Press-Republican

November 7, 2012

Malone dissolution defeated

By DENISE A. RAYMO
Press-Republican

---- — MALONE — Voters defeated a bid to dissolve the Village of Malone by a 2-to-1 margin Tuesday.

The referendum vote were 1,117 no to 562 yes, according to unofficial results as of 11:45 p.m. the Franklin County Board of Elections.

The referendum question itself was straightforward: “Shall the Village of Malone, New York, be dissolved? Yes or No.”

And a sampling from people questioned by the Press-Republican earlier in the day as they left Holy Family School polling sites voted a resounding no.

Seven out of the 11 people who agreed to give an opinion between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. favored retaining village government rather than turning functions over to the Malone Town Council.

“It was the Police Department,” said Mark Rabideau to explain his vote against dissolution. “I think we had to have more information about that.

“I don’t think we should do it now, but they should look at it and get more information for the next time,” he said, meaning in four years, when the issue can be raised again. “Then, they’d have more answers.”

‘I’M FED UP’

John Coughlin was for dissolution, saying that doing away with union contracts “would force management and employees to the bargaining table and away from this fiscal cliff.”

Eileen Wemette read up on the issues surrounding dissolution “quite a bit,” and what decided her “no” vote was “police services, really.”

But James King went the other way, saying high taxes made him to vote to dissolve.

“Some people aren’t making money like others do, and you’ve got to keep paying,” he said. “Some are just barely getting along, and I’m fed up.”

Joy L. Gokey said she weighed the information she had learned and determined, “I didn’t want to risk putting people out of work for a minimal savings on taxes, if any.”

‘CRIME WOULD RISE’

Marcie Spaulding works for the Franklin County Department of Social Services and said she couldn’t support dissolution.

“The Village Police really help us out a lot” on the job, she said, “After reading that the State Police aren’t going to be able to support such a large-size area (if the village dissolves), I voted no.

“There is a lot of crime in Malone, and people should already know that,” Spaulding said. “If the village dissolves, crime will go up, not just taxes.”

James LaCombe said he forgot to turn his ballot over to answer the referendum question printed on the back, “but I would’ve voted no. It’s nice to have a police department.

“I pay high taxes, but it’s good to have the police around,” he said. “I’m old, and you never know when you might need them.”

Maria Bourgeois said casting her ballot was a struggle, but she finally voted no.

“Dissolution was the hardest vote I had today. Was it for you?” she said, turning to her husband, J.P.

“Villagers are taxed right to the limit, but I don’t want to be without a police force either,” she said.

‘WAYS TO SHARE SERVICES’

Village Trustee Michael Maneely said he had favored dissolution from the start and that he has irked some constituents with his strong stance.

“I voted the way I thought was best for the village and town,” he said. “I talked to a lot of people, and I’ve heard that somebody wanted to throw Mike Maneely and Hugh Hill (a fellow trustee and dissolution supporter) over the Main Street bridge.

“But there have got to be ways for the village to save, and on Nov. 7th we have to start looking at ways to save taxpayers money.

“There are ways to share services, like having one garage for the school, the village and the town,” Maneely said. “The Police Department is the big thing, but no matter which way dissolution goes, there are ways to keep the Police Department intact.

“We can’t live without them,” he said.

Email Denise A. Raymo:

draymo@pressrepublican.com