Press-Republican

In My Opinion

September 24, 2012

In My Opinion: Town can handle services, supervisor says

At the first Dissolution Study Committee meeting, I clearly stated that I am not for or against the dissolution of the Village of Keeseville, but I do want the people to know the correct facts, so this is in response to the mayor’s letter.

I will provide to you my governmental expertise and experience. I did serve as a trustee on the Keeseville Village Board from 1973 to 1976, so I do know firsthand what services the village should provide to their residents. From 1986 through 1993, I served as town councilman and deputy supervisor. Since 1994, I have been supervisor for the Town of Chesterfield and also a member of the Essex County Board of Supervisors.

In the Keeseville newsletter sent with the village water bills, the following statement was made: “There is no guarantee that any village resident will receive any services at all.”

Reality check, the Village of Keeseville over the past 23 years has given up services such as:

▶ The village no longer has an assessing unit — that is why when changes are made to properties located in the village, residents don’t notice the changes for one year. Because the village cannot use the town’s current assessment roll, they are always a year behind.

▶ The village has no dog-control officer. Both towns maintain dog control in their respective towns (which includes inside the village limits) and are able to call upon each other if needed.

▶ Twice, the Village of Keeseville has done away with its court system, and twice the towns have taken it over.

▶ The code-enforcement officer’s position was removed from the village budget.

Yes, whatever services the village eliminates, the towns are mandated to take them over. This is done without any increase in taxes because the departments and officials combined the responsibilities with their current positions; this was accomplished at no extra cost.

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