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Doing it for the kids

   Shortly after I left the luncheon at Charlotte Avenue Elementary School that I described in my column today,  I got an email from board member Matt Dills. Dills said he walked away from the event a "better person."

   Quoting from him: "I hope through your column that other boards will borrow on our small idea and start a "Lunch with the Board" in their own districts. I'd like to even have a luncheon with staff, parents, community members, or alumni.

    "We echo our superintendent in that if you are not here for the students, then you need to move on."

   The job of a school board member is far more than just looking out for the students, but it's not a bad notion to remember to think about them.

   --- Bruce Andriatch

A loud late-night dilemma

   The way Joyce Gramza related what happened to her dog appears to paint a picture of a heartless cop in a nasty suburban department imposing an arbitrary rule on behalf of an uncaring neighborhood. And it's easy to understand her grief, having lost her canine companion of 13 years.

   The reality is a little more complicated. It always is. But there's no debating that in her panic to find her lost dog, she was yelling the animal's name late at night and she disturbed a resident or some residents in a Snyder neighborhood. And a police officer told her to stop.

   It's easy to blame the police, but not entirely fair, just as it would be unfair to blame whoever left a door or a gate open that allowed the dog to get away.

   Having said all of that, telling a woman looking for her dog that she faces arrest for looking for her dog does seem like an overreaction.

   --- Bruce Andriatch

Building for the future in Tonawanda

   It's possible to look at the Town of Tonawanda's plan to spend $1.3 million on a new building for its recreation department as an example of how government should operate. Rather than continuing to throw rent money down a black hole, town officials want to do something that in the long run should save taxpayers money.

   But Councilman Dan Crangle understands that regardless of the forethought that went into this proposal, some residents will see $1.3 million and think, "Why can they afford to spend all this money when I'm cutting back on everything?"

   It comes down to a question of whether during horrifically bad economic times, government should spend now to save later.

   --- Bruce Andriatch