As a Warwick resident, father, taxpayer and business owner, I am running for a Village trustee position on the GROW platform – GROW standing for Growth Respectful of Warwick, an independent party and a community movement dedicated to preserving the identity of our village while adopting the challenges it faces through its organic growth process. I believe strongly that forward-motion that preserves the character of our community is not only needed, but necessary for Warwick to thrive.
To do that, however, one of the most critical elements is a smart and savvy management of the budget. While this is something that is said by most candidates running for public office, I would like voters to consider the following: Village Trustees and their families are all entitled to lifetime medical benefits.
To further clarify; - these LIFETIME benefits are given for a PART TIME, and only TEMPORARYposition.
To put this into perspective, I would like to translate this into numbers and use specific examples based on the current election.
Let’s take candidate Corey Bachman, as at 32 years old, he is the youngest of the candidates running. While age has nothing to do with it, he would make a good example of the point I’m trying to convey. If made into office at this 2020 election, and following same suit/pattern as so many trustees before him, - we can expect to take care of trustee Bachman, and fund his benefits upward/up to year 2080 or even beyond, since people live nowadays well into their late 80’s, or even 90’s.
I am a father of four and can’t help but cringe at the thought that the youngest of my children, now 9, will STILL be paying into Trustee Corey Bachman’s benefits, while being 70 years of age and long retired.
So what is the cost of this? Well, if you get the cost of those benefits and multiply them by the average length of 30 years of collecting such benefits, - you’ll arrive at hefty a six-figure number. That is today, in today’s dollars. But if you put into the equation the historical rate of 3.67% inflation the US experienced for the last 60 years, - that number grows exponentially. In fact, the value of $1,000,000 obligation taken today, accounted for inflation will require $3,000,000 in 30 years and a whopping $8,694,000 in 2080. Also, keep in mind there are 4 trustees at any given time, and four more created every 12 years. Every 12 years, instead of assuming responsibility they’re assuming enormous debt and passing it to future generations! Generations that have no say or even remote apprehension of what is happening in this election, its politics or issues.
What’s even more alarming is that this has been going on for decades. The taxes you are paying today are to fund trustees’ benefits who have long been gone from the office. And this will continue happening unless we do something TODAY! Think about how this will affect the taxes we pay now and what it means for our village, which is perpetually broke and never has enough funds for improving deteriorating infrastructure, broken sidewalks, inadequate parking and many other issues that need to be addressed. If we don’t take action now, these exorbitant costs will once again be passed onto us and future Warwick residents in the form of higher taxes.
It doesn’t have to continue. You have a choice. Vote GROW candidates Stephen Kitar and Alfonso Gonnella, if you’re looking for a candidate to benefit your funds, and not the one to fund his/her benefits.
In order to help put village dollars to work for our hard-working families and the children that will make up the future of Warwick, GROW candidates Stephen Kitar and Alfonso Gonnella are forfeiting these lifetime benefits, should they win the seat. They issued the challenge to fellow candidates to do the same along with past and present trustees who benefit from this unfair practice. Together, we can put precious dollars and cents – as well as sense– back into the village for its overall improvement and evolution.
If this is as alarming to you as it is to us, we invite you to sign the petition addressed to the Village Board of Trustees to eliminate the lifetime benefits for part-time elected officials. You can find the link to the petition (www.change.org/p/village-of-warwick-board-of-trustees-grow-petition) on our Facebook page titled GROW - Public Page, or at Change.org
Despite numerous appeals to fellow candidates, only GROW members Kitar and Gonnella are the ones who confirmed their resignation of the lifetime benefits.
During the live radio debate no other candidate said they would forego such benefits as a trustee. Instead we have been promised “more of the same”, - which to us means more benefits to trustees, more debt to our Village, more rising taxes for current residents, and more unsustainable obligations for our kids and their families in the future. No thank you.
Are the other candidates, running for municipal boards that offer these type of benefits, simply running to secure them for a lifetime? Interestingly enough, there has not been a Village Trustee, in the recent history, that did not reach for or go beyond serving the term required to secure his/her benefits.
If you find this as alarming as we do, - we invite you to join our movement and our cause. For more information, or to arrange volunteer election day transportation, please call 845-988-GROW, as in Growth Respectful of Warwick, or 845-988-BEST, as in what’s best for our Village. Tune in to listen to the candidate live debate that will re-air on WBTQ on Monday, March 16th.
Break the cycle of complacency, come out to vote on March 18, for the Village of Warwick Trustees.
Vote GROW candidates Stephen Kitar and Alfonso Gonnella to make a difference. We will do more.
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE
Paid For by: GROW (Growth Respectful Of Warwick) movement