On police consolidation my opponent has proposed that county government provide an annual 1.5 million dollar government grant for “use of the Gates Police Department”. First, this is nothing more than shifting the tax burden on to the county. Second, allowing the county to use our local police department defeats the purpose of a town police force. Gates residents have overwhelmingly said they want a Gates Police Department and public safety is a matter I will not compromise on.
My opponent has also proposed to eliminate the position of Town Attorney. The Town of Irondequoit eliminated their attorney and retained a law firm for legal services. In 2010 Irondequoit will spend $220,257 for legal services while Gates will spend only $72,300. Gates and Irondequoit are similar towns with similar needs for legal services. Yet Irondequoit will spend $147,957 more than Gates in legal services. I do not support this proposal for obvious financial reasons.
Last, is the issue of employee salaries at town hall. Salaries in Gates are not out of line with other communities and in many cases are lower than other communities. My opponent made a point of criticizing the “high salaries” of department heads but neglected to mention that he voted in favor of the salaries in the 2009 budget. Amazingly right after his comments at the editorial board he voted once again for the “high salaries” in the 2010 preliminary budget.