Farrell's claims ?are disingenuous

Just a month ago, I read a News article concerning Judge Mark Farrell ("Amherst breaks rules to grant insurance," Aug. 26). In reflecting on that article, I acknowledged that Farrell may have an earnestly held, if false, belief that someone had told him that he was exempt from the town's human resource policy with respect to post-retirement medical benefit coverage. However, I found it hard to believe that a person whose occupation is the law would rely on a verbal commitment rather than formal documentation. Farrell knew, or should have known, the importance of securing clear and incontrovertible evidence of the granting of the exception.

I now read in the Sept. 23 News that Farrell claims that, again, someone granted him an exemption from the town's resolution, passed unanimously, two years ago stating that "each judge is terminating his outside practice and teaching responsibilities in order to accommodate the additional court day." This is beyond the pale.

I find it disingenuous that a judge would continue to purport that he relies on verbal statements in pleading exemptions from formal municipal policies and rulings. Who has the authority to make such exemptions from Town Board actions to Farrell? He should know that such statements, while perhaps well-intentioned, do not carry the weight of law. Or am I missing something?

The Amherst Town Board needs to reassert its legitimate authority and get back to enforcing its policies and resolutions. I am not in favor of inmates running the asylum.

Lee C. Broad



Nation's tax policies ?are an absolute mess

It's clear that many do not know that the government's intention to encourage investments resulted in a lower tax rate on investments than that on earned income. Private investments are critical to a thriving economy.

The reason Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary is because his money is invested, which is also why some have said Buffett should pay her in stocks (she earns about $200,000 a year). Mitt Romney's tax rate, given as 14 percent on the news, is due to it being investment money. The point that 47 percent do not pay federal income taxes shows me that they probably don't have enough income, and I would wish those people could have better jobs and so on. How our federal income taxes are spent is a concern, also. Confiscating the wealth of those having ten million or more would not keep our government operational for more than a month, for example.

Vic Kessinger

North Tonawanda


Commuters deserve? better NFTA service

The Sept. 25 story concerning the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's four-month repair delay to the University Station escalator wasn't news to those of us who are familiar with the day-to-day operation of this so-called transportation authority. The NFTA has been operating at a substandard level for many years.

I commute from Amherst into Buffalo on a daily basis for work. In past years, I have traveled extensively and have used transit systems on six different continents. I have never witnessed such total disregard for patrons as I have by the NFTA in Buffalo. This lack of concern is only magnified by the fact that it has reduced its work force to the point of risking the safety of the public. I witness unruly behavior, harassment and abuse on a daily basis. Robberies at unmonitored stations are not uncommon. Many commuters have opted to drive rather than face the risks associated with an NFTA commute.

Another fact lost to the NFTA is that tourists are accustomed to using transit service while visiting, as they would in many cities. Unfortunately they appear to be as disgruntled as the NFTA employees themselves. Buffalo is making great strides and many of us who live here know that this city is a well-kept secret. We deserve better than what the NFTA is offering. Buffalo needs to address the stranglehold this authority has had on the city for years and make it known that it is not acceptable anymore.

Brian Nannen



West Seneca is being ?ridiculous about cats

I am sad to say that I believe my town, West Seneca, has become the laughing stock of the Niagara Frontier. I have been a taxpaying town resident for 27 years and in all of those years, I have been a responsible cat owner. My cats, currently four of them, are all neutered and indoor pets. They are up to date on required inoculations and visit their pet M.D. on a regular basis. There have been occasions where my numbers exceeded four, however, my pets' rules have always remained consistent.

I have lived in other parts of Western New York where I actually thought that the stray/feral cat population was an issue, however, never in West Seneca. I have never seen a stray in my subdivision. Ever.

Now I am to believe that there is a rogue population of frisky feral felines that are wreaking cat havoc in various parts of my town. Please, someone give me an address where I can see these "gangs" of no longer wanted or pampered house pets creeping onto awnings to look for private bathroom facilities. My grandchildren would enjoy this outing. Oh, the odor issue preventing cantankerous residents from enjoying outdoor porch time? Well, maybe it's time to check the wash-by date on said complainants' clothing.

West Seneca residents, beware, the cat police are coming for you!

Julie Czosek

West Seneca


Romney's campaign? is seriously flawed

Mitt Romney's campaign is in trouble, but he does not realize it. The reason Romney thinks everything is fine is the same reason the GOP is failing in general against President Obama. That's because Romney thinks he's running against the same imaginary Obama that the GOP only thinks exists.

Romney and the GOP have invented an imaginary Obama, similar to the one sitting in Clint Eastwood's chair – a "foreign-born socialist who hates America." So, Romney has crafted his campaign to run against this imaginary Obama.

But the real Obama isn't the "foreign-born socialist who hates America" that the right created. Obama is a left-of-center politician who has been below average in economy, average in domestic matters and above average in foreign policy. Not unlike any number of politicians in the last 50 years – an average president. If Romney recognized and ran against this Obama, he might have a chance.

But Romney and the GOP continue to run against their imaginary Obama, continuing to dwell on the ridiculous and, if it's not ridiculous enough, they alter or take the mundane out of context to make it ridiculous. They are trying to make Obama into what they want him to be, not what he actually is.

It is one thing to create a fantasy. It's another to actually start believing it and run a political campaign around it.

Dale Reeck