Press-Republican

June 3, 2013

In My Opinion: Divided loyalties on Keeseville dissolution

BY LEON H. CLODGO
Press-Republican

---- — I feel that over the nine months, the Keeseville Dissolution Committee performed a very comprehensive study of our task and presented a detailed and complete draft plan to the Village Board on schedule.

I feel that everyone on the committee took an active role in the study and was able to contribute to the finish project.

There is a wealth of information in the draft plan to assist the Village Board members with their task to present a plan on the dissolution of the village.

Here are some of the points that I recall being discussed in the meetings and which are included in the draft plan submitted to the village.

Your village tax — last year approximately $7.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation — will be gone. It is estimated the typical savings for village taxpayers will be between $400 and $600 per year in taxes

Each town will be absorbing approximately half the village, therefore easing the additional load on each town.

Both towns have indicated that they will continue with all the services that the village currently provides, with the exception of curbside garbage pickup.

It has been stated that approximately 10 percent of the village residents use this this service and that they will have several options for them to dispose of their garbage and rubbish.

The towns are currently providing the following services to the village residents that the Village Board has previously passed on to them: justice courts, property assessment, code enforcement and animal control.

Each town will absorb approximately 3 miles of roads, not requiring a large expense to each town, one would think.

The water and sewer operations are supported by fees, not taxes. I recall that there were three options presented in the draft plan to the Village Board for the continued operation of these two services. The final effect on these rates will be based on which option is selected to continue these services.

I do not feel that at this time one can accurately state the amount the rates will change with so many factors not decided yet. No matter how the services are provided, the amount of water used will be a large factor in the amount of the water and sewer bill.

The complete draft dissolution plan presented to the Village Board and abstract of the plan are available on the web at http:/Keeseville.ning.com.

In closing, I feel that I must comment on some things that are happening in the village now on this subject. The results of the public vote was to dissolve the Village of Keeseville. The Village Board, by law, is charged to present a plan to accomplish that vote in a specified time frame.

The implementation of that plan is subject to a permissive referendum only upon the board receiving a valid petition with 25 percent of the registered voters forcing a vote on the plan. If no petition is received, the plan moves forward in a specified number of days.

I am aware there are petitions right now being circulated throughout the village against any plan to dissolve the village. When asked, some people were not sure if they had to date their signature.

I am aware of at least two present Village Board members circulating petitions against a plan. I do not get a good feeling that they are diligently working to provide the best plan for the dissolution of the village, as prescribed by law, and circulating a petition against a plan that has not been finalized and presented to the village residents at the same time.

I am aware that it is called “divided loyalty” when a person duly elected to a position and who accepts the salary and benefits of that position and takes an oath of office for that position, and signs a code of ethics also, brings in their personal desires versus what the voters have mandated that they do.

Please become informed on what the results of the study are, instead of some rumors and half-truths that going around the village.

Leon H. Clodgo is a member of the Village Dissolution Study Committee and a former Keeseville Village Board member.