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D - for downsizing - Day in Evans and West Seneca

   Voters in West Seneca and Evans on Wednesday will decide whether to trim their town boards
to three members, down from five.

   If the measure passes, taxpayers will send a clear message to their elected officials, supporters say, and the people will begin to take back their government. Another plus: Taxes will go down.

   Sure, taxes will go down, but barely, opponents say - saving the average homeowner about the cost of a movie ticket. And residents end up with so few representatives on the town board that the Open Meetings Law would be jeopardized, some government experts say.

   Supporters of the downsizing say that even with five members on the town board, elected officials routinely ignore the law and make backroom deals.

   Whatever Evans and West Seneca residents decide, this week's votes likely will be the first of many in Erie County. Efforts are underway to get a similar referendum on the ballot in November in Alden, Hamburg and Orchard Park.

   If you live in Evans or West Seneca, which way do you plan to vote? If you live somewhere else, what are you hoping will happen in your town?

   --- Mary B. Pasciak

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