Press-Republican

In My Opinion

September 14, 2012

In My Opinion: Mayor explains his feelings on dissolution

I read your editorial on dissolution and am happy for the chance to express my views.

I am leaning against dissolution of the Village of Keeseville, true, but this is only my opinion, and I have only one vote in this process.

The idea that some people might think the Board of Trustees and I are out to save our jobs couldn’t be further from the truth. The board members and I spend countless hours at meetings, on the phone, returning emails, hundreds of hours brainstorming ways to make our community a better place for our residents to live. We don’t do this job because of the money; we do it because we were elected by the majority to make decisions for our community.

Your view of eliminating a level of government is not a bad thought, but let’s start with the level that is not following the wishes of their voters. Our level of government lives, eats, shops and has direct contact with our voters every day. We can give an immediate response to taxpayers, we control our own spending, and we can set the direction our village goes because we are in control of our community’s government and services.

If history is our teacher, then we can learn from one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson. He was a great proponent of local government; the bigger and more removed our government is from local control, the worse off we are.

Peter Baynes, in an article for the Utica Observer-Dispatch said, “scape-goating the village governments, which provide essential services that their communities need and desire in a cost-effective manner, is unproductive at best and, at worst, diverts attention from focusing on the real causes of the high taxes that are putting New York businesses at a competitive disadvantage and driving residents and companies out of the state. Acknowledging the real causes of New York’s high property taxes and demanding that our elected state leaders address these causes are essential steps that must be taken to truly revitalize New York.”

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