Wednesday, October 29, 2008


From the Lockport Union Sun & Journal....

ROYALTON: Should candidate serve on two boards?

Mary Cedeno is on the Town Planning Board, and Daniel Bragg is on the Royalton-Hartland School Board. Both hope to complete a one-year term on the Town Board. The two Republicans share a mutual respect. Cedeno, who would have to give up her position on the Planning Board, thinks that Bragg would have a conflict of interest if he served on both the town board and the school board. Bragg sees having the two positions as a positive.

Bragg won the Republican nomination in a close race with Cedeno. She is running on the Democrat, Independence and Conservative lines. They are bidding for the final year of Dick Lang’s four-year council term, now held by Lee Criswell, who did not want to run. The winner would have to run again next fall.

Cedeno, a native of Niagara Falls who has lived in Lockport and moved to Royalton in 1999, sees her background in science as helpful in getting the town to plan ahead. She objects to what she sees as the board’s “fly-by-the-seat of your pants” operation. “I can l look at this scientifically and use scientific methods to solve problems,” she said. “That may not be happening now. I don’t know how they’re deciding to fix a problem. We owe our taxpayers more than that. We don’t have that now.”

Cedeno is a two-year graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology and has worked in environmental remediation since 1995. She has been a regular at town board meetings. “It seems to me they are not asking questions. There are more followers than leaders,” she said. “I really think that one of my skills is ability to see the big picture.”

She feels she has made a difference on the Planning Board and worked at getting the town board minutes on the town Web site. “I questioned why we have a Web site but the meeting minutes were not posted,” she said. “I was told there might be privacy issues. I don’t understand why there can be privacy issues when its a public meeting; the government belongs to us.”

Lang invited her to be on the Planning Board and asked her to run for the Town Board, she said. “The people who are up there are doing the best they can and trying their hardest to cut taxes, but I think it can be done better.”

Dan Bragg has eight children, five who have graduated from college, one in college and two in high school. He works at Standish Jones Building Supply in Gasport and has been involved in multiple community activities. Bragg has been on the school board for five years and does not understand the objections of some to having two public roles. “We have two taxing jurisdictions working together,” he said. “The same people are paying taxes, whether it’s to the school system or to the town of Royalton. If you’re on both, you can see how its all playing together. You’ve got to find ways to making it work within each capacity.”

“We can’t afford any more taxes. The future lies in shared services.”

Bragg pointed to his involvement in solving the drainage issue that had School Superintendent Paul Bona and members of the town board exchanging heated words at a recent board meeting. “I played an important part to help settle the disagreement,” Bragg said. “I talked to people in a calm and collected way and got it all done. Dick Lang and the town board did a wonderful job. We needed one person to get it all together. We got it all settled and it’s getting done.”

Bragg says he can handle both jobs. “I go ’round the clock all the time,” he said. “I’ve been doing this stuff for years. You got to work with other people to get anything done.”

Also...Royalton residents can vote on extending the terms of office from two to four years for the supervisor, highway superintendent, town clerk and tax collector. Each office will be on a separate ballot.