mailmanIn a few weeks, Lansing residents will vote to fill two seats on the Town Board. The incumbent candidates are Robert Cree and Doug Dake and the challengers are Walla Maharem-Horan and Joseph Wetmore. Not knowing Walla and Joseph, it is hard for me to determine precisely what they will achieve if elected. That is normal when someone does not have a record of accomplishment in public office. It should be easier to assess the achievements of Robert and Doug since they have been in office for the last four years. Unfortunately, the lack of any standard job performance reports for Town Board members makes it very difficult to know what they are qualified to do, the committees they serve on, how often they attend or miss meetings, and how they go about earning their annual salary.

Town Board members receive $9,800 annually to serve on the Board. If a Board member works 100 hours a year, this translates into a $98 an hour compensation. Because Board member activity reports are not available, I have no way of knowing if Robert or Doug are working 50, 100 or 200 hours a year in my behalf. Robert and Doug could provide a basic report about their activities before the election to bolster their re-election efforts. Some indicators that should be in the report are: Town Board meeting attended and meeting missed with hours spend at Town Board meetings, hours spent at other Town meetings or functions, any meetings with other municipal services in and outside the Town, and conferences or training events. I hope Robert and Doug will document their activities for the last four years for the Lansing voters and publish this information in the Lansing Star before the election.

Finally, the elected and appointed officials in the Town should be routinely documenting their activities and sending them to each registered voter every year. The printing and postage is a small price to pay for a professional, responsive government. This reporting should start immediately and I would like to hear all four candidates for the Town Board inequitably support putting a Town guideline in place by January 2018 to systematically document and disseminate what our elected and appointed officials do as our representatives.


Gregory Lawrence
Lansing, NY