Re-Elect DiNapoli As State Comptroller

The Editorial Board

The Post-Journal

Oct 30, 2018

Since taking office in 2007, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has served New York state and Chautauqua County residents very well. We back him for another four-year term in his race against Jonathan Trichter.

DiNapoli, through numerous audits, has proven the importance of the office. Consider where we would be today without those reports.

Numerous area municipalities who worked to hide finances and details from the public have been exposed through those details. Silver Creek, which paid more than double for what a property was assessed at for a future Department of Public Works site, was admonished in 2009. Forestville officials, which could not account for missing money in its water fund, took heat that ultimately led to a village dissolution in 2016. More recently financial issues in both Dayton and possibly Fredonia, which lost a village administrator, may have piqued the interest of the office. An audit of the town of Busti highlighted inequities in the way money was budgeted that resulted in increased tax rates for Lakewood residents and lower tax rates for town residents who lived outside the village while an audit of the town of Ellery in 2015 showed court records weren’t properly handled, resultin in nearly $63,636 in missing cash. More investigations may be on the way.

DiNapoli, in meetings with our newspaper editorial boards, also has advocated for consolidations of government as well as sharing of services. In addition, he has also done an excellent in oversight of the state pension fund.

Our main quibble with DiNapoli comes from his office’s Fiscal Stress Rankings, which we have a hard time believing are accurate given that Jamestown consistently misses the list despite city officials’ constant warnings about the city’s dire financial straits and three consecutive years of additional state aid to help balance its budget. Even that comes with this silver lining — no other comptroller had even tried to create such a mechanism. While we think the formula should be changed, we give DiNapoli credit for devising such a system in the first place.

Trichter offers voters an alternative and wants to bring increased fiscal responsibility to Albany. That problem, however, normally does not begin with the comptroller’s office. It starts with the free-spending Assembly.