A special thanks to those that joined me in placing American Flags on the graves of our veterans to honor and remind us all of Memorial Day. This act recognizes the sacrifices made by many armed service members that didn’t return home.
It was my honor to organize our Town’s 4th Annual Memorial Day Remembrance, a tribute to those who died in service to our nation. Once again, the Walworth Lions Club allowed us to hold our service in their special Memory Garden in Ginegaw Park. Also, thank you to the Ontario American Legion Post for partnering with us, the Walworth Fire Police for traffic control during our parade, and our Fire Departments for bringing equipment. Joining us was the Western Wayne Ambulance, and local veteran Rick Carley as our speaker. Let us never forget those who sacrificed for us.
One of my goals has been to increase transparency in our Town government. For over a year now, we have been streaming all our board meetings via Zoom and now Facebook Live. This media allows for both viewing of the meetings and public participation as folks can ask questions via Facebook. Prior to this, we may have had a dozen or so folks attend our meetings; now we have had hundreds able to view and interact with your Town board. I hope you will log on to one of the meetings and give it a try.
Have you had the opportunity to visit our newly expanded Town website? All of your favorite functions are still included and now much more information is available to you. On our site, you will find regular updates about Town news and events. With these increased capabilities, we have increased our transparency by providing many documents, the Town budget, annual audit reports, board minutes, and much more.
Please also “like” and “follow” our Facebook page for regular updates. Always feel free to contact me with any questions at email@example.com. Every year, I work with hundreds of your neighbors and their concerns and I am here to help you, too. I have always had an open-door policy and welcome your visit!
Our Town board takes accountability to our residents very seriously. We have an annual independent audit conducted each year for finances, policies, and procedures. This annual audit is posted on our website for your review. Working with our Town comptroller, we conduct monthly audits and on-the-spot reviews of both expenditures and revenues to protect the interests of our taxpayers. Every month, I present the “Supervisors Report” to the Town board. This report covers all revenues and expenses for the month. We use this process as it provides both transparency and accountability. This monthly document is available to you for review as part of the meeting minutes. These are posted after every Town board meeting.
Our Town finances and budgets are solid. We have all worked hard to provide a stable budget and successfully adapted to challenges such as the recent Covid emergency. As your supervisor and the Town’s chief fiscal officer, we have received excellent comments from the independent auditors that review our Town finances. I continue to improve our processes and work closely with our Town comptroller for the best possible outcomes. I am thankful to have our dedicated comptroller on my team!
As we start planning for the 2022 budget, rest assured that all revenues and expenses will be closely reviewed. Gone are the old days of the “wish list” approach to developing our budget. The process I have implemented involves a detailed analysis of each budget item and working with every department. I continue to polish my skill set by regular attendance at NYS Comptroller training. We have put in place a system to fund large expenditures such as highway equipment over multi-year periods to avoid sudden increases in spending. Planned spending instead of wish lists works far better than what was used prior to my election as supervisor. All our budget meetings are transparent and open to the public.
Leading our focus on the quality of life in our Town and protecting the family farms that strongly contribute to our well-being is important to me. Many families run farms providing an important way to make a living, jobs, and farm fresh produce to our community. The open spaces they protect add to our overall quality of life. I have provided leadership to keep our farms and worked with many to protect them in partnership with the Genesee Land Trust program. I look forward to continuing to work with this partnership to protect more farms and open spaces.
As a member of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors, one of my responsibilities is committee chair to lead the Health and Medical Services Committee. Recently, we applied for and received a $4 million federal grant for Wayne County Mental Health to expand and fund a 24/7 mental health crisis and addiction response system. Also included is an acute mental health service with on-going care for all ages. Additionally, suicide prevention hotline services and school-based mental health programs are to be funded by this federal grant. Wayne County is the only municipality to receive and accept this funding. We need these resources in our County to help families that have been unable to access needed mental health and addiction care. It is time to put an end to this suffering in our community.
The Ginegaw Park Farmers Market had its grand re-opening on Tuesday, June 15th. I hope everyone has the chance to come out and enjoy what the market has to offer. Please visit the Town website for more information on vendors, upcoming events, and special guests.
Congratulations to our graduates! Best wishes as you move on to your next step!
Every day, I work hard for your family so that we have a community that is family-focused. Let me know how I can help you. You may reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I always look forward to connecting with you.
Susie C. Jacobs MMC, CTO
New York State Certified Town Official
Walworth Town Supervisor