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Many are happy to see Townsend's departure

Alair A. Townsend is heading to the Boy Scouts of America, and not a moment too soon. First of all, her stay in Buffalo was not free of expenses. Townsend did not travel like a true-blue Boy Scout; she flew between New York and Buffalo first class and was compensated for her travel expenses. She was also compensated while in Buffalo for her lodging. Her other fellow carpetbaggers on the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority were compensated to the tune of approximately a million dollars a year for their so-called fiscal expertise.

If you call freezing the wages of all city employees for almost four years and banking the proceeds in the city's coffers expert financing, then I pity the poor Boy Scouts. In reality what has the control board really accomplished outside of robbing the city workers of their fair wages for almost four years? Buffalo teachers and firefighters have had no contract or wage increases in 10 years, and the police are nearing six years with no contract.

On top of all this, we have an inept mayor who hoards a $150 million surplus as the city slowly crumbles around him. Mayor Byron Brown complains about teachers' health care expenses but refuses to negotiate with them. He complains about police and fire overtime, yet refuses to come to the table and talk. This mayor is great at doing photo ops, but as far as running a city government, he is in way over his head.

And as far as the Boy Scouts of America, good luck having a 68-year-old grandmother in charge.

Phil Ryan

West Seneca


Pushing people into jobs at lower pay is not a solution

Regarding "Propel people back to work," Sunday's featured Viewpoints article by Todd Buchholz, are you serious?

His primary thesis is that people are sitting on their butts, refusing to take the plentiful jobs that are going begging, so that they can bask in the luxurious lifestyle afforded by unemployment benefits. His sensible cure is to cut the time on those benefits to push people laid off from $60-an-hour jobs to consider a $45-an-hour job instead (his numbers, not mine).

"Out of touch" is the kindest thing I can say about his opinion. I really hope this nonsense was printed merely to get a rise from the regular readers of the Viewpoints section, checking if we'd respond. Please, we deserve better than this drivel.

Lee Gearhart

East Aurora


Lancaster must address flooding in the village

I have attended board meetings in the Village of Lancaster to complain about sewage and toilet paper flooding my basement during heavy rains. I filed two insurance claims and my insurance was canceled. I was put in a risk pool and now pay $3,900 per year instead of $690. I also pay a sewer tax, village tax, town tax and county tax, yet nothing gets done. I have no recourse since I cannot refuse to pay my taxes.

Citizen input has been ignored. Listen to weather reports, have employees on duty and install a sanitary overflow pipe into Como Lake or Cayuga Creek. Mayor William Cansdale's solution is to buy more pumps and hire more employees at taxpayers' expense.

The superintendent of the Department of Public Works stated he cannot get employees to answer the phone on weekends. This shows a lack of interest and low morale in providing service to the taxpayer. Why are the employees there? On one occasion, I called the DPW about my basement being flooded and no one answered the phone. I called the Police Department and requested a pump. No one ever showed up and sewage filled my basement.

The DPW has proven time and time again its incompetence to serve and protect the taxpayer. It is time to privatize. Those employees will show up for work and answer the phone or be fired. Mayor, please step up to the plate and take charge of the Village of Lancaster.

John Schaefer



Too many motorcyclists are driving recklessly

Many years ago, when I was a lad and owned a motorcycle, I attended a motorcycle operators safety course. On the opening page of the handbook, there was a dramatic picture of a terrible, fatal accident and a long-remembered admonition, "When operating a motorcycle, you are your own hood ornament."

I think about this every time I'm passed, at great speed, by these kids on their rockets.

Anthony Street



Single-payer health care could cut property taxes

On single-payer health care: Please! This is the only plan I have heard of that shows any promise of reducing New York's ruinous property tax situation. With almost all of my county tax money going to Medicaid, single-payer looks to me like a chance to make everybody well.

Frank Needham



Those who park illegally deserve to get a ticket

I read the complaint from the theater patron who is blaming the authorities because she and her husband parked illegally and some officer had the nerve to give them a ticket. When will people understand that parking in posted areas illegally, talking on a cell phone while driving or going through red lights is deserving of the tickets they get from the authorities, who just don't understand how important these people are?

Vic Hamilton



Cuomo should sign bill to make our roads safer

We are writing to applaud the New York State Legislature for passing Brittany's Law, dedicated to the memory of Brittany Vega, who was tragically killed last year while walking to school on Long Island. This legislation encourages local governments to consider the needs of everyone who uses our roadways, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. As parents who lost a daughter to negligent driving, we encourage local governments to take advantage of recent developments in traffic policy and technology to make our roads safer.

There are a number of safety tools saving lives on our streets, including pedestrian walk signs, bike lanes, traffic safety cameras and detectable warning surfaces on sidewalks for the visually impaired. This bill is a step in the right direction.

We do not have time to see more innocent people killed on our roadways while we ignore the proven safety tools available to all of us. We encourage Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign this legislation, making current and future roads safer for all.

Paul and Sue Oberhauser

Co-chairs, Traffic Safety Coalition

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