Niagara Gazette

October 23, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Palmer presents plan for the Town of Lewiston

By Ernest Palmer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Recently, I announced my candidacy for Lewiston town supervisor. For the past seven years, I have proudly represented Lewiston as a member of the town council. I take great pride in helping to keep Lewiston a prosperous and beautiful place to live.

During my career as a law enforcement professional, I learned the importance of solving problems by communicating with the public. While working as a patrol officer, I pursued my studies at NCCC, graduating with a Criminal Justice degree and was later selected as a Distinguished Alumni. I spent several years as chief of detectives and criminal intelligence commander, and rose the through the ranks to become chief of police. I was honored to have graduated from the 173rd session of the FBI National Academy, and later, from Leadership Niagara. I used my skills to lead an agency of 180 people and successfully worked through budget preparation, union contracts, internal investigations and community relations.

I have also owned and operated an independent accounting practice for the past 25 years, and I am admitted to represent taxpayers before the IRS. It is my hope that you find my financial background and management experience uniquely qualified for the position of supervisor.

Here is what you can expect from me if I am fortunate enough to earn your trust on election day:

I won’t waste money. The town’s finances should be run just like your own house, never spending more than the revenue coming in. In the past four years, we have increased our fund balance from $5 million to $6 million. That represents a healthy Lewiston.

I will continue our current practice of sharing NYPA relicensing money with town and village residents, which has resulted in a $120 annual savings on water bills per household, and along with the town board we will continue to look for other opportunities to reduce the burden placed on us by other entities.

I believe the New York Power Authority should reimburse the town for first responder services (fire and police) routinely provided to their facility at our expense. Of late, NYPA has been more than generous with communities nowhere near Lewiston, but we bear the economic impact of NYPA’s existence.

I will work with our town and village boards to continue maintaining our parks and recreation facilities and providing opportunities for our children to play and compete, including using greenway money to fund the ice rink at Academy Park.

I will continue to recognize and support Lewiston’s historic and cultural past, including the Sanborn Farm Museum and the efforts of the Lewiston Historical Society and the Lewiston Council on the Arts.

I will support infrastructure improvements like the ones currently taking place at our 40-year-old water treatment plant and assist with helping the Village of Lewiston deal with its aging water and sewer lines.

I will provide basic essential services as efficiently as possible, and find ways to share services with nearby government entities performing the same tasks. Let’s do the basics, but do them right.

Now let me tell you what I don’t believe in. I do not believe in a town tax. There has never been a general town tax since I have been on the town board, and I will not support a town tax in the future. Also, by using resources intelligently, the town board and I will continue to find ways to reduce special district taxes town wide.

I will not support any type of industrial agreement or expansion of existing facilities which would result in more dangerous truck traffic through our town. I continue to oppose the Waste Management application for expansion of their site. We must put the health of our residents above all else.

In closing, I’d like to thank my colleagues on the town board for their diligence and dedication. I hope you are proud of the work they do. Please work with me to keep Lewiston a beautiful place to live and visit. On Tuesday, Nov. 5, I respectfully ask for your vote for town supervisor.

Ernest C. Palmer is a candidate for Lewiston town supervisor.