Letters to the Editor October 6
Merwin/McGhee advertisement misleading
Shame on you, John Merwin and Dave McGhee!
I served on the Town Board with both of you and you know how misleading your last ad was.
You know that the supervisor’s job became a full-time job long ago and you know how critical the fiscal responsibility is of the whole board. You were there. You know how many hours it takes to do the job responsibly.
You know that since our current supervisor took office, we’ve closed the landfill, done the water project, created the fire district and increased funding to the library. You know that these projects were done under the expertise of our current supervisor. And you were both there for some of these projects.
What I don’t understand is why you are misleading the public with this ill-informed, inaccurate view of what has really taken place.
Who is really writing these ads? And why are you signing on to them?
John Merwin will get my vote
I have known John Merwin all of my life and have great respect and admiration for his character and ability. I believe he will make a great supervisor and will bring a welcome change to the town.
I will be proudly voting for him on the North East United line on Nov. 8.
The North East United ad was puzzling
I am puzzled by the North East United ad in last week’s paper, the one that tries to compare 1993, when Dave Sherman was first elected town supervisor, to now, 2011, as if they are the same.
A lot has happened in 18 years in this town, almost all of it for the good. I believe I speak for many when I say that our town supervisor has had a hand in much of it — and if not directly, then because he established an atmosphere of conservative, rational, fiscally responsible government guided by long-term planning.
Yet John Merwin and Dave McGhee say they expect the town supervisor to work part time. Is this because that’s all the time Mr. Merwin has to devote to the job? And it is well-known that Mr. McGhee has insisted on devoting less time to Town Board meetings yet has not volunteered to reduce his salary.
More significant: The ad cited budget figures that are wrong and its assumptions are downright cockamamie. The 1993 budget was actually $844,267 (not $670,073) and 2011’s appropriation, as page 12 of the budget plainly shows, is $2,223,496 (not $2,210,024). The inability of the Merwin/McGhee camp to find and state a simple budget figure accurately is, to put it mildly, dismaying.
In any case, the ad’s straight-up comparison of a 1993 budget with a 2011 budget is, to be blunt, idiotic. Deriving a percentage increase adds silliness: The figure “330 percent” is laughably absurd.
Instead, North East United should have first adjusted the 2011 budget figure downward to reflect what was not in the 1993 budget: all amounts that are pass-alongs or otherwise beyond the board’s control — such as the fire district and the library’s appropriation.* Result: $1,625,238 (not $2,223,496).
Then it should have added to the 1993 budget amount of $844,267; 17 years of inflation, to the end of 2010, measured by the Consumer Price Index, which would increase the 1993 total to $1,319,505 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for New York Metro including Dutchess County). This compares apples with apples. The actual difference across 18 years: $305,733, for a total increase of 23.2 percent, or just over 1 percent per year — 1.4 percent to be exact.
Questions you now should ask yourself: Why elect as town supervisor and councilman two candidates whose command of simple arithmetic and budget matters is so unreliable they publish and sign their names to a statement that says the town budget increased over time “330 percent” when the actual figure is 23.2 percent?
Why support candidates who ask, “Can there be any justification” for an increase in the town’s budget “during this supervisor’s leadership” that in fact has averaged just over 1 percent a year for 18 years?
Ask yourself, do you want secure, reliable financial management of your town’s budget, or something else, something that is neither new (Merwin and McGhee have a combined 16 years on the Town Board) nor anywhere as remotely accurate and verifiable?
Very good questions, to be sure.
*1993 library and fire-protection expenses are not available, but were relatively small then.
Fire company cooks kept busy
The Millerton Fire Company would like to thank all who came to join us for our breakfast on Sunday, Oct 2. We served a total of 288 meals. A special thanks to all who came to help. Without you, it cannot happen.
Al Andrews, Bill Lutz and Vickie Moore
Why caucus voted as it did
Recent letters to the editor by John Merwin’s supporters miss the point of the Democratic caucus’s outcome.
John lost his bid for the supervisor nomination because he told us something that directly contradicted what he had done. He’s talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
John told us he was running to bring new faces and provide a more inclusive atmosphere to our town government. He’s made one decision in this campaign. While calling for new faces, he chose only Dave McGhee, who’s been on the Town Board for 12 years, as his running mate. The second councilman’s position was left blank. Not many “new faces” there.
Dave McGhee’s rude and insulting conduct toward a fellow board member (who also happens to be John’s grandnephew) has fractured the very board coalition Dave has attempted to lead these last two years and has embarrassed our community. Not much “inclusive atmosphere” there.
The Democrats did not see John’s endorsement of Dave McGhee — and no one else — as the kind of change the community needs. The Republican primary voters came to the same conclusion when they refused to renominate Dave McGhee.
The Democratic caucus endorsed two highly qualified agents of change — Jon Arnason and Ralph Fedele for town councilmen.
It also endorsed Dave Sherman for supervisor because he does what he says he will do, has a record of accomplishment and will continue to provide the sound judgment and tested leadership a new Town Board will need.
We urge the voters of North East to do the same on Nov. 8. Vote for change where we need it, keep skilled leadership where we have it and get the best of both worlds. Vote for Arnason, Fedele and Sherman this fall.
Thanks for supporting the auction
On behalf of the Millerton Lions Club, I would like to thank the community for coming out and supporting the third annual Fall Harvest Silent Auction held at the American Legion Post 178 on Saturday, Sept. 24. It was a great success.
The generosity shown by the many businesses and friends of the Millerton Lions Club was heartfelt and so appreciative. This year we had almost 150 items. Wow! The business communities both in Millerton and the surrounding towns have been loyal supporters of our events for so many years. Thank you.
We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the American Legion Post 178 for the use of their facility.
Lastly, I would like to thank the men and women of our club for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. Because of their efforts, we are able to help those citizens in need, provide enhancement to our community through community gifts, scholarships, eye exams and glasses and support other needs as they arise.
I am so proud to be a part of a service organization that truly cares about the community and the world. Together “we serve.”
Todd M. Clinton, President
Millerton Lions Club
I believe Dave Sherman should be re-elected for many reasons, but the principle one is his knowledge and control over the finances and projects of the town. He has years of experience in the job and has been a reliable and steady hand for many years.
In addition, while there have been some volatile issues before the Town Board, I find it very reassuring that Dave is there to defuse those issues and to reduce them in common sense terms and to the considerations of the best interests for the community.
Who took the election signs?
Election signs for North East Councilman and incumbent candidate Dave McGhee suddenly disappeared from several locations around North East sometime between the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 1, and Sunday morning, Oct. 2.
It might be a good idea to return these signs ASAP, as you forgot to smile for a security camera at one of the locations.