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Everybody's Column

Garbage totes should not ?be stored in front of homes

I read Bruce Andriatch's column in The News on June 19. For some reason, he supports Amherst Council Member Steven Sanders' strange idea to allow residents to store their garbage totes in front of their homes. This is the second article I have seen supporting this bizarre proposal. The Town Board voted it down once, which showed excellent judgment.

Sanders states there are many residents who are not complying with the law now, and the town has had very few complaints. I suggest that very few are not in compliance. Thusly, few complaints. And if they do not complain, they probably do not care much about the area they reside in.

Perhaps Sanders and Andriatch could team up and take a ride through Lovejoy or the East Side of Buffalo and see how aesthetically appealing it is to see totes stored in the front yard, or even better, on the front porch. I am sure Sanders will submit his idea to change the law again, and hopefully it will be voted down, again, as it should be.

As far as the town not having the resources to enforce the law, this is a myth. The Building Department, upon request, will do a property assessment for violations, including tote storage. In most cases, a warning is issued for a first transgression, not a summons. Why don't we put this subject to rest and move on to something important?

Thomas J. Walsh Sr.



Board members who lost ?need to act like adults

In a recent News article regarding the Depew School Board election, an appointed member who lost and one who resigned made accusatory statements against another board member. This is sheer nonsense. In America, the final total of votes decides elections, not who or what caused the defeat of an opponent. Signs don't vote, people vote. The public decided the fate of the winner and the loser.

Come back again and try to regain your previously appointed seat next year. Don't add to more conflicts between board members. Let's act like we are there for the children, and please do not act like children. Be adults. It sounds like sour grapes to me.

Jane Wiercioch



Consolidating IDAs ?would benefit region

In light of Assemblyman Sean Ryan's recent press conference, held in protest of the IDA-sponsored expansion of a Depew pizzeria, I have been led to recall the many failures of industrial development agencies and the millions of dollars in tax breaks granted to companies, annually, that have failed to create jobs and have actually cut jobs. There are six of these agencies in Erie County alone, which has made regional economic development even less coordinated and more competitive than the statewide trend.

As a taxpayer, I have become very frustrated with this system. Ryan's proposed bill on IDA reform calls for a consolidation of these agencies, a step in the right direction. If only we can implement the system that the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council has suggested, which would empower local governments, make corporations more accountable for what they do with publicly subsidized funding and enlighten the public about the practices and progress of local economic development programs.

We could then monitor the quality of the jobs that are created and make sure that business development sustains tangible community benefits. This would help to reverse a negative trend and shift the cost of doing business off the taxpayers. Such a policy — one that would recapture public money and follow through on consequences to businesses that have broken public trust — would aid in promoting true community development. What we honestly want is good jobs kept within our community, not giveaways to large corporations and chain franchises. So, let us all call for increased corporate accountability, greater public transparency and higher quality jobs. That's a piece of news I would find appealing!

Darrin Ziemba



Raising minimum wage? will boost middle class

On June 6, The News ran an Another Voice by Jonathon Welch titled, "Minimum wage increase would help small businesses." Welch, who owns Talking Leaves Books, a small business, points out that "a higher minimum wage helps to ensure that our customers have the cash that they need to start spending again." He also wrote: "Small businesses cannot survive if customers don't make enough to shop at our stores." Of course the same is true of large business.

I agree with Welch 100 percent. It is time for the Republican Party to quit handing out the fiction that raising taxes on the very wealthy is bad because they are the job providers. They are not the job providers. The millions of people who create demand for products by purchasing goods and services are the real job providers. You do not hire unless there is a demand for your product. As our middle class shrinks, so does demand. We need a large middle class with enough money to spend in order to have job creation.

Norman Russell



Nobody is a winner ?in Walker election

To my mind, the Wisconsin recall of Gov. Scott Walker was no win for anyone, be it politician, union leader, worker — both union and non-union and the American people in general.

What we saw was Americans fighting Americans over issues that should have been resolved by elected officials who could have and should have made it happen for the benefit of all the people they represent.

Union leaders need to be more involved with their membership. Just because a company, corporation or state government dumps workers from their jobs doesn't mean they no longer have to keep in touch with those workers. It is a known fact that people vote their pocketbook and what we saw in this election was pure anger over the loss of jobs and respect for workers and what their real needs were, jobs. Walker lost his State Legislature, making it harder for him to pass any legislation. This affects everyone, which means a no win for the people of Wisconsin.

Those who voted to keep him in office will soon regret doing so because he will continue to try to divide and conquer the union movement, which many have tried to do in the past but failed.

There shouldn't have been one teacher, firefighter, police officer or any union member voting to keep Walker in office. As for non-union workers, they lose not only what unions bargained for their members but also any benefits they may have gained in the past. Money may have bought this election, but not the hearts and minds of working people in America.

Earl A. Frampton

CWA Legislative Chairman

WNY CWA Retirees, Eden