Greece supervisor race heats up
Updated: Friday, November 1 2013, 03:48 AM EDT
Greece, N.Y. --- The tone of the Greece Supervisor's race is changing in the final days before the election as each candidate goes on the attack.
Democrats fired the first shot by accusing Republican Bill Reilich of lying on a campaign mailer that claimed he had never voted for a tax increase. But a hearing of the Fair Election Practices Committee disagreed with Democrat Dick Beebe’s accusation and supported Reilich's claim that he didn't vote for a tax increase.
"I've never voted for a tax increase. I'm proud of my record. I'm a fiscal conservative and I'm mindful of the taxpayer's dollars,” said Republican candidate Bill Reilich. “In the political arena all you have is your word and I've been truthful and honest about that. My opponent is playing a little smoke and mirrors and is now saying I did raise taxes when I didn't.”
Reilich explained that when he was a Monroe County Legislator in 2002 he twice voted against a budget that increased taxes but the budget still passed. A month later as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee he submitted a resolution to increase the tax levy based upon that vote from the month before.
Reilich said that it was a procedural move and without it all local governments would be unable to collect their taxes in the following budget year.
"He actually passed a resolution to raise the tax levy which ultimately raises your taxes,” said Dick Beebe. “They ruled in my opponent's favor, they didn't honor my complaint but at the end of the day you can call it a technicality of administration, of process, that it ultimately involved raising taxes.”
Even before the Fair Election Practices Committee met Democrats had sent out a mailer calling Reilich "dishonest about his record" and saying voters "can't trust Reilich"
"Prior to allowing the Fair Election Practices board (Committee) to make a decision, of which he brought the claim too, he put out a mailer once again saying I raised taxes so he didn't even respect the process,” said Reilich. “He signed a pledge saying he would honor that process, he didn't respect that either.
Beebe has also been the target of recent attacks in campaign mailers.
"We have seen some mailings against me being a career politician and a carpet-bagger, they did this two years ago (and) obviously it's bogus,” said Beebe. "My job brought me up here it wasn't, Dick kept going from town to town looking for a government job.”
Beebe, also a former Monroe County Legislator, was elected Mayor of the Village of Homer.
Reilich is also a New York State Assemblyman and the Chairman of the Monroe County Republican Party.
Both Reilich and Beebe are vying to replace current Greece Town Supervisor John Auberger who is wrapping up his twelfth and final year in office.