I would like to thank Assemblyman David DiPietro for his recent letter to the editor. Hopefully, he will continue to communicate with the public more in the future.
Unfortunately, in town government, he has been largely absent during his entire time in Albany. David in the past 10 years has never set foot at a town board meeting. He has been invited to numerous events such as the new town hall ribbon cutting and did not show up. In 2014, after the first Snovember storm, he did not go to Albany because he said he was snowed in. Really? The town and village highway departments did an amazing job keeping every road open! Senator Patrick Gallivan was out delivering pizza to the highway departments while David stayed home.
Just last year the Town of Aurora applied to win a NY Forward Grant to rebuild the Hamlet of West Falls. The grant asked for letters of support from our federal and state representatives. Unfortunately, Assemblyman DiPietro did not join his legislative colleagues Congressman Chris Jacobs, Senator Gallivan, and former Erie County Legislature Joe Lorigo in submitting a letter of support. The Village of Lancaster ended up winning the grant for $4.5 Million. Their Assemblywoman Monica Wallace announced the award.
Lastly, three weeks ago myself and the Erie County Superintendent of Highways Association drove to Albany to lobby and fight for more state road funding. We had a very productive dinner attended by Senator Gallivan and Senator Tim Kennedy where we discussed how with bipartisan support they have been able to get the reconstruction of Route 240 in West Falls added to the NYSDOT plan. DiPietro, though invited, never showed up for dinner.
The next morning, the highway superintendents were scheduled for a personal meeting with Assemblyman DiPietro at 9:30 a.m. in his office in Albany. When we arrived his intern was there to greet us with the news that he had not shown up to work that day. It was funny to see someone had been working on an unfinished puzzle on top of the desk!
It probably didn’t matter if we saw him though since in the past DiPietro has stated that he has voted against CHIPs (Consolidated local Street and Highway Improvement Program) funding to send a message to the governor that he is the only one that will vote no on an entire budget.
In the past, DiPietro has done an amazing job reporting on all the corruption in Albany and whatever is the latest passionate news story but hopefully, he will turn his attention to the real issues that affect our community the most which are local government issues. Congratulations to DiPietro on being awarded “New York State Conservative of the Year” but I would rather see him focus on the needs of our local community.
David M. Gunner
Town of Aurora Superintendent of Highways
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