Orchard Park Town Board approves Government Efficiencies Task Force

Orchard Park Town Board approves Government Efficiencies Task Force (Orchard Park/East Aurora Sun, 19April14) Orchard Park town officials have OKed the creation of a task force to identify savings and methods to improve efficiency at town departments. Councilman Michael Sherry will head the Government Efficiencies Task Force, which will likely consist of five to seven members. Town officials are looking for people who “have knowledge of not only budgets and budgeting but of organizational operations … so we can draw from their expertise within this task force,” Sherry said. The task force will use business strategies known as “process management
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Orchard Park Officials Oppose Cuomo’s Budget

Orchard Park officials oppose Cuomo’s budget (Buffalo News 22Mar14) Orchard Park town and village officials met this week to talk about their united opposition to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s budget and what they consider to be its rigid municipal consolidation proposals. Their consensus: Get the word out about why the governor has unfairly attacked towns and villages. “He is starving us,” said Orchard Park Mayor John Wilson. Cuomo’s proposal, set to be voted on next month in Albany, pressures municipalities to keep spending and taxes low. Under the first year of the plan, rebates would go to homeowners in municipalities
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We’re On It

Since being sworn in, the first 45 days in office has been a time for further learning, assessing, organizing and innovating. Where has Orchard Park been, and what is on our horizon? What is the mood of our residents, as well as that of the employees who provide the services which those residents depend upon and desire? What governmental things have worked well, and where can we improve? A community of persons evolves, even as a single person does. Stability and change, push and pull, give and take – such stressors are part and parcel to the ever emerging and
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Happy New Year (2014)

New councilman Michael Sherry wishes community happy New Year (Orchard Park Sun, January 2014) As one year comes to an end and a new one begins, most of us spend at least a little time pondering the drift of our lives over the course of the previous twelve months, hopefully being able to identify a number of things for which we are thankful, even as we try to anticipate what the rush of time will bring to us in the next twelve. And because we want ourselves and others to be and experience those things that make for happiness, we
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The Hardest of Trades

In a number of his writings a brilliant individual insisted that all persons innately pursue the perceived good. But this assertion, he acknowledged, gives rise to the difficulty of identifying what “the good” may be. In his most widely read work with political connotations, The Republic, he went on to identify three motivations that are present in the soul of every individual to greater and lesser extents: the love of money, the love of honor (inclusive of the notion of power), and the love of learning. That man was Plato, and he taught from within the cradle of democracy, namely,
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Political Leadership

In my last post I reflectively identified the attributes that I think would make for the ideal politician. In theory the possession of at least a good number of those attributes would make a politician a respectable leader within the community. This raises the subject of leadership, another important issue in an election year. [1] How can we recognize leadership? [2] What kind of political leadership does Orchard Park need, or any community for that matter, at this time? Without getting into a thesis, let me say that I don’t think it is too difficult to recognize leadership when we
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The Ideal Politician

In that I continue to be asked the “why” and the am I “sure” questions about running for office, and in that the choice from among political candidates is important to the community of Orchard Park, I thought that I would ease into the weekly My Two Cents posts on issues important to Orchard Park with an intentionally simple musing upon being a politician. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – It has
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Labor-management Relations

Our employees and their work represent the front line of government contact and quality of life impact for most citizens at the local level. Employee costs, furthermore, constitute our largest budgetary expense. In the light of both of these facts, I think it rather incumbent upon me to proffer my thoughts on what is commonly referred to as labor-management relations. In that most of our employees are unionized, the scope of our discussion will be restricted to that of managing the Town’s services within the context of our unionized labor force. I begin with an unsophisticated profile of the current
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Strategic Public Budgeting

As touched upon in a previous posting, “The Ideal Politician,” the motives and application of management principles and practices in the private and public sectors often diverge. This can be observed, for example, in their respective budgeting processes. Common to both is the role of the budget, namely, that of being a multifaceted management tool. Ideally a budget will accomplish a number of things: reflect an organization’s values, guide its’ administrators and hold them accountable, maintain financial accountability, identify future goals and expectations, determine the allocation of resources, improve performance, and meet the informational needs of its’ diverse stakeholders and
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Smart Growth

In the strategic plan I have written Orchard Park is envisioned as a community of choice for living, learning, working and playing. The achieving of this state requires a Town Board that sets three strategic priorities:  that of [1] providing the kind of leadership that is eager to serve the needs, interests and desires of our community (i.e., servant-leadership), [2] protecting the value of residents’ tax dollars by enhancing services while controlling costs, and being vigilant to guard our open spaces and the integrity of our neighborhoods, and [3]  developing and implementing growth management strategies that strengthen residential and business
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