Weekly Feature

2011-01-19 / Bee Heard

Bee Heard

.Amherst supervisor Barry Weinstein and the Republican town board have really gone too far prohibiting free speech and the opportunity to speak at town board meetings. First, they changed the suspension of rules to be held only at the very end of the meeting. Now they have decided to hold a lot of the meetings during daytime hours, when most residents are working. This is slowly but surely stifling dialogue between the electorate and the town board.

.As an Amherst resident, I wouldn’t mind paying $5 on my tax bill for the sidewalks. Why should just the people on those streets pay? Why not charge everyone, as I’m sure everyone can afford $5. That way, you would cover extensive sidewalk snowplowing.

.The shooting in Arizona had nothing to do with political discourse. It was done by a very sick person. We’ve always had much disagreement in this country, and it will continue. There is nothing wrong with strident political discourse.

.With the school superintendent retiring in the Williamsville School District, I hope he will not get $250,000 in his pension, plus benefits, also his assistant who is also retiring. Now is the time to set the salary for the new superintendent at $95,000 per year, with no benefits. With the big salary they receive, they can afford their own medical insurance.

.It is disappointing how Barry Weinstein cut back on public input to the town board. Attendance is way down, because what is the point? Weinstein says the public can contact them individually; of course, that is not public and the press never hears residents’ concerns. Fortunately, we still have Mark Manna as an independent voice. We need more independent people on the town board.

.I would like to thank Jack Davis for giving $5 million to SUNY at Amherst Campus for the engineering department. At least my kids can go there and feel secure.

.Throughout year 2010, Assemblyman Jim Hayes called for reform in New York’s costly Medicaid system. Mr. Hayes will finally get his opportunity to be part of that process. County Executive Collins is calling on members of the Western New York Delegation to introduce “opt-out” legislation that would allow local municipalities to determine what optional Medicaid services are provided to their residents. I believe Mr. Hayes will be a leader in this effort.

.(Editor’s note: Call The Bee at 632-0390 and record a one-minute comment on our Bee Heard line. It gives readers an opportunity to comment quickly and candidly on items of local or regional interest. Callers do not have to identify themselves and no callers’ names will be used. In the interest of fairness and good taste, The Bee will not publish derogatory or insulting comments. All comments are by our readers and are subject to editing.

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