It is with great frustration and heartache that I write regarding a recent vote by the Town of Goshen Board. On Thursday, our board voted 4-1 to give raises to the Town Supervisor and Council members.
As I was the lone dissenting voice, I am dismayed that my colleagues lack of empathy and awareness of the bigger picture of what is happening in our community.
This increase comes at a time of a global pandemic which has seen over 200,00 Americans lose their lives, businesses close, our daily routines upended and economic impacts that will be felt for years to come.
Who else is getting a raise during these uncertain times?
Mr. Supervisor and fellow Council Members, how can in good conscious you vote to give yourselves a raise when unemployment in New York State in the month of September was 6.5 percent, the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise nationally, and the number of jobs in our region declines?
To put this in perspective, this vote will raise the salary of the Town Supervisor to $77,926, an increase of $11,137.
Members of the Town Council will now receive a salary of $16,213, which provides an additional $3,385.
Additionally, this vote gives all other sitting board members a 37 percent increase. Where else are such raises possible?
I ask the citizens of Goshen to join me in asking for transparency and accountability on this. This vote was strictly along party lines.
I thought the Republican party believed in lower taxes, smaller government, and fiscal responsibility.
Yet it was the Republican members who are using taxpayer dollars to enrich themselves at the expense of members of our community who are struggling in this unprecedented time.
My apologies to the citizens of Goshen who are subject to the actions of this short sighted and self-serving board.
I stand in solidarity with the working people of Goshen and Orange County who are in need of assistance, finding new ways to make ends meet, and our small business owners who are unsure of how they will survive.
I am disappointed in my fellow elected officials who should be looking to serve our community not personally benefit from it during a time of a health and economic uncertainty.
If you are a resident of Goshen and are amazed at the actions of your Supervisor and Town Council, I encourage you to call Town Hall, attend our next virtual meeting, and speak to your elected servants.
I will continue to work for you and share your concerns by the tone-deaf actions of my fellow board members. I hope each of you and your families remain safe.
Forever in service,
Kenneth F. Newbold Sr.
Councilman, Town of Goshen