Hamburg looks to increase the size of its town board

Sep 23, 2015

Six years after the Town of Hamburg downsized it town board, a measure will appear on the November ballot that would once again increase the number of board members.


Kevin Gaughan was behind the push to cut the size of local governments.
Credit WBFO News file photo

Hamburg native Kevin Gaughan pushed for the public approval of the cut. Now, Gaughan is critical of current members pushing for the increase, arguing they need help.
          

"I've spent the past 20 years researching and learning about local government in New York State. And, in the course of doing that, I've never seen a politician pick up garbage," Gaughan said. 

"I've never seen them plow a street. I've never seen them serving as law enforcement officials. They're just the bosses."

Gaughan says the community has benefitted from fewer politicians as other governments also cut and potentially held down the cost of government.

But, Hamburg doesn't run well with so few council members. That's from Common Cause activist Barbara Rogers who opposed the original cuts and is strongly backing the return to four.

"When you only have two councilmen trying to serve a town that has a population of almost 57,000, it doesn't work. You can't get hold of them. They're spread too thin and it's supposed to be a part-time job," Rogers said.

Rogers says Gaughan's proposal for some public debates on the vote is probably a good idea.