Our current mayor's personality is such that she MUST always have the upper hand, must always be correct, must never be challenged. It is paramount for her to be perceived as being in control and right. She will prevaricate and dodge, even reinvent history, whenever she feels backed into a corner or feels she may be seen in an unflattering light (regarding her positions or decisions).
Our current town supervisor's personality is such that he will dig in his heels and slap back when faced with a personality such as the current mayor's.
Ergo, no progress on shared services or devising ways to provide more efficient services throughout our community, and a push by disgusted and frustrated taxpayers to remove one layer of intransigence from the equation.
I am not enamored of dissolution but I am of looking for greater efficiency and prudent spending. But with the chemistry of the current "leadership" there is no chance of community growth through collaborative thinking.
The latest evidence that not much will change is the proposed 2010-11 Village Budget just released. Not a serious effort to address our fiscal situation.
Your comments on the mayor are similar in nature to those made about every mayor in recent history. Most were reelected if they chose to run because the majority of voters continue to reelect those they deem mirrors their wants and needs.
I disagree that no progress on shared services has been made as it is readily apparent there has been a good deal of progress.. There is a code enforcement issue which is minor and blown out of proportion that could easily be resolved. I am not clear on what other services to the village which can be shared.
Is not the assessor and office space being shared by the Village and the town? That occurred not so many years ago. All expenses are paid by the town.
We had two courts a village and a town court, now there is but one court and courtroom to my knowledge serving residents of the town and the village. The Town pays all costs.
The sewer and water department is a separate function although owned by the Village. The town has laid water and sewer lines and formed taxing districts for those properties that benefited to pay the cost. I believe those lines were dedicated to the Village Water Department at no cost. The village sets the rates and has benefited by lower rates within the village while charging those outside of the village higher rates plus costs of sewer and water districts where financing was necessary to complete the project. There is no cost to the village.
The town supports the Community center within the village. The village does not support that through taxes.
The Town monetarily supports most if not all museums within the Village limits. The village supports possibly one.
The Town monetarily supports every village celebration by donating yearly. The Village does not.
The town furnished a major contribution for a Community library and financial support yearly. The Village does not.
The Town monetarily supports numerous parks, recreational programs, provides a meeting place and a COMMUNITY CENTER centered within the village at no cost to the Village.
The Fire Department is a paid department servicing the Village for 180 years. Costs are borne through Village taxes.
Police protection in a concentrated area is wanted by a majority of voters who wish to retain services as they are. Villages taxes pay for that extra service.
The Village DPW services only the village and its unique needs and is paid by village taxes. Bayard St. is a sticking point, just as Route 414 and Route 5&20 are it is a major avenue in and out of the Village. A case could be made the County and or the State should be paying for a share of upkeep on that roadway as well as River Rd and E. Bayard ext. Their responsibility should not end at the Village of Seneca Falls limits. I am surprised we have not heard more of efforts to seek funding for its repair from the County and the State. Dissolving the village merely transfers those costs unto the town rather than solve the situation.
All Town roads are maintained and serviced by a Town Highway department at no cost to the village. Those outside of town pay a tax as their share, Villagers do not.
The town pays for a host of amenities within the village at no cost to village or town residents. The desired services and amenities not furnished to all town residents but needed and desired by village residents are paid through village taxes. Any service provided to those outside of town are paid through taxing districts as no cost to the town or village/town resident.
Frankly, what more can the Town do? Why should all town residents pay for the extravagance of the Village they alone are responsible for? The clash of personalities between two leaders is hardly cause for dissolving a village. Politicians come and go, some good some bad.
It is more feasible to control costs within the village by reducing its expenditures and or services than it is to export those costs into the entire town. It will be no more controllable at the Town level than in a village where the majority of residents reside. The Village should right its own ship and control it's costs. Merely transferring the problem to the town prolongs the problem, not solve it.
Soon the entire town will be facing a similar situation as the root cause of the problem has not been addressed.