Letter to the Editor

The real story about the $9 million

By Mark W. Hoyt, Walden
Posted 6/12/19

I am born and raised in the Town of Montgomery. I have built my family owned business from the ground up, volunteered for local community organizations and dedicated my life to public service. I …

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Letter to the Editor

The real story about the $9 million

Posted

I am born and raised in the Town of Montgomery. I have built my family owned business from the ground up, volunteered for local community organizations and dedicated my life to public service. I graduated from Valley Central High School and earned a Bachelor Degree in Animal Science & Agricultural Finance from Cornell University. I understand the issues that face our town and have worked within our financial confines with four different Supervisors.

It has always been important to me that the voters get all of the facts, not just what certain candidates want voters to see. I have learned while serving in public office that you can take pretty much any number or statistic and twist it into whatever narrative you want people to believe.

Our Supervisor showed you two documents that revealed $9,148,361 in Cash and Cash Considerations. Let’s talk honestly about what this number breaks down to. Out of this rougly $9 million, $515,000 is restricted for parklands in the B Fund. $1,758,000 is appropriated into the two General and Highway funds for the 2019 budget. $2 million is reserved for Water Districts and $900,000 is for Sewer Fund use only. Bringing the available fund balance between the two General Funds, Highway Fund, Lighting Fund and the Old Capital Projects to $3,975,000. All of this information can be verified in the same Financial Statement provided by our Supervisor on page 20, schedule 3 as well as the summary page of the 2019 budget. I have enclosed both of these pages with this letter. (They are available at town hall through a FOIL request).

The Town of Montgomery does not have $9 million to spend on anything it wants, which is the perception our Town Supervisor would have you believe. Much of these funds are earmarked for special projects and other specified accounts. We have done our very best as a Town Board to spend your tax dollars appropriately and because of that we are in a strong financial position. While the nations economy has improved more recently, our Town went through the same recession that municipalities throughout our country went through. We came out of it stronger than most, which frankly is something I am very proud of.

Our Town Board is not perfect and I will be the first to admit that we need to address issues that absolutely could have been addressed over the years. However, our Supervisor has not made an honest effort to work with us over the past two years on how to solve these problems. Supervisor Winchell has only been interested in who’s to blame and creating an angry electorate. I am asking for your vote to be re-elected as a Town Councilman because I believe I have institutional knowledge that has been, and could continue to be, valuable in representing the taxpayers of our Town.

I always say that if a day goes by that you have not learned something, you’re not paying attention. I am still learning every day and I wish that our Supervisor Rod Winchell took the time to work with our Town Board and learn as much from us as we could from him. Our town needs leadership now more than ever. I hope moving forward to be part of a real team that focuses on the work of the people of the Town of Montgomery and not creating division and a culture of fear.

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