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>Letter writer's claims against Newlin untrue

I write this letter to directly respond and to totally refute the baseless and untrue claims that appeared in a letter to the editor from Debbie Hermanson two weeks ago.

The political season is upon us, and this kind of mean spirited and untruthful attack is one of the reasons I decided not to run for re-election this year. I imagine many decent people stay out of politics for the same reason.

I am thankful, however, that Supervisor [Fred] Newlin has decided to run for re-election, despite the nasty attacks that already have been launched and are sure to build in the coming two months.

His record of accomplishment and bipartisan leadership speaks for itself, and the vast majority of our residents can see that Lewiston has improved in many ways since he came to office. It has been a great pleasure working with him and the other members of the Town Board these last four years.

The town is considering a splash park for children because many young families and the town's recreation committee have sought one for many years. Greenway funding, which is coming directly from the Power Authority, can only be spent on these types of recreational and tourism-related projects, due to state law. The town has already made substantial infrastructure improvements with the other pool of money we get from the Power Authority and will continue to do so.

Supervisor Newlin has not opposed any projects in Sanborn, contrary to what Hermanson's letter claims; public record and news accounts verify this. In fact, I know he is in regular contact with the Historical Society, the senior club and the library in Sanborn, and has increased their funding during his terms in office. He was the strongest advocate for making sure that Greenway funds could be spent in Sanborn, despite outside interests that said Sanborn was too far away from the Niagara River and wanted to direct all of this money to areas immediately adjacent to the river.

Furthermore, no request I know of was ever submitted to the Town Board by the Sanborn Historical Society for funding of a new bathroom. I understand that request went to the Greenway Commission, and it was they who rejected the proposal. Newlin has been working with the society on a new plan that will meet this need. He has advocated very strongly for Sanborn's interests, and this was again recently demonstrated when he initiated a project to replace old sidewalks along Buffalo Street that will begin later this month.

I encourage any reader who is in the vicinity of Sanborn to take a look at the carpet at the library. I know the carpet needs replacing, but it is nowhere near the condition Ms. Hermanson tried to make people believe. Neither myself nor Supervisor Newlin would ever stand for a community resource becoming a health hazard for children, like Hermanson makes it sound. I understand the librarian does not remember Ms. Hermanson being in the library and disagreed with Ms. Hermanson's claim that parents put blankets on the floor.

Newlin was right to seek the financial aid of the Town of Cambria, since Sanborn stretches into that town and the library is very close to the town line. Many Cambria residents make regular use of the library, and the Town of Cambria has recognized that fact by contributing to the operating costs of the library for years.

Finally, let there be no doubt I have had a very successful partnership working with Newlin these last four years, and we have accomplished a lot for Sanborn and the rest of the town's residents. Under his leadership, the town's investment into Sanborn has risen by 50 percent over the last five years, a remarkable number considering the financial difficulties that have hit other levels of government during that same period. Plus, we were able to reduce overall municipal taxes from what they were in 2003, the year before he took office.

No one else enjoys the amazing reductions we have all seen on our electrical costs, which have reduced most Lewistonians' bills by 30 percent to 42 percent this summer. We have the cheapest electrical rates found anywhere in Erie or Niagara counties.

I hope Lewiston voters give Fred the chance to continue this program in the years ahead.

Sean Edwards, Lewiston town councilman


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