LETTERS

Letter to the Editor: Return the Dynasty to Power?

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

In 2009, the Town of Italy positions of supervisor, bookkeeper, highway superintendent, justice, and court clerk were all held by members of one family. Together, they controlled every major aspect of town government. Residents seemed to be content to leave town affairs in the hands of the Hicks Dynasty.

Then came the wind developers. When small town government had to face big time corporate bullies, they were not up to the task. First, they caved in to corporate pressure and overrode the town’s comprehensive plan and zoning law. Then, when faced with an outraged citizenry, they reversed course and denied the developer’s application, resulting in a major lawsuit. The town government ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and debt, and nearly wiped out the town’s reserve fund.

In 2009, Italy’s voters replaced the supervisor, highway superintendent, and two town board members with a team who had the vision, competence, and fortitude to take on the corporate bullies and clean up the mess that had been handed to them by the previous administration. Under Brad Jones’ leadership, they negotiated a reduction of more than $100,000 in outstanding legal fees. They replaced the expensive legal firm with an experienced lawyer specializing in environmental issues.

Through their fiscal responsibility, the huge tax increase predicted by the rumor mongers became a reduction in the town tax rate.

Dan Schenk as highway superintendent has been instrumental in obtaining significant grants for the repair and upgrading of our long-neglected roads. Previous highway superintendents failed to keep adequate records and never considered applying for such grants. Dan has also ended time-wasting abuses in the department. Despite attempts to undermine his work, he has persisted in placing the interests of the taxpayers ahead of the gripes of disgruntled employees.

Now the ousted members of the Dynasty want their old positions back. But do Italy’s citizens want them back? Italy is larger than one family and their cronies, and the Ecogen fiasco has shown that town leadership requires more vision, competence, and fiscal responsibility than they could deliver. It is up to us to keep responsible government that looks out for the interests of ALL the citizens of Italy.

Please vote for:

• Brad Jones for supervisor

• Dan Schenk for highway superintendent

• Anthony Carter for town council

• Patti Fitzgerald for town council

Michael Herzog

Italy