Guilderland incumbents involved in play-to-play scheme

To the Editor:

Think government corruption exists only in Albany or New York City? Think again. The incumbents on the Guilderland Town Board are involved in a pay-to-play scheme that would make our founding fathers cringe!

The town board controls appointments to all of the boards that oversee and govern actions by town residents and businesses. These include the powerful zoning and planning boards, with members who earn significant salaries.

The problem with these appointees is that the only qualification most of them have is that they are a member of the town Democrats’ friends and family club.

Paul Caputo, the Independence Party chairman in Albany County, was appointed to the planning board in 2010 and will be paid roughly $30,000 for his term and may even qualify for pension credits at a time when the cost of pensions are so high that the incumbent Democrats on the town board instituted a new tax on all residents to cover the cost.

Paul Caputo has no qualifications to be a planning board member but he does control the endorsement process for the Independence Party. If you look at the individuals that Mr. Caputo has given the Independence Party Endorsements to over the years, they are the same people who appointed him to the planning board

Not surprisingly, the three incumbents up for re-election this year — Ken Runion, Patricia Slavick, and Paul Pastore — were the three “yes” votes for Mr. Caputo’s 2010 appointment and all three have run with the Independence Party endorsement in every town election cycle, including this year.

Since the appointment vote was 3-2, each of their votes was decisive and also, sadly, tainted by their political relationship with Caputo.

Mr. Caputo should resign from his post on the planning board due to this conflict of interest as the county’s Independence Party chairman.

The town board should be ashamed of itself for playing politics with our tax dollars and its unethical behavior. This kind of quid pro quo represents government corruption of the worst sort and the residents of our town deserve better.

Robert Majkut

Guilderland

Editor’s note: See related story.