June 2007

Every Christmas, at least one major equipment manufacturer sends me a die-cast model of a backhoe, excavator, crane or whatever, and my five-year-old daughter usually winds up being the beneficiary of these companies’ generosity.

The tacit hope of these manufacturers is, I’m fairly confident, that if they give me something nice around the holiday season, that all year long I’ll think of them when it comes time to decide which articles and press releases to put into the publication each month.

I don’t. I can honestly say that the decisions I make when filling out the magazine are based solely on what I think you want to see and read. And I know based on ALL of my conversations with you that your residents prevail in every decision you make. After all, just as you, our readers, are the lifeblood of what we do, residents act as the same for your livelihood. So while ethics reform seems always to be needed with our higher up elected officials, I’m not so certain that it is as needed at the grassroots level. You see and interact with your residents all the time and are therefore much more accountable. Not as much with lawmakers at the state and federal levels.

The new ethics reform rules are complicated, and The NYS Association of Town Superintendents of Highways has been working hard to make sense of it. With their help, we’ve put together an article on page 50 that acts, if nothing else, as a primer. The key, however, seems to be the definition of “nominal” values of gifts, which appears to be $75, perhaps annually, but we’re all waiting to declare that as fact. Working under that rule, though, I think I’d have to snatch that backhoe model from my daughter’s hands and immediately send it back, COD.

On a sad note, we at Profile extend our deepest sympathies to David Webb’s family, friends and crew. David, 49, highway superintendent of the town of Constantia, was killed on the job May 15 when a large tree stump fell from a dump truck and struck him in the head. Contributions may be made to Constantia Fire Department or Boy Scout Troop No. 724, County Route 23, Constantia, NY 13044. P

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