy said. "They are focusing on numbers."

While she named the group's members, she said two of them -- Dean Kroll, an IBM executive, and John Duffy, a retired agent-in-charge of the FBI's Buffalo office -- approached her separately earlier this year after an article by civic activist Kevin Gaughan said the region was bloated with public officials, which is was killing economic growth.

"I just let this thing evolve," Travers Murphy said. "I'm going to make this as unpolitical as possible."

The other members of the group are D. Patrick Curley, a financial consultant, professor and former Town Board member, and Michael Crapsi, owner of an Orchard Park salon.

The Town Board and Village Board have also been invited to appoint one member each.

Councilwoman Nan Ackerman said Town Board members generally support the group's mission.

"All of us think it's a good idea as long as we don't sacrifice services and we can keep the same high standards," she said. "Anytime a citizen group is involved in trying to make government better and stronger, it's a good thing."

Village Mayor John Wilson was unavailable to comment. Among other issues, the panel is expected to discuss whether having both village and town governments makes sense.

Quinlan said the group already is examining the village and town budgets.

The panel eventually will make recommendations to both entities. The recommendations, he conceded, may come to be considered political issues.

"It will be perceived that way. You can't escape that," Quinlan said. "But I honestly don't know what the political affiliations of our group members are. Nor do I care.

"All I know is we are all taxpayers in the Town of Orchard Park, and I hope our recommendations will be viewed that way."

For the record, the group consists of a Republican, a Democrat, an Independence Party member and two unaffiliated voters.

e-mail: eploetz@buffnews.com

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