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February 5, 2015 - 6:50am

An Open Letter to all Genesee County Residents:

Friends and Neighbors;

Every Genesee County Legislature seat is up for election this year, along with the ward seats in the City of Batavia and many town boards and supervisors. Do you feel your interests are being represented by your specific representatives either in your municipality or at the county level? If you think you or someone you know would do a better job, the Genesee County Libertarian Party would love to hear from you. We are a grassroots organization of friendly folks. There are very little politics involved in being endorsed by us. Our endorsement may not bring very much funding to a campaign, but we do bring enthusiasm and the commitment of our members to help collect petition signatures and campaign with you.

From The GCLP bylaws: “The GCLP holds that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, agree to the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.” We ask only that any candidate seeking our endorsement agree with this statement and be committed to transparency, limiting government and fiscal responsibility.

If you agree and want to serve your community, please contact me at this private e-mail address used only by me for this purpose: [email protected]

The GCLP will never just find folks to fill a ballot slot; we will only put our efforts into those candidates who are driven to make a difference.

Learn more by visiting our website  www.gclpny.org and our

Facebook page www.facebook.com/GCLP.NY

Our meetings are announced on the webpage and the Facebook page, all are welcome to our meetings.

We can make a difference, but good people need to step up.

 

Respectfully;

 

David A. Olsen, Chairperson

July 14, 2010 - 10:35am
posted by C. M. Barons in Candidate, Chris Barons.

Just as turned stomachs were on the verge of recovering from multi-billion dollar bonuses paid out to investment bank employees on the heels of the federal bailout, we now learn that New York State has its own version of excess in the face of empty cupboard. David Kidera, the director of the Authorities Budget Office, has released a list of off-budget authorities that have awarded $6.7 Million in bonuses despite a $9+ Billion revenue gap.

Kidera describes the list as a glimpse since many active authorities have yet to report their extra pay.

Steven Hyde, president of the Genesee County Industrial Development Agency, was awarded $60,000 beyond his salary of $153,000. Three other agency employees split another $20,500. John Andrews, Board Chairman of the Genesee County IDA described the bonuses as incentive pay and noted that no worker earned a bonus in 2009.

In Erie County, EC Medical Center Corporation, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and other local authorities gave just over $5 million in bonuses to their staff in 2009. Overall some 2,100 employees at six area public authorities collected bonus payments with ECMC staffers topping the list at $4.5 million paid to 1,443 staff people.

The Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority also maintains a performance-pay system. RGRTA paid approximately $209,000 in bonuses to 101 workers last year; the average payment being $2,070. Seven employees received more than $10,000. The largest bonus went to RGRTA chief financial officer, Robert Frye, who received $23,000 on top of a $135,600 salary. Authority CEO Mark Aesch received $33,377 beyond his base pay of $155,000 last year. ECMC spokesman, Tom Quatroche, accounted for much of the extra compensation as back pay earned as part of retroactive union agreements.

The Authorities Budget Office report marks the first time authorities and other quasi-governmental entities have released such disclosures to the public. A 2009 state law intended to rein in the otherwise intangibly complex and under-accounted financial dealings of hundreds of public authorities led to the disclosure. David Kidera, the director of the Authorities Budget Office, noted that his office intends next year to separately list overtime, collective bargaining agreements and bonuses.

Also among the six local authorities reporting, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority bonuses included a high of $9,017 paid to Executive Director Lawrence M. Meckler, who earned $190,207 in salary.

New York Power Authority, blamed for collapsing a deal that would have brought internet giant Google to Orleans County scheduled last March to pay out $3 Million in bonuses and had requested 12.1% rate hikes over the next two years- a move that was cancelled a year ago.

The Off Budget Public Authorities are a significant factor in New York's out of control budget. These agencies act with little oversight and beyond the scope of the budget process. The borrowing that these agencies engage in has contributed to AT LEAST 40% of current state debt. Although the combined borrowing of these 900 or more agencies is the fastest growing segment of state debt, the quasi-independent nature of these entities not only obscures an accurate accounting of their numbers- their financial practices are cloaked by the same independence.

To truly restore the integrity of state finance, these agencies must be reined in and brought to bear as ON Budget Authorities. They wield the state's credit card, and it is time we deprive them of that luxury.

For a more complete view of bonus recipients:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/34126170/Staff-Bonus-Payments

June 21, 2010 - 11:41am
posted by C. M. Barons in Candidate, Chris Barons, C. M. Barons.

This weekend was particularly rewarding.  I had the opportunity to meet voters in three counties, folks attending the Stafford Fireman's Parade, a group of voters in the Town of Murray and attendees at the St. John Lutheran Church hosted Hamlin Strawberry Festival.  Not only did I walk away with a fulfilled sense of voter sentiment, I purchased a delicious bowl of shortcake while at the Strawberry Festival.

As much as the 139th is diverse in its four-county membership and the unique communities that comprise the district, voters seem to share the same sense of urgency.  The state is in dire need of responsible leadership.  The most discerning question that was often repeated, "Are you the incumbent?"

Incumbency may be a focus, and "Throw the bums out," has been a rallying cry for some time; I do not intend to invest my time exploiting that single itch.  The voters deserve a comprehensive action plan for righting state government.  I do not intend to rely on slogans, generalities and gladhanding to engage district voters.  My approach to the campaign is my approach to the business of state: ideas, study, dialogue, study, alliances, concensus.  I don't mean to oversimplify the legislative process.  I have a long history conducting negotiations, and I know the dynamics well.  Please anticipate a detailed look at my policies.

I hope everyone had time to celebrate Father's Day.  I did so vicariously.  The weather was spot-on!  See you along the campaign trail...

Chris

October 30, 2009 - 10:28am
posted by Session Placeholder in election, Phil Ricci, Candidate.

One of the things that I have stated time and again throughout this process is the lack of forward thinking I see here in Batavia. After months of walking the streets of our city and meeting the hundreds of neighbors that took time out of their day to speak with me, I, with the help of those who know more on these subjects, have created a look of possibilities at some very important issues.

 
First and foremost, let us tackle what I believe to be the simplest issues:
October 1, 2009 - 5:50pm
posted by Session Placeholder in election, Phil Ricci, Candidate.

For the better part of two years, I have watched and witnessed the current council as it sits now. I have seen certain members try to push public agendas that would help the greater good and benefit the city as a whole. I’ve also unfortunately, witnessed those pushing private agendas without any care of how detrimental the collateral damage could be. Here’s the truth as I see it.

My wife and I as we were making our departure from Europe decided to return to Batavia. We believe to this day that it is an amazing place to raise our family! We also have an amazing sense of community pride, which is just one of the reasons that I have been involved in many different organizations here. I have not done this for any kind of personal gain, except for the satisfaction that I could make a difference. You see, I was raised by the mantra: “Do something or Shut up” from two very stern parents; one Italian, one Irish. They believed, as I do now, that the only way you’re going to make it in this world, is by putting your hands to the plow and working to get it done. Well that’s why I’m running for office; plain and simple. I don’t like the way things work now. It makes no sense how we prioritize our finances and how afraid we are to change it.

September 30, 2009 - 9:06am
posted by Session Placeholder in election, Phil Ricci, Candidate.

For the better part of two years, I have watched and witnessed the current council as it sits now. I have seen certain members try to push public agendas that would help the greater good and benefit the city as a whole. I’ve also unfortunately, witnessed those pushing private agendas without any care of how detrimental the collateral damage could be. Here’s the truth as I see it.


My wife and I as we were making our departure from Europe decided to return to Batavia. We believe to this day that it is an amazing place to raise our family! We also have an amazing sense of community pride, which is just one of the reasons that I have been involved in many different organizations here. I have not done this for any kind of personal gain, except for the satisfaction that I could make a difference. You see, I was raised by the mantra: “Do something or Shut up” from two very stern parents; one Italian, one Irish. They believed, as I do now, that the only way you’re going to make it in this world, is by putting your hands to the plow and working to get it done. Well that’s why I’m running for office; plain and simple. I don’t like the way things work now. It makes no sense how we prioritize our finances and how afraid we are to change it.

 

Unfortunately it took a horrific budget gap for us to be willing to consider that change was needed. The council took action behind the leadership of a man, who many have called a radical, Charlie Mallow. Love him or hate him, he did the one thing that so many former and currently sitting members never did; he started the conversation.  He accepted the fact that people would hate him for saying what he felt and that some of his ideas would be smashed to the ground. Yet he said it and did as much as he could in during his time on Council. Now, this isn’t some ringing love note for Mr. Mallow, but a reality check of the past two years. Hard choices were made to right the ship, but now it’s time to fix the hull once and for all. We have to continue the conversation by continuing to move on and act on tough decisions.  

 

We also have to include you in on the process! That’s right, it’s time to stop just having talks in private rooms behind closed door, but to put them out to the open floor and let government work for the people of Batavia. Charlie Mallow asked me to run and take his place because; he believed I was strong enough to continue this conversation. Now it’s our turn.

You want to create jobs in Batavia? Then you have to cut the waste out off our city budget so that you can lower the cost to actually run a business in our city.  You want to improve neighborhoods? Than we have to sharpen our focus on holding these absentee “business” owners to their commitments while still protecting the personal liberties and freedoms of our citizens. You want a more open government? Then we have to get council over itself and publically print every council agenda before each meeting for every citizen that wants it! We have to put tough decisions to special votes and let us all collectively decide our fate! Most importantly, you have to vote! Speak with that voice as loud as you can.

 

Lastly, do you want to cut taxes? Then understand that we have to right size our service levels to do that. Notice I didn’t say eliminate! I’m not one of these extremist that buys into the “ALL OR NOTHING!” way of governing. There are practical and pragmatic ways to achieve a balance! I’m not going to sit here and promise you that I can bring about a zero tax rate in Batavia, but we should be able to roll the recent increases back. Give back the money that was ripped from our pockets just to play catch up! Achieving that though is going to take some tough decisions.

Over the next few weeks I will put out a plan to each of these points. They will be collective ideas from me and also those who I have been asking for advice and guidance along the way. You may like some, hate others. That's great! Let the conversation continue! WE CAN DO THIS! I know we can. If I didn’t believe it with my whole heart, I wouldn’t say it.  We can make Batavia better. No, even more, we can make Batavia the kind of place that every city in New York State
dreams of becoming.

 

Why not? We can do it!


Respectfully,
Phil Ricci
Candidate, Councilman-at-Large

 

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