“You take away that closeness, you take away that sense of belonging ... and I think a lot of people feel and identify with the Village of Champlain,” Martin said in a debate he had with Triller recently for Home Town Cable, which produces local public-access programs.
Babbie fears there could be a loss or lower quality of services if the village dissolves and the Town of Champlain assumes complete governance.
“Everybody’s looking to save money. But you have to look at the flip side of the coin,” he said.
Triller said there aren’t many services to lose.
“When you want to start listing services, you really can’t.”
The services the village provides now are “nothing the town couldn’t do if we dissolved,” he said.
Beltramo told meeting attendees that if the village dissolves, residents will lose the specific representation they have now.
“It begs the question: Are you going to have a voice?” he said.
The town office is only a few short miles down the road, and if the village dissolves, people can take their issues to there, Triller said.
“That’s just illogical that we’re not going to be represented, we’re not going to get fair treatment.”
Three town employees even live in the village, he said.
During the debate, Martin said he “has difficulty” saying he is comfortable with representatives outside the village setting his tax, water and wastewater rates.
“March 19 is coming up fast,” Babbie said.
“You have to get out and vote.”
Email Felicia Krieg:email@example.comFOR MORE INFORMATION The March 7 forum on Village of Champlain dissolution, with New York State Conference of Mayors General Counsel Wade Beltramo, can be viewed online at hometowncablenetwork.com. A debate between Mayor Greg Martin and village resident Kevin Triller, hosted by Calvin Castine and Home Town Cable, will air today and Sunday at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Time Warner Cable channel 24. It can also be viewed online at hometowncablenetwork.com. Archived Village Board meeting minutes can be found by going to www.vchamplain.com and clicking on "archived minutes" at the bottom of the page. Villagers will vote on dissolution at the village election, which will run from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Village Office. Reach the Village of Champlain Office at 298-4152, and the Town of Champlain Office at 298-8160.