Why Amherst Has So Many Losers on the Town Board – Part 2

May 3, 2019

There are 4 candidates running for the two seats open on our Town Board. Each one answers to their parties’ leaders, except Debbie Bucki. Two of the candidates are directly under the thumb of  Mr. Polancarz’s close personal friend and biggest stooge, Mike Zukala.

Mr. Polancarz actually created a job for Mr. Zukala. The job title was originally called Inspector General of Erie County. The name had to be changed because New York already has an Inspector General. So the title of the job is now Erie County Inspector General of Medicaid which pays over $100,00 dollars a year.

At the present time, Zukala is on the Amherst IDA along with Steven Sanders. Neither one of them plans to leave the Amherst IDA. Both men are running again for the Amherst TB. This is a direct conflict of interest between the Amherst Town Board and the Amherst IDA.

The voters should think about why Mike Zukala would leave a job which pays over $102,000 dollars. He must leave this full-time job which is a county job. He can’t keep both jobs. If he wins the election for the Amherst TB seat, which pays $35,000, he will be losing roughly $70,000 dollars, but he will give Mark Polancarz a tighter grip on the town of Amherst.

Shawn LeVine, a present TB member worked under Mike Szukala until about 2 months ago. He was transferred recently to work for another county department so it wouldn’t look like Polancarz is taking over Amherst if Mike Szukala wins a seat.

Then we have Joe Spino, who works for the D.A.’s office as a clerk. He is not qualified to be on our TB. He lies like his idol President Trump.

The last person running for a seat is Debbie Bucki. The public doesn’t have much of a choice besides Bucki.

The people of Amherst should choose the candidates, not the party bosses.

6 Responses to “Why Amherst Has So Many Losers on the Town Board – Part 2”

  1. Walt says:

    I believe the Supervisor’s “Chief of Staff” is directly from the County Executives Office

  2. Harvey Brody says:

    An astute journalist has recently questioned the topic of “Why Amherst Has So Many Losers on the Town Board.” It should be noted that the actual power of the Amherst School Board has very little to do with actual public education of our children. Except for things like sports and school trips the curriculum for the Amherst public education system is determined by the State Education Department. Thus voting for a school budget may be considered inconsequential and it is more important to elect competent members of the Town Board. Even the nonsense of voting for actual members is based upon the rules of the SED. The Amherst School Board is used as an expensive tool to ripen unknowns to knowns by the local political parties and then advance them to elective office. The actual role of the Amherst School Board , and consider that there are actually two distinct school districts in Amherst, are to hire an Administrator and staff and contract the construction and maintenance of school buildings. But, most important is that the School Board negotiates with the local teachers Union (AFT or NYSUT), using the Superintendent they select; who will negotiate contracts with the non-teaching staff. It is easy to differentiate between the dim bulb political flunkies and the competent school board members by attending a meeting of the school board. One thing that is important to recognize is that the most important element of education is the teacher. Ironically the salary of most teachers is never adequate compensation. Unlike political elections, the actual Teachers Union will openly participate in a School Board Election to ensure the elected school board members will support the teachers and increase compensation and benefits when their contract expires. If one wants to see effective school boards, look at the NYC community school district system, or the Boston public school governance.

  3. Money Talks says:

    When Brian Kulpa was elected Supervisor 2 years ago, he chose to create a new position/role in town government of “Chief of Staff” at a starting salary of $81,800.


    Clearly the supervisor considers his Chief of Staff to be a valuable asset for the Town of Amherst. But it is now 2 years later, and he needs to explain the value his new “Chief of Staff” has provided to the town in objective and measurable language.

    In out little bit of representative democracy, the supervisor is accountable for his hiring decisions. He needs to communicate these decisions to us more effectively. Without this, it gives at least the appearance of the same old “inside politics” we have seen (and disliked) in the past.

    At town board meetings, the supervisor is an excellent communicator, sometimes maybe too good (in those areas he is most interested in) and also not good enough (in those areas he is less concerned about). Sometimes more is needed than he is willing to and/or able to give, and apparently for this hiring decision there is ample room for improvement.


  4. Walt says:

    Mike Zukala will not have to leave his job at Erie County, just “adjust” his hours. Who would leave a patronage job paying over $100,000, to take an elected position that has term limits and pays $35,000? The Supervisor had the same problem as the County Executive, when he gave the former (why?) Commissioner of Building, another position that was created for him in the Planning Dept. to have the title denied by Civil Service. Paying someone $117,000 to hold a position that should start in the $50-$60,000 range makes one wonder why (not including amending local laws and codes to remove enforcement, interpretations, etc. of the zoning ordinance from the Building Dept. to this title)

  5. jjtric says:

    The people on our Town Board with the exception of Debbie Bucki were chosen by the party bosses not the peop0le of Amherst.

  6. Walt says:

    But only Councilmember Berger voted against the position for the former Commissioner of Building
    even after a history of employment, residency, etc was discussed.