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SUBMITTED by Vicky Daly, Village of Palmyra Mayor (10-Dec-2009)

Some of This and Some of That

If one were to ask me, as frequently happens, how do you like being mayor, I would reply, and have, that most of the time I enjoy it immensely – working with good people to make good things happen is energizing. Recognizing the good that is being done and acknowledging it is as well. And sometimes, it is just fun. Several weeks ago, the Village Board told the Varsity Football Team and its coaches that they made us proud, not just for their unbeaten season, but also for the effort and cooperation that made it happen. Last evening we did the same with the Girls Varsity Soccer Team. The Girls Varsity Tennis Team will be with us on the 21st. With young people like these and their counterparts in other endeavors, our future looks great.

One of the much lesser activities on the enjoyment scale is budget planning, which begins in mid-December and continues until mid-March. The same factors which cause you worry in your personal budgets, and more, will come into play on the village level, as they have on the town, county and state. Health insurance costs and pension cost increases because of the stock market fluctuations are the principal areas of concern, but, as in your household, absolutely everything has gone up in price. Right now we are gathering information and getting ready to make hard decisions. Budget meetings are as follows: January 12 and 19 at 6:30 pm; February 1 and 15, March 1 at 6:00 pm. The public hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 15 at 6:00 pm. All meetings are at the Village Hall and are open to the public.

At the December 7th meeting, I initiated a new segment: Myth Busting. After all this time, it probably won’t surprise you to know that I track things down and get answers when I hear questionable information being circulated. Here is the first effort at setting things straight.

Myth #1: If you have a property in a historic district, you pay a higher rate for home insurance.

Response: Not true. The village’s insurance carrier, Van Parys Insurance, is and has been in the East Main Street Commercial District for years. Owner John Van Parys indicated that the historic listing has no impact on insurance rates. The Rev. Susan Kohlmeier, Zion Episcopal Church, said the question is not even asked re the church’s insurance. Zion Episcopal is listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places.

Myth #2: If a village were to be dissolved, as was Savannah, the costs previously paid by the residents of the village would be spread out across the entire town, lowering the taxes of residents of what had been the village.

Response: Not true. In this situation, districts are established , for example, sidewalk and lighting. Only the people who live within the district pay for the maintenance and repair of the sidewalks and street lights. It is an add on to their property taxes. The same is true with any debt, usually resulting from bonding, held by the village. Repayment of that debt is the responsibility of the people who lived in what had been the village. Note: bonding is used for extraordinarily expensive purchases, like a fire truck.

So now you know. Have a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Holiday!


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