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The downsizing votes are coming

   Registered voters living in the Town of West Seneca and the Village of Lancaster have something special in common this election season: They will all have the chance to choose whether to shrink the size of their respective local governing bodies and save themselves money.

   For the Village of Lancaster, a proposition cutting the Village Board - excluding the mayor - from six to four members will be on the ballot Election Day, Nov. 4.

   For West Seneca voters, a similar referendum will be conducted Nov. 17, reducing the Town Board from five to three members.

   In Lancaster, the referendum has not been a subject of vocal contention. Mayor William G. Cansdale Jr. and village trustees have gone along with the notion that reducing their numbers will ease the tax burden for their constituents.

   But in West Seneca, where regionalism advocate Kevin Gaughan has striven to make that town an example to other local municipalities, the move to downsize has been a struggle.

   Is downsizing government a no-brainer in these tough economic times? Do you think scheduling the West Seneca referendum on a day other than Election Day will make any difference in the outcome?

   --- Irene Liguori

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