A great article in Rochester Women Online. Let’s get Terry Elected to the County Legislature.
A great article in Rochester Women Online. Let’s get Terry Elected to the County Legislature.
I am Jeff Clark, and with Dave Cook, a candidate for one of two open seats on the Mendon Town Board. While running on the Democratic ticket, we consider ourselves first to be residents of Mendon. Collectively, we have lived in this community for over 30 years, sent children through the HFL school system, served the Town Planning and Zoning Boards with appreciation, and enjoyed the parks, commercial establishments and rural landscapes of the Town with daily regularity. This is our home. And we share, with you, a commitment to protect and preserve its character and beauty. We believe every voice in this community should be heard if we are to have a community in which every voice is valued. That is why we are running for the Town Board, and asking you to help us secure a balanced electorate.
Consistent with our platform of every voice valued, we encourage all residents to be familiar with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, available for viewing on the Town website (townofmendon.org). It is now being updated, but we would expect its Guiding Principles to remain largely unchanged. Three of those Principles are providing and maintaining public facilities and services necessary to protect the health and safety of Town residents, maintaining fiscal responsibility, and managing growth in a manner that is fair to landowners, achieves a
high quality of development, and protects the interests of the community at large. Our taxes support these objectives. While tax rates are important to us all, the way in which our taxes, and income received by the Town from other sources, are expended should be consistent with those Principles, and transparent to all affected thereby. We believe there is room for improvement here.
The Town Budget is also available for viewing on the Town Website. Those who attempt to negotiate its 29 pages might hope for greater clarity, and simplicity of presentation, to allow all taxpayers to make their own determinations about whether it effectively addresses the Guiding Principles, and express themselves accordingly. For example, the funds expended by the Town in current litigation over issues encompassed within the Guiding Principles are not readily apparent in the Budget, but should be. We would work to bring greater clarity to the way our tax dollars are used in furtherance of the community we desire to call our home. We hope you agree and cast your vote accordingly. Thank you.
TRIBALISM HAS NO PLACE IN GOOD GOVERNMENT
My name is Dave Cook. Jeff Clark and I are running for the Mendon Town Board and ask you for your vote. Neither of us has ever run for any kind of office before. Like many of you we are very concerned with the state of politics today. We long for a time when politics was less about winning and more about doing the public good. We see leaders that denigrate and demean, rather than engage in meaningful dialogue. It is indeed a sad state of affairs and creeps into our local politics as well. Jeff and I pledge that we will never let politics interfere with governing and will never stray from civility. We will work with other public servants regardless of party. We will call out public waste no matter the source.
The American experiment began with tribalism. Colonial Americans were a multiethnic, mix of peoples that identified more as Virginians or New Yorkers than as Americans. Nonetheless, they banded those tribes together to fight a revolution and gain independence. The Founding Fathers recognized the critical need to unify the colonies post revolution on something other than the common enemy of England. They feared that excessive partisan political loyalties could become tribal and destructive.
In 1780, John Adams wrote that the “greatest political evil” to be feared under a democratic constitution was the emergence of “two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.” George Washington, in his farewell address, described the “spirit of party” as democracy’s “worst enemy.” It “agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”
We must look at each other first as friends and fellow citizens. Lessons from the founders can guide us. They set aside the regional and political differences for the good of the whole. Can’t we do the same? Let’s stop referring to each other as right or left as Democrats or Republicans. Let’s see ourselves first as fellow citizens and neighbors. Despite its flaws, the Founders created the most inclusive form of governance in world history. We need to be reminded of those ideals.
A Town Board without balanced representation is by nature overtly partisan. As an old saying goes, “If we both think completely alike, one of us is unnecessary.” It is through exploring contraries in public policy that we achieve the best results. If these concepts and ideas resound with you, Jeff and I ask that you give us your trust to represent you. We promise you we will never violate that trust.
My name is Jon Stern and I am a candidate for Mendon Town Justice.
It’s been a beautiful fall so far in Mendon. The weather for the homecoming parade was perfect, and the floats and homecoming kings and queens were fantastic as usual. Of course, as many of you know, it is always great when the kids are finally old enough that we don’t need to walk/jog next to the floats (usually in the rain) from Marketplace to the Manor school, and instead can set up a chair on Main street and watch everyone go by, while talking with all our neighbors. I couldn’t help but remember the parade sixteen years ago, when Lisa and I held our daughter as an infant in front of our first house on West Main Street. That child marched with the 11 th grade Student Council this year—oh, how time flies! Lisa and I were pleased to see everyone at the parade and afterwards at the football game. Poor Midlakes! On Sunday morning at the boy’s football game, I enjoyed talking with the football and cheerleading
boosters, getting some new Cougar mittens, and drinking coffee with the fans. Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of hosting a “Celebration of Mendon” campaign event at The Cottage Hotel, featuring entertainment from one of our numerous local bands. It was the most appropriate spot for such an event. The citizens of Mendon have been visiting the Cottage for two hundred years, laughing, dancing, listening to music, and enjoying food and drinks with their friends. I was struck by the changes in the community since then. In old times, the guest lists of The Cottage would usually contain the names of landowners and other assorted “predominant” members of the community (all men), now, the Cottage and all our other great venues serve as a meeting place for all of our community. Several generations of us celebrated together—high school kids, college kids on break, parents, and grandparents all watching and dancing to music, expertly and passionately played by a band comprised of three local UB students and a junior at HF-L. A large wedding party from Rochester stopped in toward the end of the night and everyone mingled. Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hands and congratulate the bride and groom. I am so pleased that our celebration of Mendon became just that.
As we reach the final weeks of the election season, I am so thankful to live in Mendon. I am grateful that my community agrees that you don’t have to have lived here since birth in order to be eligible to serve in local government. I welcome this opportunity to present our community with a choice in their local elections, and an alternative to habitual incumbency. I am most fired up for the opportunity to bring the passion, determination, and thoughtfulness that I have exerted on behalf of my clients for the last 20 years to the bench in our Justice Court to serve all of our community.
Happy fall, Mendon. I would greatly appreciate your vote on November 5! Here is the link to my previous message if you would like to know more about my experience
and qualifications to serve as Mendon Justice:
PRESS RELEASE |
What Does the Monroe County Legislature Do? Who Pays for It? Why Should You Care?
A basic premise of internal controls is to have adequate
supporting documentation for financial transactions.
There’s a reason the County’s system does not provide that.
They quite simply don’t want you to know.
Mendon, New York— We invite you to join us on Thursday, August 22, 2019, at 7 p.m. at the Mendon Community Center to learn what the Monroe County really does with your hard-earned dollars.
Monroe County Legislator Howard Maffucci, whose hard work and success have led to his running unopposed in 2019, has made a study of county budgeting practices. What he has discovered is blatant misrepresentation; an alarming amount of waste; and a disturbing lack of reporting and accountability. Legislator Maffucci will walk you through the budget and discuss everything you need to know about where the money comes from, how it is allocated, and how it is spent.
While Monroe County officials assure the community that it maintains accounting integrity, the Office of the New York State Controller audited the County’s finances in 2018 on behalf of the taxpayers and concluded that the County:
• “did not produce a $12 million surplus” it claimed; rather, “the operating surpluses for 2016 and 2017 totaled $2.4 million, of which $1 million was from a 2017 one-time revenue that will not recur”
• “lacked readily available documentation to support significant amounts included in its annual reports and was unable to generate common financial reports”
• “has been rated as being in Significant Fiscal Stress for fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017”
Legislator Maffucci will be joined by Terry Daniele of Mendon, a candidate for the County Legislature from the Fifth Legislative District (which includes Mendon, Rush and parts of Henrietta and Pittsford). Both will answer your questions about how the budget – and county government – should work for you.
This event is sponsored by the Mendon Democratic Committee.
Please help us get the word out to Mendon voters about Terry and Erin’s campaign. We’ll be meeting on Saturday 10/21 at noon and Sunday 10/22 at 11:00 a.m. in the library parking lot. Just two hours of canvassing each/either day. Email us at MendonDems2008@gmail.com if you can help out.
TOWN BOARD DRAGS MENDON INTO THE PAST
Recent Mendon Board legislation is part of a state-wide effort to thwart clean energy
The Mendon Town Board recently took action to brand our town as a community that clings to the past and shuns the future. I refer here to the recent Board action that exempts the town from Section 487 of the Tax Law, which encourages residents to install alternative energy systems such as solar, wind or methane recycling (usually from animal waste).
Section 487 exempts homeowners and others who install alternative energy systems from an increase in their tax assessment based on the added value of the installation. Since 1991, New York has provided this real estate tax exemption, along with additional income tax incentives, to encourage investment in alternative energy systems.
In recent years, these incentives have been under increasing attack by coal, oil and gas interests which have begun to resent the competition from clean energy. The Mendon Town Board’s legislation, which eliminates the exemption, is part of a state-wide effort to thwart clean energy promoted by the Koch family and other Big Energy interests.
Section 487 also allows towns to opt out of the exemption, and thus tax alternative energy installations. This is what the Board just did. The Town Board (which came up with this notion when some if its members attended a seminar paid for with tax money) claims that the tax incentive is unfair to citizens who do not have alternative energy systems. I have yet to understand how the tax incentive in unfair, as any citizen can take advantage of it, no one is penalized for not taking advantage of it, and the Board has not offered any factual support for its claim.
The Board’s attorney says the new law will affect only large installations, not individual home installations, because the town has not historically seen the addition of a solar system as a valuable addition to property. However, NY-Sun, a project of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), asserts that “Jurisdictions cannot choose to tax large systems but not small ones.”
For my part, I cannot see how the Town of Mendon will benefit from the new law. It does not affect existing systems, which are grandfathered by the state law. By its own admission, the Town will not increase the assessment of any new system attached to a private home. The Town is also not likely to gain from assessing any new solar farm or similar installations, because the Board’s action will discourage the establishment of alternative energy systems in Mendon. “Some local governments are opting out of RPTL § 487 so they can tax these multimillion-dollar projects and generate additional property tax revenue. However, these jurisdictions may find that they will not actually collect … more tax revenue from solar or other renewable energy systems because the systems may not be built if they are fully taxable, ” NY SUN explained.
There are clearly some negatives associated with the Town Board’s decision. First, Section 487 allows towns to negotiate Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements with parties installing alternative energy systems. PILOT projects are a popular and workable way for towns to gain some income from otherwise tax exempt projects. Passing this law has eliminated that option.
Second, by threatening increased taxes on farm-based methane generation systems, Mendon discourages the installation of waste management systems which reduce water pollution and turn waste into energy that can be used on site and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Finally, and perhaps most important, the town is sending a message to the rest of the world that Mendon is comfortable living in the past and has no interest in promoting a sustainable future.
You may use this link https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/ny-27-2018-democratic-nominee-fund-1 to donate to the congressional race for our district. All funds will be kept in reserve to be donated to the eventual Democratic nominee.