ANGOLA - Board of Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward, Esq., led the Evans Democratic Club in the Pledge of Allegiance at the September meeting.
Ward discussed the changes in election administration including the centralization of this function. This arose from the federal 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which promoted the use of electronic voting. He talked about his office's efforts to promote privacy for voters. Although the machines were paid for by federal dollars, the paper ballots are paid for by the local board of elections, which gets expensive at 56 cents per ballot. Erie County was the first county in the state that developed procedures to print its own paper ballots - saving $3 to 4 million over that time. Other counties are starting to observe how Erie County does this so that they can start doing this as well.
Nine new members were nominated and accepted into membership in the Club : Sandra Wiskup; Bob Heath Jr.; Gary and Janice Tribula, Mayme Barone; Margaret Ashton; Chet Dimitroff; Tom and Barbara Hammond.
Town Chair Robert "Bob-cat" Catalino congratulated Mike Amodeo, who won the Democratic primary for the State senate seat. Signs can go up 30 days before the general election. Each of the 17 districts in Evans will have at least two Democratic election inspectors on Election Day. Catalino is looking for volunteers for Congresswoman Kathy Hochul's bid for re-election. He will be issuing the updated list of Evans Democratic committeemen.
The Southtowns Democrats will hold a fundraising brunch at the VFW on Route 5 on Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Club will be doing fundraising in 2013 to have funds to support local races (town justice, town clerk, the two-year town board member, and highway superintendent.) There is also a womens brunch fundraiser at the Avanti on South Park for Congresswoman Hochul on that same date.
Town Board Member Paul Cooper discussed how the town will handle the re-levying of outstanding water bills onto the county tax bills. This hurts the town, which becomes cash-strapped due to outstanding payments. This is a tough year for the budget, so there's a lot of belt-tightening going on. The board is considering savings through early retirement incentives. The e-cycling program has collected 22 tons of material in the first 6 months of the program. Town Chair Catalino encouraged the board to rely upon the resources of the many people who have served in town government in the past.
The next meeting of the Democratic Club will be on Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the VFW.