Opinion: Vote track record of current Canton Town Board, says former councilman
To the Editor:
Many of the positions on the Canton Town Board are in contention this year and having served on the board from 2016-2019, I am pleased to see the interest in local politics. I applaud anyone willing to step up and serve our community and this letter is not meant to take away from anyone, but to encourage everyone to vote the track record of the current Canton Town Board rather than the political winds that start to blow this time of year. In my time on the board I had the pleasure of serving with both Mary Ann Ashley and Jim Smith and seeing their hard work and dedication to the Canton community first hand. Mary Ann has worked tirelessly to increase the transparency of the Supervisor’s office and has done much to improve the efficiency and clarity of the town’s policies and procedures. Jim Smith’s years of experience on the board as well as his time as town supervisor and county legislator make him an invaluable contribution to any discussion and decision-making process set before the board. While both Mary Ann and Jim Smith have been in office, the Canton Town Board has accomplished the following:• Reduced the town’s financial stress rating from 15.8 to 0 from 2017-2021
• Implemented multi-year planning and balanced budgets keeping town taxes below the state tax cap
• Improved financial transparency and efficiency, reducing the number of town bank accounts from 33 to 13
• Enacted laws to protect our community’s interests in large scale solar development
• Created a 20-year road replacement plan and improved support for the Highway Department
• Increased contributions by over 10% to the fire departments of Pyrites, Morley, and Rensselaer Falls, which all fall in the Town of Canton
Much has been made over recent staffing choices made by the current board and while I encourage everyone to get involved in local politics and speak their minds, it’s important to remember that in order to avoid nepotism and cronyism, it’s essential that elected officials make staffing decisions based on the credentials of the applicants and not on who knows who.
When we go to the polls in November, I encourage you to support the progress that the current board has made with votes for Jim Smith, Mary Ann Ashley, Dave Nelson, and Martha Foley Smith.