Your Point Being?

11 Aug

I really didn’t get the point of this article about Kevin Gaughan and his downsizing movement.  It seems as if the general theses are that, “some people don’t like Kevin because he wants to make sure he gets credit for his efforts”.  Otherwise it hardly merits a lengthy article that he would reject help from, e.g., Responsible New York.

I don’t necessarily agree that this downsizing effort is the most effective way to bring about change to WNY, but I respect Gaughan for undertaking it and for keeping the issue of governmental FAIL in the news every so often.

At least he isn’t just heckling from the sidelines, y’know?

3 Responses to “Your Point Being?”

  1. Robert Harding August 11, 2009 at 7:12 am #

    I wasn’t too fond of the article either, but I do think that there really isn’t one face of the downsizing movement. There are many municipalities and consolidation isn’t anything new, especially for Western New York’s local governments. I know that we have been talking about consolidation and downsizing for a few years now. We did so without the help of Gaughan.

    The only issue I have about downsizing government is that we live in a representative democracy. Everyone should be represented, whether at the local, state or national levels, equally. What is a bigger issue, I think, are the different agencies associated with these governments. That’s where the real downsizing needs to occur. Downsizing a town board from five members to three members will have some results, but it’s very limited in saving taxpayer dollars.

    I would rather look into merging highway departments, judicial services or some other service provided by local municipalities. That is where you are going to see savings, but those decisions are far more controversial. It’s one thing to eliminate an elected official’s job, it’s another to eliminate a number of positions with a highway department.

    I have advocated for consolidating in the past, but the obstacle is the status quo in local government. If you said you were going to downsize government and reduce a town board from five members to three members, the pressure would be on those officials to follow through on it. But if you said you were going to merge with another highway department, you’re starting to impact average people. So it’s more difficult to do, yet comes with more benefits.

  2. Don August 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm #

    I live in Orchard Park and will vote against downsizing. That doesn’t mean I believe Kevin Gaughan is in any way disingenuous in his campaign and doesn’t mean he has ulterior motives. The article challenges Gaughan’s motives based, as I read it, on the premise that he can’t simply be a public minded individual with the best interests of the community at heart. There undoubtedly is a sense of pride and ownership of the issue – he has taken on the establishment…and should be entitled to some sense of heady accomplishment..

  3. Chris from OP August 12, 2009 at 12:27 am #

    I agree that we should be downsizing government by sharing services, consolidating services, eliminating the State Senate, etc, but I think that the idea of cutting town boards from five part time employees to three is misguided. Three people is too few to make an effective deliberative body. See: First Roman Triumvarate, Second Roman Triumvarate, French Triumvrate… The financial savings will be very small, but the ability to incapacitate and poison local councils is very dangerous.

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