By DENNIS PALMER
Well, hoo-ray. At last, a Village Board in Silver Creek that is finding ways to save money rather than spend it.
First, consider Sheriff Joseph Gerace's presentation. Gerace offered Silver Creek 24/7 assigned car coverage for $378,625. Those of us in the audience who are whiz-bangs at mathematics figured three cops, $378,000, which is $125,000 per officer, is just a so-so deal.
Think about it again. The sheriff offered us 24/7 coverage. That's 168 hours divided by 40, which comes out to 4.2 deputies. Add this to his statement that supervision would be provided and extra help provided for our special events gets us close to a total of five cops.
Are bells beginning to go off? The Silver Creek budget for five cops with benefits is (was) about $540,000. The sheriff's offer looks very, very good. In fact, about $162,000 good. The nay-sayers in the audience seemed to pick on gasoline as a deciding factor.
Give the sheriff's guys gasoline on the reservation for $35,000. That's 100,000 miles, 10 miles per gallon at $3.50 per gallon equals $35,000. If the sheriff's guys managed to log 100,000 in a one square mile village, they might provide some insight on how my kids ran up so many miles on my car.
Second, read the OBSERVER article on the front page of the May 2 issue. A budget cut. The first time in 25-plus years that I have been in the village.
Tragically, the cuts are $27,000 from road repair, $19,000 from street lighting and $10,500 from storm sewers, necessitated by an increase in benefit costs of $48,244.
I trust that the negotiations with the highway department now in progress will include a significant cut in this benefit increase projection.
If not, before you complain about the ruts in the road or the backed up storm sewer, etc., remember that these funds are being used to provide incredible benefits to village employees.
Read through the current contract, available at the Village Hall. You will be amazed. I was.
Dennis Palmer is a Silver Creek resident.