Councilwoman proposes to downsize board members
BY: Kimberly Snickles, Cheektowaga Source | January 31, 2013
Town of Cheektowaga Councilwoman Angela Wozniak presented a motion at Tuesday’s work session to downsize the town’s board members from seven to five.
“It’s the direct cost right now, the council member cost of the town can be over $44,000 so if you were to reduce by two you could save $88,000 a year potentially because each council member receives different benefits,” said Wozniak.
Wozniak believes that reducing the amount of members will not only save taxpayer’s money but also increase efficiency and reduce negative decisions. She also cited a lack of council member participation at board meetings including Tuesday’s work session when only four out of the seven board members were in attendance.
Councilmember Patricia Jaworowicz has been absent from the board due to illness for quite some time and Wozniak states that with her absence, the board has proven it’s ability to operate with one less member. When asked if Wozniak would be willing to put her own job on the line if the town did decide to downsize, her answer was yes.
“There’s actually a huge potential believe it or not but I know this is the right cause and if I had to run for re-election and only one person was re-elected and it wasn’t me, I would be okay with that,” she said.
With Wozniak’s numbers, reducing council members could save the town $800,000 in 10 years but Councilmember Stanley Kaznowski believes that keeping a full team could bring in even more savings for the town than just that.
“I can’t deny the savings but I challenge each board member to save $100,000 to $200,000 each because that’s a return,” said Kaznowski. “We can downsize, do anything we want but by putting less people on the board you cut the number of people trying to do things and change won’t happen.”
Kaznowski furthered his point by citing several projects each of the members have been working on. Councilmember Charles Markel has recently been working on demolition projects for the town to help save taxpayer money. Councilmember Jerry Kaminski worked on the garbage totes for over a year and Councilmember Jim Rogowski is trying to bring in more businesses to the area.
“So we’re not just sitting at our desks passing resolutions. We have done more in the last three or four years than we have done in the last 10 to 15 years and this is what is best for our taxpayers,” said Kaznowski.
Residents will have a chance to comment on the downsizing proposal at the next board meeting Monday, Feb. 4.