Politicians Shy Away From Consolidating Governments
A panel of government officials
gathered March 14 for the Kurlander Strategic Communications forum on
the topic of "Consolidate Sullivan County" but not a word was mentioned
about the question is there too much government and taxing districts in
The forum was set up by Steven Kurlander of Kurlander Strategic Communications.
Featured speakers including County
Legislative Chairman Louis Alverez, Town of Fallsburg Supervisor Steven
Vegliante, Roscoe-Downsville-Livingston Manor Superintendent of Schools
John Evans and Village of Liberty Mayor Ron Stabak made mention about
attempts to eliminating duplicate services and merging various
departments like court systems, roadway, assessor services and highway
and road upkeep.
Not one word, and the sole reason why
is politicians don't like to discuss political suicide, was spoken at
this meeting to reduce the size of 15 townships, 6 village governments
and 6 school districts all with a population of a little over 77,000
Too much government is costing us too
many tax dollars but the Consolidate Sullivan County forum heard Liberty
Village Mayor Ron Stabak urging New York State to "tighten is own belt,
learn the hard lessons we have had to learn," and to start
consolidating its own state agencies."
The mayor pointed out that "it has
been eight years since the village received an increase in state aid,
but the price of mandated expenses are increasing."
Property taxes, exemptions and state
mandates are what is effecting the local taxpayer and speakers at the
forum offered their criticism of the state government for their
inability to address these issues.
This local panel discussion was
actually part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's effort to spur municipal
consolidation but it not only received no support ( other than the
possibility of sharing services) by local politicians and now it appears
neither house of the New York legislature has any interest in the
State lawmakers say they've heard from
angry elected officials who oppose the governor's proposal as
heavy-handed.......almost meaning to say they don't want to commit
The only way there is ever going to be
consolidation of governments is residents and taxpayers will have to
join together and petition their governments forcing them to put the
issue to public vote.
Town of Fallsburg Supervisor Steven
Vegliante, Deputy NYS Secretary of State for Local Government Mark
Pattison and Liberty Village Mayor Ronald Stabak were part of a panel of
government officials at the Consolidate Sullivan County seminar March
14 put on by Kurlander Stratigic Communications.