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South Buffalo GOP voters have 3 choices for supervisor

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Two Republican challengers are seeking to unseat a South Buffalo supervisor in the May 21 primary, but for much different reasons.

Ron Covone and Roy Charlton are squaring off against incumbent Thomas Boroski.

Covone, a former supervisor, lost to Boroski six years ago.

Covone claims Boroski voted with another supervisor to increase the township real estate tax rate by 1 mill, generating about $35,000 to $40,000, even though the township had about $100,000 in its reserve fund.

Boroski counters that the vote came in his first year as supervisor and the board decided not to dip into the reserve fund because of financial uncertainty.

“He also proposed the (local) services tax, and that has hurt small business,” said Covone, who is a retired plumber.

Boroski doesn't understand Covone's reasoning.

Most municipalities charge the $52 annual tax to people who work within their own municipality. Through the tax, people who use emergency services pay a fair share for them, whether they are township taxpayers or not, said Boroski.

When the tax went into effect in 2012, it brought in about $30,000 for the first three quarters of the year.

“We'll get more for a whole year this year,” he said.Boroski says he has been a volunteer firefighter for 28 years.Charlton contends that the township's use of COSTARS, a state-sponsored, cooperative purchasing program, thwarts township bidding.

Charlton argues that the township purchase of a front-end loader for about $113,000, amounts to “bid-rigging.”

Boroski scoffs at that because COSTARS seeks the lowest bid statewide for equipment ranging from police cars to computers.He said the front-end loader would have cost the township about $210,000 without COSTARS.

The program is administered by the state Department of General Services.

“None of it is done behind closed doors,” Boroski said.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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