Monday, September 07, 2009

Dan Maloney's Response To SCATS' Inquiry About Fiscal Policy In Greece

Dear SCATS,
Thank you for inviting me to speak about some of the issues you identified in this years important Supervisor’s race in Greece. Thank you as well for the contributions you have made to making Greece a better place and providing the community with an important mechanism by which to communicate.
There is an old saying that defines insanity as… “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The message being that if we elect the same people into Greece Town government we'll get more of the same: more cronyism, more corruption, more scandal, more sleaze, more financially debilitating lawsuits. Beyond the moral decay and culture of corruption, our current elected officials have created a situation that has cost Greece it's good reputation, and also lays the foundation for significant financial costs.
The first step to cutting costs in town government is to elect new people. We need new minds and fresh ideas on how to reign in spending, and here are a few of mine:

1. Medical benefit costs can be controlled by bringing together town employees non- represented and from various Unions and other groups (such as small businesses through the Chamber of Commerce) into a large pool - then negotiate through a broker for the least expensive plan with the best benefits. As was reported in the Democrat and Chronicle just a couple of weeks ago, the City of Rochester enacted a similar plan as described above, which saves the taxpayers of the City of Rochester approximately thirty million dollars over a three year period.
I have been in contact with two insurance brokers and will implement this cost saving measure as one of the first priorities in my administration. This initiative will have the greatest potential of savings for the taxpayers of Greece.

2. Take home vehicles must be reduced and restricted to only necessary public safety officials. I, like most taxpayers in town buy, insure, and maintain my own vehicle. I will continue to do so after Election Day. I believe after a tighter policy on town vehicle use is enacted and enforced, we'll see some pretty good savings.

(MORE INSIDE)

31 comments:

SCATS said...

3. COMIDA, or any tax incentive given must come with responsibility. Job creation or retention targets must be met or exceeded, or penalties applied to recoup tax dollars with interest for failure to meet agreed upon targets. Initial contracts with businesses seeking aid should be explicit in those expectations. Follow up and enforcement of contracts is critical. The goal must be to create good jobs with decent pay and benefits. In order to see growth, Greece needs to create jobs with family sustaining pay and benefits. We should do all we can to help the good businesses thrive in our community.
COMIDA itself is in need of serious oversight and review. There have been many applications granted by COMIDA to firms, some of them, like the Mall at Eastview, that were not even located within Monroe County.

Here at home in Greece, the biggest and perhaps one of the more controversial Comida approved projects was the Mall at Greece Ridge, owned by the Wilmot family, with strong ties to the Brooks Administration. In addition to losing $192,000 in tax revenues, we are supposed to be happy that this project will create an entire two whole full-time jobs – that’s $96,000 per job!

Part of the project submitted called for the demolition of the Bon-Ton section of the mall. There was only one problem with this idea – Bon-Ton OWNS their property and were never consulted nor notified that their property was about to be demolished as part of this COMIDA approved application.

The owners of The Mall at Greece Ridge are planning a multimillion-dollar renovation, and they are asking for tax breaks from the county to get the project going.

In an application to the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency, Greece Ridge LLC, owned and operated by the Wilmorite Management Group, asks for a sales tax exemption on building materials20for a $6 million renovation project at the Ridge Road shopping center. Roughly 40 percent of the project cost is building materials and the sales tax savings would be about $192,000, said COMIDA executive director Judy Seil.

But after the meeting, COMIDA executive director Judy Seil said the Greece mall, owned by Wilmorite Management Group, annually generated $11 million in sales taxes and $3.4 million in property taxes. The improvements to the mall will help it keep its value, she said.

Speaking to the board, Kevin Wilmot, Wilmorite’s vice president of finance, said phase one will involve new construction, renovation and modernization. An additional $23 million will be spent if phase one is successful, he said. The mall has 142 tenants.

Phase one is expected to add two full-time jobs.

A legal notice placed by the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency states that Wilmorite is seeking to raze the Bon-Ton and replace it with smaller stores and restaurants totaling 70,000 square feet. But Bon-Ton says it’s not leaving.

Bon-Ton officials said today that the company owns the building, t hat Wilmorite hasn’t said anything about its plan and that it wants Wilmorite’s application to COMIDA withdrawn.

It wasn’t clear how Wilmorite could demolish a building owned by Bon-Ton. Wilmorite’s application to COMIDA said demolition would begin Jan. 15, 2009. The new construction would be completed for a scheduled opening in November 2009.

COMIDA is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the application July 14 at Greece Town Hall. Wilmorite is seeking a $13.5 million sales tax exemption.


http://www.wickedlocal.com/mpnnow/news/x833713793/Changes-for-The-Mall-at-Greece-Ridge

SCATS said...

(continued...)

Rochester City Newspaper states:

COMIDA is supposed to use tax subsidies to help create local jobs. Handing out tax breaks to malls doesn't create more jobs, because retail is pretty much a zero-sum game. Spiffing up the mall won't increase the amount of socks and handbags that we purchase. If local residents buy more at Greece Ridge, then we'll buy less at some other shop owned by a hardworking business owner who isn't receiving a subsidy. If enough people switch their business to Greece Ridge, the other business owners willl decrease their employee hours.

So that's not creating jobs. That's shifting jobs from one business to another. (Wilmorite is only promising to create two new jobs at a subsidy rate of $96,000 per job created.)


http://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/news/letters/2009/01/DEVELOPMENT-New-York-must-reform-IDAs/

http://www.growmonroe.org/comida/files/file/Press%20Release/2008/COMIDA%20December%20Approved.pdf

To give tax breaks of this proportion under the Industrial Development Agency of Monroe County (COMIDA) only shifts jobs from one business to another. I cannot believe nor accept that two full-time jobs are worth the trade off and further question the motives of the County of Monroe in granting this application. Further, it is noted that a Wilmorite subsidiary currently owns Sibley Tower, was is indebted to the City of Rochester in excess of $15 million in back taxes:

Sibley is owned by a subsidiary of Wilmorite Corp., which hasn’t been able to do anything with the place since buying it in the early 1990s. Wilmorite owes the city more than $15 million in back taxes, loans, and fees.
http://www.13wham.com/content/news/midtown/story/As-Midtown-Era-Ends-Some-Look-to-Sibley/he72fgCcxEiBc9YrF-CTfA.cspx

SCATS said...

(Continued)

Is any of this good for Greece? No. Is any of this good for Monroe County? No. Restructuring and oversight must be done to COMIDA in order for it to be considered a viable and productive mechanism for job and business growth and development.

4. Salaries of Town employees should be in line with people engaged in similar work in similar sized towns. A review of data from the New York State Comptroller and other labor and wage boards will help with a quality assessment. More importantly, we should look into establishing a residency requirement that would call for those who hold management or department head positions to be residents of the Town of Greece. In doing so, would give them an incentive to uphold the highest levels of service to the community that they would then have a vested interested in.

5. We must have a local procurement policy in place that supports local businesses. Our tax dollars should be spent locally first, whenever possible, regionally second, statewide, third, before looking nationally to make purchases. All goods and services that can be bought locally should be.

6. We need to address the revenue side of the ledger by attracting new businesses such as green technology high wage jobs. These jobs will bring an upward economic spiral to our entire community. I have been one of the biggest proponents of hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing for our area. I have done press releases and rallies with our Upstate Congressional representatives on the job creation potential of fuel cells. Both auxiliary power units and vehicle propulsion systems should be built here. I will not stop in my efforts to land this important technology in our community. We can fill up the empty buildings at Kodak, rather than knocking them down.

7. Small start-up companies must be given some breathing space to get off the ground. In talking to small business owners, they state that the town currently over regulates them and has excessive fees for start up companies. We need to do a cost benefit analysis on how we tax, regulate, and impose fees on start up companies - and consider ways to attract and retain new businesses in town. Taxes, fees, and over regulation that close businesses only cost us money in the long run.

I will use a citizen advisory council made up of Greece business owners and retired executives to help form new policies that get us on track toward being the most business friendly town in Monroe County and New York State. The town of Brighton has used citizen review boards with great success – all at no cost to the taxpayer.

Thank you again for the opportunity to discuss the issues with you during this very important race in Greece. The voters will decide the direction of our community this November. I remain committed to meeting and listening to all of the residents, business owners and leaders our community is blessed with, and moving Greece forward in a direction we can all participate in, and be proud of.

I encourage all residents to visit my website at www.Maloney2009.com where I can be emailed at Dan@Maloney2009.com with any questions voters may have. I can also be reached at (585) 723-6335.

Anonymous said...

I guess it was worth waiting for.
It looks like he will not just let the county do whatever they wish either.

Anonymous said...

Wow - the Comida part was fascinating. And to think that most of the Town Board works for Maggie during the day and let this garbage happen?

Turn the lights out republicans on your way out the door!

Diane said...

Dan's the Man :D

This is a very encouraging plan.
Every single person of Greece needs to see this.

Anonymous said...

Geez, more b.s. political campaign rhetoric that these politicians spew every year. It's getting old and tired.

Anonymous said...

At least Dan has some ideas. Some of them sound very good. COMIDA needs real oversight. It has become simply a giveaway to friends

What is the republican "plan"

Lower your taxes. They haven;t done a very good job on that. They just raise your assessments and cut services while giving themselves big raises.

I don't think the republican have any "plan"
Well they have one. Hold onto power by any means possible.

Diane said...

I have a question: while driving west on Stonewood (off Lake by 7-11), coming into Greece-there's a sign that says "Welcome to Greece" in gold letters and underneath it says "John T. Auberger, Supervisor"...

what the heck is that all about?? Does that mean we'll have to pay to take his name off or have a new sign(s) made? Do all of them say that? Whatever happened to "Discover the Promise"??? Why should tax money be spent advertising Auberger's name? It should only speak of Greece.

Anonymous said...

Diane:

In case you haven't noticed everything in the town of Greece carries a picture of Auberger.

Auberger acts as if he is the owner/proprietor of the town

He thinks it should be called John Auberger's town of Greece.

Anyone who that much a grandiose ego
a) certainly has to have control over everything that is going on
b) is someone that should not be trusted as our representative.
he thinks he is the public body rather than the public,

Get him out as fast as you can if not faster.

Diane said...

It's funny because I never noticed it before (driving by too fast :D)..

but I was thinking the same thing:
WHAT AN EGO!!! WHOSE idea was it to spend money on that stuff? gee, let me guess..

Don't dictators in other countries do that?...display their photo/name all over?

And yeah..for someone who's supposed to know what's going on..he's playing deaf, dumb and blind now>>>like the 3 monkeys.

"Discover the Promise" will actually start to mean something once Maloney takes over :D.

SCATS said...

To Diane ~~ I think there are other signs that say "Welcome to Greece" but I'm not sure if all of them have Auberger's name. He has taken "credit" for ALL library programs, all town sponored activites, everything that happens in Greece is HIS responsibility ... unless there's a problem with it. In that case, he knows nothing!

Anonymous said...

Take a look at all the town park signs. They too adorn his name. Egomaniac

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the "John Auberger Dog Park" ;)

Charlie Hubbard said...

Mr. Maloney; I thought your comments about Comida were very interesting and on target.
Comida has been misused for years. Being a believer in simplicity I would ask for you to consider 2 items in a simple way.
#1 Using Comida tax breaks for retail, attorney offices, dentist offices ect. is a misuse of the purpose as you rightly discribe.
#2 When a tax reduction is granted to one a tax INCREASE is then levied on the others. Let us never forget that.
When rubber stamp type approval takes place as has been the case with Comida then taxes are being RAISED by COMMITTE and I would hope you find that unacceptable.
In other words how much has everyone elses taxes have gone up say over the last 10 years as a result of reductions granted by this Comida committe? If things were being done on the up and up Comida should have that answer with no problem ????

Testing your belief in democracy I would very much like to hear your opinion of school board members raising taxes after the community has rejected a school budget with thier vote.

chubbard005@rochester.rr.com
775-6015

Anonymous said...

Charlie,
Do you ever let anything go?! I've seen it explained to you NUMEROUS times that a school board has the authority to set the budget and tax levy to a certain point even after voters say no. I am not saying it's a good idea, just that it IS a permissible action for the school board to take. It would be tremendously helpful if you would direct your energies toward the entities that allow those things instead of constantly trying to drum up business on your side of the fence within the community against the school board. It's getting old, man.

Charlie Hubbard said...

To 4:04 (anonyomous)
You say it's not a good idea - what does THAT mean? If in fact you are doing nothing about it then I have no choice but to think you are ok with it being a GOOD idea.
"Trying to drum up business on your side of the fence"
I'm glad you brought that up because MY side of the fence believes in democracy and if that bothers you - too bad. MY side of the fence believes our kids deserve to have 'leaders' they can look up to. We have a man who wants to be a 'leader' in our community. If you have a better way of separating the 'leaders' from the 'frauds' - those we can be 'proud' of and those we cannot 'trust' then bring it on.

I had this crazy idea this upcoming election was about having people we can 'believe' in. Many have suggested we need someone who will 'listen' to the community. Are those people being phony? Are you?

So I will continue looking for an answer to my question - our community deserves to know if we are truly getting someone who believes in democracy.

ps; as far as knowing the law. Do us both a favor and don't ever preach to me about how to fight this injustice - OK? This is not about a law this about INTEGRETY and deep down 4:04 you know it.

Anonymous said...

4:04PM...Mr. Hubbard is absolultely correct! If you look at the number of people who turn out for the school budget vote statewide, it is pitiful. People don't vote because they KNOW their vote is meaningless. There is not one single other time that elected officials can over ride the vote of the people. Voting on any school budget in NYS is a joke. The voters are not stupid.

Mr. Hubbard has rightfully asked Mr. Maloney where he stands on this issue. He may be our next town Supervisor and as such will oversee the ENTIRE town including the school district. His stand on this issue IS important. Our current Stupidvisor and town board members have never said BOO about school district budgets even though we are approaching the $200 MILLION mark annually. The head of the town SHOULD speak out against the assinine decisions the school board has made over the last several years. We are NOT divided into two seperate entities. We are ONE town that also has a school district within it.

So........I too would like to know how Mr. Maloney stands on over riding the vote of the people. There may be a law that allows this to happen, but that does not make it a good law.

Anonymous said...

7:59 pm siad, "He may be our next town Supervisor and as such will oversee the ENTIRE town including the school district."

SCATS 10:11 am (different thread) said, "...I hope you realize that the Greece Supervisor has about as much to do with the size of the school district's budget as they do the color of the cheese on the moon."

Confliscting statements here. So who's right?

SCATS said...

To 9:15AM ~~ Technically, I'm correct. The Greece Board of Education sets the school district's budget, puts it out for a vote, etc. It is a major part of their job as mandated by law.

Having said that, nowhere is it written that the Supervisor and/or Town Board can't attempt to influence the BOE (or vice versa) or try to cooperate with them on certain ventures of mutual interest.

Charlie Hubbard said...

To 4:04
I neglected to make one item clear and I want to make this crystal clear.
There is NO law that says a school board member MUST raise taxes even after the voters say no.
NO LAW
This is done by choice. Don't buy a used car from anyone who tells you differently. And also remember75-80% of all spending is brought about by school board approval of do nothing-give away employee contracts.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hubbard,
I am 4:04 - Find the word "MUST" in my post. You don't need to make anything CRYSTAL CLEAR to me....I said it was PERMISSIBLE - and it is. See information below right off NYSED website (I know you already know this Mr. Hubbard. This is for other interested individuals).

Defeated Budgets and Budget Revote
Should the voters defeat the budget, the district has the option of offering a revised budget to voters for a revote, or immediately adopting a contingency budget. Districts are only allowed one budget revote to be held on the third Tuesday in June. If the budget fails a second time, then the Board of Education must adopt a contingency budget before July 1st. In the case of a contingency budget, districts are constrained in two ways – determination of ordinary contingency budget appropriations and the statutory caps. Ordinary contingency expenses are defined as the expenditures absolutely necessary to operate and maintain schools (except for those items over which the statutes themselves either provide mandates for or give discretion to the board of education).

Now, Mr. Hubbard, as you are keenly aware - unfortunately, sometimes the contingency budget is HIGHER than the one put forth for the voters. I know you don't like it, but there it is in black and white....the options available. Play it out to its conclusion - Budget defeated. District puts out revote. Budget defeated. Then it MUST adopt a contingency budget. There's that pesky MUST word - said by NYSED not me.

Charlie Hubbard said...

11:54
When was the last time Greece had a second vote?
If you were a board member could you look the community in the eye and say 'I don't care how you voted - I as a board member think your too stupid to know what's good for you' THAT is exactly what you would be saying.

Now let me tell you one reason I am bringing this up now.
We have a local US congressman who on national tv said (forgive me if I don't get this exactly right) "I don't care what my constituents want - I am going to do what I think is best".
This is a dangerous president. In other words he has meetings to find out what his constituents opinions are and then sticks his middle finger up at them. Granted these opinions are somewhat subjective. In this case we are talking about the peoples VOTE - that is not subjective. The end result is the same in that elected officials are sticking there middle finger up to the voters - THAT would not happen if integrety and a belief in democracy were the order of the day.
So I could not care less if 'you' don't like that - I plan to press this and ask for an answer from Mr. Maloney and others because it tells me 'who they are' OR if they are the type of person who feels that politicians are above 'us'.
God knows we have plenty of 'them' now and it has led to the $$$ mess we are in.
Mr. Maloney is talking about how our town is effected by decisions made at the county and state level and he deserves credit for that.
THIS item comes from the state and I am hoping Mr. Maloney and others are the type of 'leaders' who will speak out about this type of garbage. Silence in this case speaks volumns.

Anonymous said...

You are soooo predictable. "Stick their middle finger up", "Spit on the vote" - I knew all of that was coming. So, then, Mr. Hubbard - if Greece were to put a budget up for a second vote (at a significant cost, by the way which would thrill the hell out of you I'm certain) and it got voted down AGAIN, what is YOUR recommendation?! MOST districts who have been in this situation adopt the very budget that was voted down. Obviously the powers that be felt that proposed amount was necessary to "run" the school system or they would have put a lesser amount before the voters.
I just think that your anger has clouded your obvious intellect, Mr. Hubbard. Use it more productively. We need people who are willing to take a stand - on the right topic with the right people.

Anonymous said...

and by the way---how does this differ from getting saddled with a President who may win the popular vote but get the bed in the White House chamber because of electoral votes?

SCATS said...

To 2:10PM ~~ By the way, Charlie Hubbard isn't the only person who feels this way about school budget votes. He is just one of the more outspoken ones. Many other people will tell you that it doesn't matter if they vote on the budget or not because the school district will do exactly what Charlie is complaining about. Then other people come out and say "Well, hardly anyone bothered to vote, so I guess the budget amount was just fine!"

You mentioned the "significant cost" for a second vote. They used the figure of $50,000 last time I heard it discussed in Greece. Out of a budget that's within spitting distance of $200K that's barely a drop in the ole bucket, isn't it?

Charlie Hubbard said...

To 2:10 and 2:11
This will be my last response to you because you are now just picking stuff out of the air (i'm being nice).
If you don't want to 'respect the vote' then don't have one - ok.
If ANY elected official or candidate is only interested in listening to 'what they want to hear' then don't bother asking the peoples opinion - ok.

Now YOUR biggest problem - you think (convieniently) that this is about Charlie - WRONG - I'll be fine reguardless. It's about the message we are sending to our kids - OUR FUTURE.
We teach our kids about democracy (i hope) in school and about the things that have made this the greatest country in the history of the world.
We teach our kids (i hope) about the sacrafice so many have made (VERY dear to me) for us to live in a free society and part of that freedom is the right to cast a 'meaningfull vote'.

If our kids look at our 'actions' as being something different then it is WE who should be shunned.

Our kids know hypocracy and hopefully know it to be wrong. Some adults (check the mirror) see hypocracy and accept it as long as 'they' get what 'they' want.

GREAT ROLE MODELS !!!!!

Anonymous said...

@SCATS 9:59 - my point is that if Dan Maloney thinks he will "oversee" the GCSD he is mistaken and saying so would be another lie.

SCATS said...

To 7:35PM ~~ I'm not aware that Dan Maloney ever said anything like that. If you believe he has, I'd like to see the quote and some reference as to its origin. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not aware that Dan Maloney ever said anything like that."

Who here claimed he did?

If you believe someone has, I'd like to see the quote and some reference as to its origin. Thank you.

SCATS said...

To 9/10/2009 2:48 PM~~ I'm glad you brought that up! There seems to be a misperception among some on here and on other media comment areas that the Greece Supervisor has some sort of power or authority over the Greece Central School District. I want to make it perfectly clear that that is NOT the case.

For reference, please see: "He may be our next town Supervisor and as such will oversee the ENTIRE town including the school district."
9/08/2009 7:59 PM

And that was quoted by 9/09/2009 9:15 AM

And then Maloney and GCSD was brought up again by 9/09/2009 7:35 PM

Again, my point is that for anyone who believes the Greece Supervisor "oversees" the Greece Central School District in any way is mistaken.