Tonawanda News

Letters to the Editor

December 21, 2006

LETTER: NT treasurer challenges Sound Off 'cowards'

My name is Leslie Stolzenfels and I have been the elected treasurer of the City of North Tonawanda for the past 23 years.

Being an elected official opens you up for the occasional criticism and my rule has always been to accept the comments for what they are. Throughout the past year, however, there has been an anonymous campaign of half-truths and outright lies being waged against me, primarily through Sound Off, that I can no longer ignore. Let me set the record straight on several issues.

The issue of city departments overspending their overtime allotments in the 2006 budget has come up often. The treasurer’s role within the budget process, once it has been adopted, is to monitor the budget and “report to the Council without delay” (NT Charter section 5.023) when it appears that the revenues will not cover the appropriations.

The treasurer does not have the power to schedule or approve overtime for any department other than its own. The responsibility to direct and supervise the various departments of city government in fact lies with the mayor’s office.

In reporting the overdrafts I was fulfilling my duties under the charter. It is the responsibility of others to see that these overdrafts do not happen and to make the appropriate management decisions if they do.

Several Sound Off calls have questioned my present salary. In fact, the salary for the office of treasurer for this current term of office was set by the common council in April of 2003, a full six months prior to the last election for treasurer.

The salary was set and would have been the same whether I won the election or my opponent had won. I am positive that if my opponent had won that election, this would not be an issue (which says a lot about who is actually making these Sound Off calls).

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Letters to the Editor