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What you need to know for 01/18/2018

Editorials: Del Gallo does it his way

Editorials: Del Gallo does it his way

Heavy-handedness doesn't often impress voters

You can call Rotterdam Supervisor Frank Del Gallo lots of things, but, with the exception of his political affiliation, one thing you can’t call him is indecisive.

In just the last week, Del Gallo demonstrated on two occasions that once he’s made up his mind about something, there’s little to change his mind or to stop him. First, with only a few days’ warning and without consulting his colleagues on the Town Board, he changed the keys on the locks to the town’s fuel pumps so Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services Inc., which had purchased the town’s tax-free gas to fuel its ambulances for several years (saving roughly 55 cents per gallon), could no longer do so.

True, voters recently turned down a bid by REMS to create a taxing district that would have supported it indefinitely rather than having to rely on annual Town Board appropriations; but as long as REMS was paying its bills, there was no need to take such drastic action.

Next, Del Gallo decided to play musical chairs with four town clerical jobs, moving the workers around without consulting anyone on the Town Board or explaining why to the workers. Not surprisingly, they filed grievances, which could cost the town as much as $6,500 to defend.

Indeed, Del Gallo’s actions of the past six months have seemed downright dictatorial at times — such as when he decided to hold a do-over on the state retirement incentive after the Town Board turned it down (because it would have cost more than $250,000); or when he tried to reduce the number of monthly board meetings from four to one. In most instances, Del Gallo hasn’t even bothered to alert other board members; they find out about what he’s doing at the last minute, or after the fact.

Del Gallo may be a political neophyte, but if he doesn’t learn to be a bit more user-friendly, he may have trouble with voters no matter what party banner he runs under.

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