Considering a tough call
It can be an uncomfortable topic to consider for traditionalists, but it deserves some discussion: should the village of Forestville be dissolved?
Forestville, with a population of around 700, has been poorly run in recent years. Besides having numerous issues with its erratic and elderly water system, the village also recently received a slap on the wrist from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office for its handling of village funds.
Add in to the equation, the drastic and careless overpayments in salary and compensation to the former village attorney Michael Bolender – more than $55,000 per year – and you have a village and an elected group that were hardly looking out for its residents.
Last month, Trustee Ron Lineman broached the topic of dissolution. “From my experience, I have watched this board for a number of years and the past administrations, they didn’t seem to care how they wasted the money of the taxpayers,” he said.
How else do you explain the comptroller’s report or the rate of pay for Bolender? To put the ex-attorney’s compensation in some context, Bolender was receiving $55,000 from a municipality of 700 residents.
In Dunkirk, the city attorney earns a salary of about $70,000 in a municipality of 12,000 residents.
You see why Bolender’s pay should have been questioned yearly?
But past administrations did not. That’s why Lineman’s proposal needs the consideration from every village resident. It is a village that has increased taxes nearly 50 percent over the last five years and gave pay raises of 12 percent to village employees in some years that were smack in the middle of a recession.
And, according to the comptroller, those handling the money did not have a grip on funds for its water department.
Forestville’s new administration is doing its best, but some believe they have inherited a mess.
Is that a government that sounds like keeping?