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September 29, 2012

Keeseville gets dissolution petition

Petition will bring public poll on village dissolution

KEESEVILLE — A group of Keeseville residents filed a petition this week to force a public vote on whether to dissolve the village.

The petition, submitted by resident Nancy Booth, contained 122 signatures, 13 more than the 109 minimum required under state law.

Booth, who said she's in favor of dissolution, said she organized the petition drive because she wanted to make sure the people got a chance to decide the issue, rather than leaving it up to the Village Board.

"A lot of people feel they would like to vote on this issue," she said. "I think everybody should have a voice."

By law, 10 percent of the village’s registered voters must sign a dissolution petition for it to be valid. Keeseville has about 955 registered voters out of 1,800 residents.

A village dissolution study is under way now, but the final report will not be submitted until a meeting at the end of October.

CERTIFICATION

Keeseville Mayor Dale Holderman said the petition must be certified by Village Clerk Lynn Hathaway.

The clerk has until Oct. 4 to review and certify the petition, and the Village Board has 30 days from its certification to vote on whether to put dissolution up for a public referendum.

“Our next step is to verify the signatures of the voters that signed,” Holderman said. “Then it goes to the Board of Trustees to pass a resolution to hold a vote.”

SPECIAL ELECTION

He said he believes the Village Board will approve a voter referendum.

“With a valid petition, there’s no choice. It took a lot of pressure off the trustees, though.”

The mayor said the decision on whether to put it up for vote no longer rests with the board. If the board did vote against a dissolution referendum, the petitioners could file a lawsuit in State Supreme Court to ask the court to order a vote.

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