To the Times of Ti:
Now is the time for the Ticonderoga taxpayer groups to step forward and to look at the way the town supervisor and board members are spending everyones money. While it is a good thing they are trying to get our school taxes lowered on the state level, they need to look at things closer to home. Years-old expenditures need to be gotten rid of in order to unburden taxpayers of their sky rocketing prices.
The cost of attorney fees spent to defend the boards decisions is constantly rising. A prime example is the eminent domain case on Killicut Mountain Road. The town tried to take a familys property through eminent domain but ran into a buzzsaw when the homeowners decided to fight back and won a unanimous decision in the state appellate court. The town also lost their right to appeal by a unanimous decision. Now there is a $88,200 tax bill for which the town is responsible.
There are towns in New York state that have populations of 30 or 40,000 people, Yet do not have their own police force. They are protected by either the state police or the county sheriff department and are perfectly happy. With a population of about 5,000, can Ticonderoga afford its own police department? Can it afford the soaring costs of salaries, health insurance and retirement benefits? Would you feel any less safe with a state police or county sheriff barracks in Ticonderoga? Can you afford the approximately half a million dollars budgeted for the police department that is constantly rising? I personally can not and I feel that vandalism would decrease with the presence of the state police.
Ticonderoga taxpayers can no longer be expected to pay in full the health insurance of the board members. Nor can we be expected to pay a board member money for not taking health insurance. Can you imagine walking into Wal-Mart, handing the cashier $2,500 and not getting any merchandise for it? Thats what the health insurance buy out does. Give the board members your hard-earned money for nothing. The buyout is particularly obnoxious if the person is already insured by the town because of a previous job with the town. Just because something has been done for years, does not mean it is right and must continue.
The current board is not looking out for the towns people because they have decided to perpetuate this practice. Chazy supervisor and board members voted to eliminate this practice because they know it is a cost the taxpayers can not afford. Every major corporation in America realizes the quickest way to bankruptcy is the rising cost of healthcare. Is paid insurance the only reason people run public office?
If board members really had the interest of taxpayers at heart, they would put the issues of the police department and health insurance perks on the next ballot and let the people paying taxes decide.
Mine is one voice crying out for reform. I know that other people feel the same but are afraid to speak out. If all taxpayers went to the board with the same issues, the board would not easily push them aside like they try to do to me now. Maybe then, something positive would get done.