By Charles Bliss
And no, I’m not talking about Hillary’s book, but, it does take sort of a Village to run local government.
When most people think about local government, they usually think about the Town or Village Boards, maybe the Town Clerk and the Highway Superintendent. It takes many more people than this for a government to function.
For example, Rushford is a small town. We have 43 full and part time positions that must be filled in order for things to go smoothly. Some of these are paid positions and some are volunteer. The paid positions are either full time or take several hours to do the work.
For Rushford, the list of jobs a number of positions is as follows:
Town board -5, town clerk -1, deputy clerk -1, highway superintendent -1, highway crew -4, justice -1, justice clerk -1, town maintenance/cleaning -1, historian -1, summer recreation -1,
zoning board -5, zoning board secretary -1, planning board -5, planning board secretary-1,
assessor -1, assessor assistant -1, assessor data collection -1, Board of Assessment Review -3
town park maintenance -1, Board of Ethics – 5, Zoning Officer – 1, Code Enforcement Officer.
As you can see, there are a lot of people required. Some of these jobs such as the Town Board, Town Clerk, Highway Superintendent, and Justice are elected. The others are appointed.
The Planning Board is primarily responsible for the creation and maintenance of the comprehensive plan. This plan is necessary for the creation of the zoning law and is necessary for many grant applications. The Planning Board also reviews applications for variances made to the Zoning Board of Appeals and any laws that affect zoning, At the moment, we only have three people on the Planning Board. We need two more.
The Zoning board of Appeals (ZBA) hears and makes decisions on applications for variances and special use permits. We currently have four members. Five members are needed to act efficiently and fairly to applicants,
The Board of Assessment Review (BOAR) is the entity that hears cases regarding real property assessments. We are currently short one person for this board.
Rushford is blessed to have a Legion Park. When most people think of the park, they think of Labor Day and the weekend festivities. However, the park is also used many times during the summer for picnics, family reunions, etc. It also has a children’s playground, courtesy of REDO. This year, it will also be home for the 2022Allegany County Firemens’s Convention.
Like most parks, it is mostly grass and grass needs to be cut. We need a park maintenance person who can cut the grass, open the restrooms when the park is reserved, turning on the water in the spring and having it tested and then blowing out the pipes in the fall. Light maintenance is also required such as repairing bleacher seats and also reporting larger maintenance issues to the Town Supervisor.
We currently need a person for park maintenance. Even though there is snow on the ground, as I write this, summer is just around the corner.
As you can see, it takes more than the elected officials to run the town and make sure that it operates efficiently.
As with any organization, there is also turnover in many of these positions. People get burned out and leave.
Although this is primarily directed at the Town of Rushford, many towns and villages have this same problem. If you want good government, you have to be able to participate.
If anybody is interested in any of these positions, please email me at [email protected]