Poll

What would miss the most if your local Canal Village dissolved into the Township?

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Author Topic: What do you like the MOST about Erie Canal Village Life - Take our Poll  (Read 94 times)

Doug K

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The ECNA is conducting a few polls, for members & guests, regarding what people like most about living in older Villages along the Erie Canal.

It's hopefully going to start a new conversation in our area about the "value" we are getting for the high cost of having this lowest level of New York State government still operating. Even though NYS Lawmakers have already stated that Village Government is a burden to taxpayers, and an unnecessary level of legislation that can be consolidated or dissolved. They have sited the excessive VILLAGE government as one of the reasons why New York is the HIGHEST taxed state in America

Lawmakers said all this in 2010 when they passed the New York State Government Reorganization And Citizen Empowerment Act, or GRACE


You can read about that here: https://ecna.us/nys-govt-reduction-act-village-dissolution/


 

If own a home and you live in any Village within New York State, you are "blessed with having to pay an "extra" Property Tax every year. It's used to support local Village Government, it's called the Village Tax, and the majority of it pays for a redundant layer of government, though salaries, health care & pensions.

The rest of the Town only pays School & County Tax bills, which also found the Town your Village is a part of.

The Villagers pay this third tax simply because they are a "captive" audience, their homes lie within something called an Incorporated Village Boundary. Inside the line you are forced to pay on average about $17,000 per DAY to have a Village Government make decisions for the 2 square miles of land your home resides in. Some villages, with less "fluff" may pay around $4000, some Villages are costing these select taxpayers as much as $30,000 per day to run.

If you are across the street from the Village Line, you pay nothing, even though you most likely use the same Village as much as your neighbor.

And all of this EXTRA TAX is not required according to the GRACE changes & NYS Lawmakers. Because the TOWN already is providing the same type of service, to many more residents all around the Village, usually for a better value for all.

In fact the Lawmakers are so certain that the Town & Village residents will be MUCH better off if they consolidate the Village into the Town (or Dissolve it Outright) that they are willing to PAY for the Government Reorganization Study & Plan and also offer any Towns that have a village dissolve additional State Funding to pay for more work that the Town may have inherited with the change.

The ECNA is advocating for Village Leadership to accept the GRACE findings and ask the State of NY to help Village Taxpayers get some much needed relief.  We are simply asking Village Leadership to order the Government Reorganization Plan themselves, from the state, and serve their constituents to the best of their ability by accepting that local government can be more efficient with less layers, less bureaucracy and elimination of Village Taxes 

Please take the time to answer the Poll, let your voice be heard.

You can check on your own Village Reorganization efforts here:  https://ecna.us/grace/

Or Scan the QR Code with your Smartphone Camera



« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 03:32:06 am by Michael Caswell »

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Thomas Mangan

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I like having a Village Police Department, and because Brockport is a college town, I like the fact the the Village Code limits the number of unrelated people (students) who can live in a house that has been turned into housing for college students. If the Village were dissolved, college housing in the village would become chaotic (to say the least).

Doug K

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Thomas, Thank you for your input, and sharing your concerns. But I'd like to take your statements and ask a few questions while we cover these thoughts.

First, there are other Towns & Villages in NY State with Colleges, that manage quite well, before & after Government Reorganization efforts were completed.  You only need to look at the long list of successful local government reorganizations in NY State to find a comparable Town & Village.
 
FIRST QUESTION-

Do you really believe that the Town of Sweden government would simply let something like this happen, if the Village were to dissolve?

The Town has a Town Supervisor, Kevin Johnson, who also conducts "business" similar to the Village government, and they do it at a much lower cost already. The exact same services provided in the Village would simply transfer over to the Town if that is what the Village Government Reorganization Plan stated should happen. It all starts with this "plan" that is fully funded by the State, and can be started with a simple request from Mayor Blackman.

And if the Village was dissolved, then the burden of LEADERSHIP falls on Sweden Town Government to pick up the pieces, and create the "new look" for government in the Town of Sweden, County of Monroe, State of New York. They are plenty capable, well staffed and up for the challenge, from conversations we have had with them recently

There are Sweden Town Boards & Officials that cover everything from Trees, to Building Permits & Zoning. The Town of Sweden e-Code also covers MUCH more than the Village Code, in many cases, as the Town has wider spaces to consider when governing the local area. The Town has sidewalks, sewers, and yes, also has a water districts to sell water. If the Village Reorganization Plan said that Police should stay, they would, and also operate much like the Town of Ogden Police Dept would work. Towns CAN have POLICE too.

The only change, ALL government in and around the Town of Sweden ANSWERS to the Town Leadership & ALL of the Residents

In fact, if people thought aspects of the Village should stay, even the position of Mayor, that can also work under guidance from the Town Government, and only have ONE taxpayer-funded government in the Town, not two. That second local government in the Village is costing 50% of the Town residents (who happen to live in the Village) quite a bit of money, yet I'm sure that YOU as well as many Townsfolk use all these same streets, shops, and services like Annual Events & Village Parades

The Village of Brockport does NOT have to dissolve, just the elected government that runs it. Everything Brockport Village does now, could be continued under Town Government leadership & guidance. And it WILL be done at a LOWER cost to Taxpayers... that is a NY State Guarantee.


MOVING FORWARD -

A better solution for some New York State Villages (maybe Brockport included because of the College aspect) can take the second Government Reorganization method to help local taxpayers... they can chose Village Consolidation instead of Dissolution. This insures that the BEST parts of the Village are worked into the Government Reorganization Plan and the entire process is approved by both Town & Village voters. This INSURES the majority is served best, not the minority.

And in my opinion, Village Consolidation is the preferred solution for BROCKPORT but takes TWICE as much work to accomplish.

In this scenario the Village residents petition the Village Elected Officials to consider moving under the direction of Sweden Town Government. This is the ONLY method that insures pieces of the Village, like a Mayor, those Board Membership Seats, and Police/Fire Departments remain to serve the entire TOWN, not just the Village. It also requires a Town-wide Vote & Approval of the Proposed Reorg Plan, which is where the extra work comes in.

This CONSOLIDATION is actually Government Reorganization that current Village Leadership should be embracing, not fighting, as it would insure that some of the Village remains intact to serve the best interest of the Village Proper.

The eventual alternative will be a total Dissolution of the Village, as Brockport Residents tire of their taxes always increasing to cover the rising costs of Salaries, Benefits, and Retirement funding. The majority of the current Village Budget, as much as 80% of it, is used for ONLY that purpose... employee costs.

Village residents fund the salaries and benefits of 35 Full & 26 Part Time Employees. They help manage 2.2 square miles of land for about 8000 residents. The work is currently "subsidized" by 8000 taxpayers living inside that small space.



Town of Sweden employee headcount is currently at 24 Full Time & 40 Part Time Employees. They manage the 34 square miles that make up the Town of Sweden for almost 15,000 residents, more than half live in the Village and help pay for these wages too

Here's the breakdown of COST for the Town & Village governments in our area from GovSalaries.com

https://govsalaries.com/salaries/NY/village-of-brockport?year=2018



Now Thomas, tell me what you think about these numbers. Do you still think the Village is "good deal". Would you yourself run a company like this?

I'd love to discuss your thoughts AFTER you see exactly how expensive it has become to live in Brockport, and why. The truth is that we have too many governments here in the Town of Sweden, and the MOST expensive is in the Village. That government has a long history of fighting with local Town Leadership, it reached a point recently where the Village & Town could not share the same building anymore, or even the same "10 Year Plan".

They have fought like cats & dogs for as long as anyone can remember

Hoping the Village Leaders will come to their senses and STOP overburdening their constituents has long evaporated in the Sweden & Brockport area.

It's time to stop "making excuses" for KEEPING a poorly run local government in operation and residents should be working together with the Town Government to end unfair Brockport Village Government Costs to the community at large.

Please, share more of your thoughts..because if we don't talk about it, the problem will never get fixed, and better solutions will never be tried.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 10:56:41 am by Doug K »

Doug K

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Look up Apathy in the Dictionary... It's the same as 70+ people looking at an Online Poll and only 9 people taking the time to add their thoughts.

Everyone seems to have opinions on Barge Canal Embankment Safety, Re-imagining a new Canal, and even how Village Taxes can be reigned in.

But few people, if any, actually care enough to get involved and try to initiate changes that will help increase the public's safety or their put money back in their wallets.

APATHY... right along with IGNORANCE these two seem to be the mantra for many folks today... "I don't know, and I don't care"