Town Newsletter: Facts Matter

Facts Matter

Are We Being Accurate?

Some folks have said we are not being accurate about the end of the Town of New Baltimore Newsletter in 2014, and say it was ended by Town Supervisor Susan O’Rorke. Tactfully, we beg to differ, and ask you to consider the following, which is easily verifiable by looking at official town minutes and budget documents. 

The Facts Speak for Themselves

Here are the facts about the town newsletter, which was ultimately ended by the current Town Board administration. 

Reducing Costs

In 2013, Town Supervisor Susan O’ Rorke recommended reducing the central printing line from $5000 to $2600.  This reduction came about because the Supervisor was able to stop using expensive outside vendors to produce the newsletter, and instead had it printed in-house at the Town Hall with volunteers stepping up to stuff and mail the newsletter.  During her tenure, despite a decreased printing line, the Town was able to continue providing the newsletter two or three times a year, as can be seen on the website under “Archived Newsletters.”

Further Cost Reduction

For 2014, the last year that Supervisor O’Rorke recommended and presided over the budget at the end of 2013 for the coming year, that printing line was reduced to $500, owing to additional savings that were made by producing the newsletter completely in house.  Efforts were also made to send the newsletter in electronic form to residents who wanted it by email, further reducing costs.  This $500 budget line was approved in November of 2013 of by all of the board, not just the Supervisor, who was only one vote out of five. This is the budget that the current, incoming town board had in place when they all took office in 2014.  If they had wished to change the budget after taking office, that was in their power, as was continuing the newsletter.  But the newsletter was never again provided to the residents of the town after the end of 2013.

No Newsletter

Since then, under the current administration, the printing budget line has been reduced to $100, and the newsletter has not been provided.  So, it is not true that the newsletter was abolished during Supervisor O’Rorke’s tenure. 

communication and transparency is worth the effort

Many people we have spoken with would like the newsletter reinstated.  Unless town residents come out to town board meetings, check the Town website, or read legal notices in the local papers, there really isn’t any way for folks to know what is going on.  The newsletter, which was requested by local residents in 2005 as part of a town-wide survey, served a very important purpose.  We think it should be reinstated.  It’s a lot of work, but we think it is worth it.