Monday, October 18, 2010

Dissolving a Village

The Village of Candor has been tiptoeing around this issue for some time, and now a committee has conducted a study, with the help of the Center for Governmental Research. A local government efficiency grant paid for the study.

Based on the comment that follows the article, there are at least two sides to the argument. A flowchart on the Candor committee website shows how complicated the process of dissolution may be.

The Village of Candor is 794 residents within a town of 5,138. As a point of comparison, the Village of Freeville has 505 residents, and the Village of Dryden has 1,832, all within a town of 13,532.


Anonymous said...

But nowhere in either your blog or the article(s) is there an explanation of the pros or cons of dissolving, nor is there any mention of what happens to villagers if they are dissolved (I am somewhere between a public burning of Hillary Clinton's book and a complete re-enactment of Soylent Green...). Any clarity?

KAZ said...

There are almost always substantial savings to be had through dissolution. In some cases (Village of Dryden), there's a village police department. In Candor's case, there's a water district that would revert from village oversight to town oversight. Village taxes would go away or be partly subsumed into town taxes. You wouldn't have to pay a mayor and village trustees and staff to duplicate the services of your town supervisor and board and staff.

The cons are all about history and identity. Ironically, the Village of Candor was formed when two smaller villages merged, thereby losing their identities--but that was too long ago to matter now. What matters now is that people think of themselves as villagers.

Although I hypocritically would fight to keep such perks as my town library or village post office, I am mostly on the side of consolidation of services. Of course, that did me no good at all when it came time to consolidate schools in our district--the plan was voted down, and I was voted out. Never discount the power of history.