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Fredonia must control spending

April 7, 2013

Two weeks ago, the OBSERVER issued a special report on what villages pay their employees in Chautauqua County. There’s 15 villages in the county....

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Apr-11-13 11:39 PM

Yes phil, i agree with m-johnson on your negativity toward local government employees. However i saw and agree with one of your recent posts on how schools should be run. I view you as a well knowledged person though. Theres 3 sides to every issue. The right side, the left side and the correct side. Unfortunately in government the correct side is never agreed upon at the end. You may think im wrong, i may think your wrong and we both agree that the local government needs tweeking. I do enjoy reading your posts. As goes to you magic johnson.

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Apr-11-13 7:12 PM

Phil, I have been reading your posts for years, I have never read at anytime you commend or praise any public employee. Yes they are compensated and recieve benefits by us the taxpayers, but these people are human, there are many public employees who care passionately about their profession. It appears you dislike public employees because everything you post is always negative. Maybe its just the way I read into it.

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Apr-11-13 3:19 PM

EINSTEIN - I fully agree that Fredonia does a better job of controlling spending but they have no choice. Historically, Dunkirk has had the tax base with a power company, steel companies etc. so they were in a position to spend more and they did. The housing stock in Dunkirk is very old and low value. The STAR program completely eliminates school taxes for many homeowners and NRG has been paying about $6 million annually to support our schools and city bureaucracy. Most of the newer and more valuable homes have been built in Fredonia in recent years and therein lies the problem. Owners of the higher valued property in the Village are being taxed to death in spite of the relatively small village budget. As I stood in line at a local store the lady behind me was telling her friend that she had to put her Fredonia home up for sale because the taxes were no longer affordable. I am hearing that same concern for others who are taxed over $10,000 per year in Fredonia. The spending must stop!

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Apr-11-13 1:05 AM

The city continues to lose population to the point that it is now comparable to Fredonia. But let's compare budgets. Dunkirk currently has an operating budget of $20.6 million while Fredonia with a similar population needs only $9.1 million. In fact, Dunkirk spends over $1,700 for every man, woman and child in the city. It's interesting that the mayor of Dunkirk is paid a salary with insurance opt-out of about $60,000. That is five times the amount paid to the mayor of Fredonia!

This artice was written in 2010 by a guy named phil julian. Google it for the whole artice. Its title is no stopping spending. I like it. Makes fredonia look good doesnt it.

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Apr-10-13 2:36 PM

MAJICJOHNSON - I have to ask you one question. When or where did I ever say that I hate public employees?

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Apr-09-13 7:02 PM

Phil, I agree on some of your points, einstein hit the nail on the head. The whole system should be revamped, starting at the Federal Level and then to the state. Local property taxes is not what drove much of the industry away. I blame this on Albany and politics at the state level. With all the restrictions and state regulations, why would anyone want to do business in New York.

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Apr-09-13 1:10 PM

Philjulian, i disagree with the way the original article is written, i also dont believe the servicemen/women are overpaid but i do agree with your last post. I also dont think the village of fredonia is broke or will ever be broke. Its been governed well for years and hopefully will be for future years. The taxes may be higher in this village but your getting what you pay for. There are no vacant houses or apartments. There are waiting lists for apartments to open up. And i also keep tabs on the tax auctions. Very few houses or properties are being lost to taxes. Looks what fredonias come in the last 10 to 20 years. Look at all the housing at 240 temple. 70 brigham, 450 temple. All that wasnt here ten years ago. Fredonia has grown yet the fire , police, and streets departments have not, i believe they have become smaller by attrition. I Believe the best way to tackle this is to merge with the town of pomfret. Pomfrets court is already in the village hall. Thats a good start

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Apr-09-13 9:32 AM

Majicjohnson - you are right that we need the services. It's when the services cost more than we can afford that we run into trouble. At the federal level government ran up a debt in excess of $16 trillion. For every dollar spent they have to borrow forty two cents, mainly from China. At the state level excessive spending has resulted in the demise of upstate New York where business can no longer compete, youth are leaving and many people migrating to greener pastures. At the local level excessived taxation has resulted in the loss if industry while the county and it's two cities contiunue to lose population. You may be right that a state trooper makes $140 thousand but that doesn'r mean that local law enforcement is underpaid. MAYBE THE TROOPER IS OVERPAID AND MAYBE HIS SALARY IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE DEMISE OF THE STATE! In the final analysis we should not be spending more than we can afford and that applies to federal government, state, local and your personal finances.

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Apr-09-13 12:22 AM

Philjulian, Yes, your right. Thats why im saying that the article has fredonia placed in the same bucket as the small one horse towns. If you want to compare the salaries of the services you should consider them as a small city not a village.

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Apr-08-13 6:50 PM

Phil - I understand you hate public employees and paying local property taxes. I kinda agree with you to a point, unfortunaltely we need many of these services we pay for. What I dont ever see you complain about is the amount of waste in "taxpayer" monies and wages we pay out everyday in the state and federal level. You must think federal employees and state employees must be exempt from your constant complaining. On any given day, I would gladly my local property taxes (city/town/county) over what I get stripped from my paycheck weekly for federal and state taxes. You complain a Fredonia Police Officer makes 68k year, but 1 mile down the road a NY trooper makes 140k a year, doing nothing diefferent but driving a different color car. A Federal agent making 200k annually, Im sure he is the one that will knock at your door if your house is burglaried. right! I think you need to look at the bigger picture. Apples to Oranges!

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Apr-08-13 4:51 PM

einstein - population has nothing to do with designation of a village or city. That designation is determined by the original incorporation.

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Apr-08-13 1:36 PM

Myopinion gets it wrong again. Seethroughny, the source for the Observer's article notes that Dunkirk Police chief makes over $98k and another public safety employee making $101K+.The top 23 PD/FD members make between $80K and $101K. Compare that to the numbers cited by the Observer for Fredonia. If the two police departments were ever consolidated as some (Phil et al) recommend Fredonia taxpayers would take a whopping hit to make up the differences. Look it up.

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Apr-08-13 10:28 AM

philjuilian- Yes facts are facts. I was just saying that the writer of that artice is comparing apples to oranges. Fredonia should be considered a small city, then it would have the lowest saleries if you compared it to Dunkirk , Jamestown or State police. Fredonia is way bigger than the places the observer compares it to. not just population but business etc... and leave that poor lawyer fella alone. thats apples/oranges too. The guy works for 5 or 6 different towns and they tallied his wages and say hes overpaid? i bet he works more than 40/week,good for him, hardworker. the comparisons made would be like me saying that the paperboy that delivers 5 routes makes way more than the boy with 1 route. That little go getter with 5 routes should take a pay cut. UM NO, thats foolish, hes doing 5 times the work.

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Apr-08-13 9:29 AM

I find it interesting that when ever there is a truly revealing local news story there are people that blame The Observer for printing it. Does it make any sense to blame the messenger for the bad news? Salaries of public officials can be a major factor in the decline of our area because they are paid with our tax dollars. Yes, we have a right to know if salaries are out of line and where would you get this information if it were not for The Observer? When you consider the shrinking size of the local community we are lucky to have a daily newspsper and we can only hope that they continue bringing us the facts that are so important to the future of our area.

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Apr-08-13 1:46 AM

apples to oranges or sour grapes Why is the Observer comparing the fire salary of a Fredonia fireman to that of a Forestville fireman? why compare a Fredonia cop to a Cassadaga cop? The observers just trying to stir the bees. Fredonia brings in people from all over the county. Has anyone shopped yet at the Cassadaga Wal-mart? or went bar hopping in downtown Brocton? lets celebrate St Pattys day next year in Silver Creek...nope not going to happen!! Fredonia doesn't only deal with Fredonia residents, it deals with every one in the county that needs entertainment or shopping etc... Why is the newspaper called the Dunkirk Observer if it serves all of the north county? the observer is used frequently by those from other towns, correct? Would it be foolish for someone to say that the Observer charges way more to place an advertisement than the Forestville paper does? Of course it would sound foolish, because Forestville doesn't have a paper, or a Police dept, or a paid Fire dept.

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Apr-07-13 10:56 PM

Want to get really shocked look up the salary of suny Fredonia police chief a department of about 5 people.

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Apr-07-13 10:30 PM

She made $47,526 in 2012 which doesn't seem outrageous to me.

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Apr-07-13 7:31 PM

Two Weeks ago I asked John to do an article on the Dunkirk School teachers and administrators salaries. Compare his wife's salary with a teacher who teaches at Panama or Clymer school. People in glass houses should not throw stones. If he hates what he pays for taxes in Fredonia, here is a solution MOVE OUT!

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Apr-07-13 7:04 PM

No, they are not "the best paid force in the county". This article only referred to VILLAGES, most not even a third of Fredonia's size, college or not, and certainly those college students cause quite a bit of work the other VILLAGES don't have to contend with. Now, compare CITY or STATE police, at least those residing and working in Chautauqua County, and then let's see who makes the most money. It's all tax dollars you know.

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Apr-07-13 6:23 PM

As for Dcronlg, you are correct that if Fredonia's citizens desire to pay high taxes for a high paid police force, why should the rest of us care? Then again, the Observer would not be doing its job if it failed to tell Fredonia citizens how its taxes are being spent and that the FPD is the best paid force in the county.

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Apr-07-13 6:09 PM

Yes, baseball, you at correct except you are unaware of the third step. Effort 1 is to get every citizen to mail in a census form. Effort 2 is to visit every home, residence or homeless location that failed to send in a census form notifying the government of their residence on April 1. Effort 3 is to collect census data not collected from neighbors or from any person in authority with knowledge of the citizens not recorded or collected by a data collector. (I.E. The college administration.).

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Apr-07-13 2:05 PM

All this census talk aside, it's neither certain nor obvious that the majority of Fredonia residents believe they are spending too much for the services they both want and need.

Year after year, decade after decade, election after election, the village residents have always chosen -- for themselves (and obviously not caring one bit about other villages...) -- exactly how and on what they want their tax dollars spent.

They obviously believe the expenses and the taxes are worth it -- so get over it and mind your own business. If other villages want to operate differently, then it's their residents' business. B-u-t-t out.

Which leads me back to the Clueless church Lady Gaggle OBSERVER board -- sticking their unwelcomed, ignorant noses into some village's duly-decided-by-the-democratic-process business.

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Apr-07-13 2:03 PM

"So also by this idiot commentary, Dunkirk is twice the size of Fredonia, yet the School Systems are only a hundred or so students apart in school population." Well, how about the number of children people have? The census listed somewhere around 6000 people between the ages of 15 and 24 in Fredonia. Without the college, ya think!? If 3000 people in Fredonia are between the ages of 15 and 19, why are there only maybe 600 in the entire high school? These numbers are from the 2010 census and had Fredonia at just over 11,000 people. Looking at the count between those 2 younger age brackets, it HAD to include the college.

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Apr-07-13 10:45 AM

Unless you believe a Village with a high school with classes of approximately 125 or so has a 15-19 year old population of almost 3,000, the college is CLEARLY included in the census figures. The numbers for 20-24 are almost the same. Every other number by age is WAY smaller. That being said, I might add that Fredonia's contract negotiations were going on for 2 years, and had been settled and submitted to the board for vote weeks before the Observer article on Fredonia's wages. I won't get into the figures on salaries being totally skewed by overtime, or does the Observer expect people to get out of bed to fix water line leaks and plugged sewers or snowplow for free?

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Apr-07-13 10:37 AM

Dunkirk and Fredonia have similar populations but why does Dunkirk have a police force twice the size of Fredonia? Why do we need eight full time police departments in a low crime rural county of only 133,000 residents? Is there some reason why all law enforcement can't be consolidated into the sheriff's department with satellite locations as needed throughout the county? Our county has more police protection than Fort Knox, we just don't have any of the gold. If you want to know where our tax dollars are going just look at the salaries in law enforcement. Police protection is important and absolutely necessary but there should not be a blank check for any public service.

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