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Macedon Mayor --- Jim Hoteling

I have wondered, over these past seven years of dealing with two (and now the third) dissolution movement, how people felt one, two or four years after the vote to dissolve their village. Nobody has written anything about it so I decided to look into it for myself. I picked a village that dissolved in the mid 1990’s and, like the Village of Macedon, was virtually debt free. (Debt, by the way, is the major reason to look into dissolution.) I found out the names of the trustees who made up the seated Board at the time of dissolution. Each one (I spoke with three) said that the majority of the people they spoke with, during the first 2 to 4 years following the vote, were sorry that they voted to dissolve their Village. They lost a major service, garbage pick up. The Town did not continue to provide that service. As is the case here, there was very little in the way of monetary savings derived. The principle reason for wanting their Village dissolved was the petty gripes of a handful of people. Funny, that is exactly the way it is here. One example comes from a One Macedon husband and wife team. They are upset over a parking lot issue involving one of their sons and the Village dating back four or five years. If you have a problem with the mayor, a trustee or the entire Village Board, work to unseat them at election time. That is the basis of our democracy. People have fought and died to preserve that right. Dissolving the Village because you have a problem with an elected official is like cutting your foot off when you stub your toe, to eliminate the pain. How stupid is that?

One other thing, which I feel might be a concern to many of you, as it is to me, is revitalization. The Village I spoke to had a revitalization program under way, which was making great strides. After the Village dissolved, it was not as active a program with the Town running the show as it was with the former Village. We all know what a fine job the Director of Revitalization, Marcy Frey, has done through the Macedon Partnership Association. I for one don’t want to see us take a giant step backwards if dissolution forces the Town to be the key player in our revitalization efforts. Let me take a second to clear up something a former mayor has been saying to anyone who will listen: Sir, you could not be further from the truth if you tried. Not one dime of Village tax money was spent on the painting of the fronts of the buildings on Main Street, this past spring. All of the money came from the individual property owners.

I told these trustees about this new State Law, Article 17-A and some of the ways it differs from the old one, Article 19. They were amazed that it does not allow any time to form a committee and do a study. I told them that more than anything else I despise the fact that One-Macedon knew this and still handed in their petitions which, of course, puts us on the clock towards a date for the vote (which by the way is Oct. 12, 2010). They held the trump cards. They could have approached the Village Board and said we have the signatures necessary to force a vote but we are asking you to form a committee and take the time necessary to do a study so the people have something to look at to help them decide how they want to vote. After the study was done One-Macedon could have submitted their petitions and a date would have been set for a vote. They could have looked like the good guys wearing the white hats, but instead they said to hell with all of you. We don’t want the Village, we just want a vote and we don’t care that you have to vote blind. (That is what a voter in Brockport said after she voted a few months ago, “I voted NO because I did not have any information derived from a study to help me make an informed decision. I was forced to vote blind.”) Without knowing all the facts, One-Macedon is forcing YOU to vote blind. As a side note (a very ironic one, I might add): One-Macedon was not satisfied with the results of the study done two years ago, even though one of their members served on the committee. That is why a new study should have been done this time so no one can claim foul play. Too late now!

Under the old State Dissolution Law -- Article 19 -- Villages were given the time to form committees and do a study. A study with results showing exactly what the residents of the Village of Macedon will pay in the way of taxes and fees if the vote is to dissolve the Village. The people would have then had something to look at to help them decide how to vote. Both of our previous dissolution studies have proven that there is no significant savings. (How can there possibly be when we are only paying $5.12/$1,000 to begin with?) You eliminate costs on one side of the ledger only to have them added back in on the other side in the form of special districts (sidewalks, street lighting, brush and leaves pickup, fire and ambulance protection). This is just taxes. Don’t forget, water and sewer rates. They need to be factored in to provide a true and accurate amount of the new after dissolution cost/household. Our water rates and sewer costs will be going up. We will wind up paying the same amount as all other town residents. As an example, we currently pay $240.00/year for sewer while town residents are paying $400.00/year. Granted, the Town is paying off their bond to expand the Sewer Plant. However, if dissolution happens, a new department will need to be formed called the Sewer Dept. staffed probably with two full time licensed operators and a clerk. Those salaries and benefits must be paid out of the Sewer Budget. The increase of $160.00/year would be used to cover those wages. Apart from this, a few other people, realizing that there is no significant monetary savings to be derived, are talking about dissolution as a means of eliminating a duplication of governmental services. Let’s look at that fallacy. First of all duplicating something means doing it more than once. How many of you have put on a deck or installed a swimming pool? When you spoke with the village’s Building Inspector or went before the Village Planning Board did you also have to get permits from the town’s Building Inspector or Town Planning Board? No, of course not. So where is the duplication? Only in the far reaches of someone’s mind.
As I said above, under the new State Dissolution Law – Article 17A – no time has been allotted to do a study. VOTE BLIND! That is exactly what One Macedon is asking you to do. It didn’t have to be that way. They could have handled it entirely different, but chose not to. Also, under the old law a Village, which voted to dissolve, ceased to be a Village on Dec. 31st of the year following the vote. There is no date established under the new law. I, and the entire Village Board --- Ken Schreiber, Ron DeMena, Marcy Frey and Dave Kelly, urge you to vote NO to dissolution on Oct. 12, 2010. Send a message once and for all to these people --- DISSOLUTION IS NOT THE SOLUTION!


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2 Comments to "Dissolution Following the Vote"

  1. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    Thank you for sharing this perspective Mayor Hoteling, and for bringing to light the issue of a blind vote. Voters deserve the opportunity to become informed.

    Posted on Wed Sep 08, 09:39:00 AM EDT

  2. Richard Edelstein Said,

    Gosh Mr. Mayor,
    These issues were hot when I let Macedon in 2002 and they are STILL TRYING to dissolve the Village and for the same reasons. It is too bad you have to use your valuable time working on such ignorant issues! I see that Macedon politics hasn't changed in many years.Even though we were at opposite ends of the political spectrum for many years I have to say that I totally agree with your assessment of the situation and would strongly suggest that voters continue fighting to maintain a healthy and safe village.
    Richard and Judy Edelstein

    Posted on Wed Nov 03, 04:33:00 PM EDT


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