Sandra Frankel, the former Brighton Town Supervisor, and current Democratic candidate for Monroe County Executive, was in Brockport on Sunday morning at the Farmer’s Market on Market Street. She was in town to show her support for the Campaign for Change in the Town of Sweden.
It seems like a perfect match. As Brighton Supervisor, Sandy Frankel cut her own salary, reduced the town budget five times, and eliminated the use of taxpayer-paid vehicles by town officials. Sound familiar? It should, because that is exactly what the Campaign for Change candidates have promised to do for the residents of the Town of Sweden.
The Campaign for Change candidates – Annie Crane, Lori Skoog, and Mary Rich – have made staying under the tax cap the first point in their platform. Freezing the salaries for the members of the Sweden Town Council is the fourth point on their platform. Other points in their platform include reinstating the Brockport Volunteer Ambulance Corps as the provider of ambulance service to the town; and establishing an Ethics Board to eliminate the kind of shenanigans that have made headlines during the administration of the current Town Council.
When Sandy Frankel became Brighton Supervisor the town was a fiscal disaster, but under her leadership Brighton had one of the highest bond ratings in the entire country. Sound familiar? It should, because right now the Town of Sweden is a fiscal disaster.
Fiscally, the Town of Sweden is in the bottom 19% of all the governments in New York State. There are nearly 1,650 local governments and school districts in New York State, and only 314 of them exceeded the tax cap, which limited tax increases in 2015 to 1.56%. Unfortunately, the Town of Sweden was one of the 314 local governments that didn’t have its act together.
All across New York State 81% of the local governments figured out how to stay within the tax cap. But the Republican controlled Sweden Town Council couldn’t figure it out. Instead, they raised town taxes 5.07%. Then, to add insult to injury, the members of the Sweden Town Council voted to give themselves a 2% raise, despite the 1.56%.tax cap.
Maybe they should have asked Sandy Frankel how she managed to reduce the town budget in Brighton five times. It isn’t rocket science; it’s fiscal responsibility. Sandy Frankel cut her own salary. Maybe Sweden Supervisor Rob Carges and Councilperson Don Roberts should have voted to reduce their own salaries, instead of voting to raise them
In the Town of Sweden, being the Town Supervisor and being a member of the Town Council are part time jobs. Yet Rob Carges makes $25,410 a year in his part-time job as Supervisor, and Don Roberts makes $7,411 in his part-time job as a Councilperson. So you have to ask yourself, what did they do that made them think they deserved to give themselves a 2% raise this year?
From the looks of things, the answer is nothing. It looks like greed won out over fiscal responsibility in the Sweden Town Council. Perhaps the voters in the Town of Sweden – whether they are Republicans, Democrats, Independents, or members of no party – should consider whether it is time for change; time to elect someone to office who will cut tax rather than raise them.
The election in the Town of Sweden is on November 3, 2015. The tax and spend Republicans have been running the town for as long as anyone and remember. If you are sick and tired of the high taxes and low level of services, maybe it’s time to join the Campaign for Change.