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January 19, 2013

Hotly debated Keeseville dissolution goes to vote Tuesday

Government redundancy,cost savings key in hotly debated topic

KEESEVILLE — Whether the Village of Keeseville dissolves or not, residents agree the issue is causing an uproar throughout the community.

A public referendum is set for noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Village Hall on Liberty Street.

It’s been a topic of discussion — and disagreement — all over Keeseville, village resident James King said.

“Everybody has good reasons for or against. The thing I’m disturbed about is if you’re not for dissolution, in some camps they don’t talk to you anymore.”

King said he thought things in Keeseville were improving after the new mayor, Dale Holderman, took over last year.

“The village isn’t perfect, but they’re heading in the right direction. They’re looking at ways to combine services and save the taxpayers money.”

‘DIRECT ACCESS’

In an interview at the Village Hall, Holderman acknowledged he’s been criticized for taking a stand against dissolution, but he said he’s also entitled to his opinion.

“I’m mayor, but I’m also a citizen. Village government works very, very well, in my opinion.”

He said with village government, people have direct access to their representatives.

“I see people every single day. They stop me on the street. They come to the office. This direct access is democracy in its purest form.”

One supporter of dissolving the village, resident Lola Lopez, said she wouldn’t miss Keeseville if it goes away.

“I think the Village of Keeseville is another layer of government that’s unnecessary. It doesn’t do anything,” she said. “They have meetings. They collect garbage and recyclables. 

“That’s about it.”

Lopez said she’ll take her own trash to the closest transfer station if Keeseville dissolves.

“I can’t see keeping a village for garbage services. We (the Lopez family) paid $500 in village taxes for 2011, and it was $630 in 2012. We don’t really see a benefit. I’m against more taxes. 

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