Niagara Times has never had any problem articulating our feelings about Kevin Gaughan: Snake oil salesman, charlatan, political opportunist—we’ve used all of these terms to describe him, as well as carpetbagger and just, simply, creep.
Unfortunately, though, we’ve long felt that arguing against this huckster was a losing battle. As West Seneca showed us not that long ago, people always seem willing to cast a ballot against what they perceive as the interests of the political class—even when their vote actually strengthens the power of that very same elite.
But it’s starting to look like this phony may have finally met his Waterloo, down in the charming Village of Williamsville. There, Gaughan brought out his army of zombies to place a village dissolution measure on the ballot.
If reports we’re hearing from Williamsville bear out—and certainly the Buffalo News’ latest filing admits as much, even as it does everything possible to sell Gaughan’s “plan”—then village dissolution is going down in flames there. (Note to Kevin: If people greet you at the doors with flyers that read “Trust your neighbors, not some outsider with an agenda!!” and you don’t live there, then you’re the outsider they’re talking about.) It seems that Gaughan’s “study” showing all the money people would save by dissolving their quaint little village was fatally flawed in that he never bothered to include the special district taxes paid by Amherst residents—taxes that Village of Williamsville residents avoid. And when those facts came out, support for Gaughan’s plan began to tank.
We certainly hope that the trends we’re seeing in Williamsville continue. If Williamsville should at some future point seek dissolution, that’s fine. But it should be an initiative that comes from the citizens of Williamsville, not a guy from the Southtowns with an axe to grind and self-proclaimed “tour dates.” Color us skeptical, but if you don’t have to stick around and live with the results of your little experiment, we’re not so certain it’s good for our communities and our families. And that goes doubly so if you put your plan together with free help from a bunch of college students who’ve never held real jobs, paid taxes, or paid a mortgage.
As for our readers, should Kevin Gaughan show up in your community, take a page from Williamsville, and make sure you get the real numbers before you swallow the snake oil: