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Letter: Amherst board members should rethink pay raises

Amherst board members should rethink pay raises

The recent Amherst Town Board resolution to include salary increases of approximately $10,000 for council members, $18,000 for the town clerk and $30,000 for the town supervisor in the preliminary 2017 budget cannot be allowed to stand. What a deceitful disregard for the people who elected them and a blatant money-grabbing overreach, to say the least.

Space constraints prohibit me from listing the numerous flawed reasons for approving this resolution. However, my favorite was put forth by council member Steve Sanders, who claimed these salary increases would entice the more intelligent among us to run for office. The composition of the current board consists of a former practicing physician, another doctorate holder, a practicing certificated public accountant and two council members with master’s degrees.

Each board member who carried the day with this resolution – soon to be outgoing Sanders, with no political skin in the game; Ramona Popowich, with 18 months on the board; and Fran Spoth, only 9 months into her first term – should be reminded that no one twisted their arms to run for office, nor did they share their thoughts on this topic while running.

Thankfully, this is not a done deal until reorganization day after the first of the year. In the interim, there will be two monthly public Town Board meetings and two budget hearings, scheduled for Oct. 10 and 19, for resident voices to be heard before the final budget approval in November. Those who voted for this money grab must come to their political senses.

Edward F. McKee

East Amherst

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