Orchard Park residents look to expand Town Board

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Orchard Park residents will soon decide whether they want more representation on their town board.

This Election Day they’ll be able to vote whether to increase the board from three members to five. This comes a decade after residents voted to cut those two positions.

“A small percentage of people voted in Orchard Park; it was a separate election to either downsize or upsize the town board,” said Town Supervisor Dr. Patrick Keem. “Maybe one thousand people voted, and they made the decision – about eight percent of people for the entire town.”

This November’s referendum would reverse that decision. Keem said he and the current board members are all in favor, and even signed the petition that circulated earlier in the year to add this to the ballot.

“Those two extra board members will give us so many more ideas that we won’t know until they’re there,” he said. “So I hope it does ‘rightsize.’ I think we’ll be able to serve the people better.

Adding these two positions would cost taxpayers roughly $45,000 as part of the town’s 2020 budget, but Keem said he believes it will better the quality of life for residents.

If approved, the two new council positions would be on the 2021 election ballot, those board members would then be sworn in Jan. 2022 – one to a two-year term, the other to a four-year term.

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