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Why is This Petition to Vote on Dissolution Being Passed Around

Why is This Petition to Vote on Dissolution Being Passed Around

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Published by The Post-Standard
Camillus village Trustee Anne Clancy wrote this statement to explain why she is circulating a petition to dissolve the municipality.
Camillus village Trustee Anne Clancy wrote this statement to explain why she is circulating a petition to dissolve the municipality.

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Published by: The Post-Standard on Jul 20, 2011
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07/20/2011

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Why is this petition to vote on dissolution being passed around?The Village Board needs direction from its constituents. Significant financialchanges have occurred recently that affect our revenue e.g. the lost of sale tax revenueand the diminished funding of AIM monies. The result of these changes means that our current 2011 expenses now are in excess of our current income. In the budget year of 2011, $20,000 of the appropriated fund balance (retained earnings) was used tobalance the budget rather than tax for new revenue. This is not an unusual way tobalance the budget when the fund is well appointed as it was. What was really bad luckis that tax relief was granted in the year before a 2% tax cap was enacted and has nowset in stone for the foreseeable future yearly increments in real estate tax growth(assuming the assessment does not change drastically) at a amount around $6,000.On January 1
st
of this year we did have $275,000 in the appropriated fund balance.This $275,000 that we had been accumulating for ³back burner projects´ like the repair or take down the back garages , repair or replacement of part of a roof in the VillageHall, road repair or emergency type projects. We are not insolvent. Checks are notbouncing now but to ensure future solvency expenses must be cut and new non realestate tax revenues should be found and enacted.The ability to bring additional revenue to the table through our usual avenue, namelythe increase in real estate property taxes, is now legally not available to us as the statetax cap of 2% has been passed. Change, rather drastic change, is now demanded. As I see it we have one of two directions before us. We can either struggle to stay aVillage or dissolve the Village and role into the Town.If we are to stay a Village hard sacrifices and changes in the quality of day to day willhave to happen.1. We will have to do without most forms of road repair. We should look to stop thetonnage of vehicles that use our roads as the constant wear and tear of the roadsurface from their use by heavy vehicles will cause damages that we can no longer afford to fix.2. Changes in garbage pick-up will have to occur. We can maintain the same serviceand charge additional fees such a ticket on each bag. We would also have to roll outour rental property fee for each rental unit that we service. The garbage fees couldactually finance all the garbage expenses and allow up to move some revenue to theminimal road work services that we might be able to provide like hot patches onpotholes.The other option on garbage service would be to hire an outside vendor, and thereforelay- off some current employees and reduce some of our employee expense.3. All community Village sponsored activities like our Christmas celebration, donationsto the parade and side walk sale may have to end.
 
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4. A complete review of all the employee benefits and a probable discontinuedretirement policy that currently covers life time medical insurance for 25 years of noninterrupted employee service for themselves and their spouse. There has to be astrong effort to cut back on employee benefits expenses.5. There will probably be consolidation of the Village owned vehicles with use of extrastorage space at the FD building in an effort to cut down on the costs of housingequipment and freeing up the Village owned back garages so that they can be sold.6. Rental of the top floor of the Village Hall would be another revenue producingmeasure and should be discussed.7. There could be an effort to stimulate revenue by placing parking meters on theVillage¶s streets and land behind the Village Hall. Whenever a car has to be towedthere could be a surtax charge given back to the Village and counted in as revenue.8. Various other fees should be reviewed for the production of revenue such as wheelfees for use of Village Streets, paw fees for use of Village lands to walk pets.9. There could possibly be a water fee for each unit within the Village receiving runningwater. The water pipes are passing thru the Village soil and land and therefore could besubject to a ³passing thru´ fee.10. Perhaps the Village, if legal,, could collect luxury fees such as back yard swimmingpool fees and beer and soda fees for beverages consumed in our restaurants .11. Perhaps the employment of a part time retired policeman and a very part time judgeso that we could catch and prosecute speeding vehicles and DUI people in our ownVillage and collect the fees.12. Perhaps, if the Town agreed, consolidation of our road work into the Town¶sprogram. It would cause an increase in our Village resident¶s town tax to us but their road department is very good and efficient. As we already pay the Town for Policeprotection this would not be an entirely new idea.Please note that these additional fees and fines can go on and on and we will have tofind things similar to these so we can stay a Village and make sure that our incomematches our expenses.There are two other matters that concern me regarding future Village existence:Village Administration: I have been on the Board for 8.5 years and have noted manyelected officials to resign or move away. Our monthly meetings often lack full Boardattendance and frequently have been cancelled due to lack of attendance on the part of the elected or appointed Village officials. Most of time there is very little if any Villagepeople in attendance to hear and comment about the issues.FD control: From time to time the relationship between the Village and FD has hadtrouble. Whenever we have this problem it costs all people in the Fire District moremoney and the FD some of its higher trained and generous members. A new form of oversight and government structure may in the long term provide greater peace andharmony within and without the Department.If indeed we stay a Village and the FD stays with us, a greater effort must be made toavoid miscommunication and expensive disharmony will have to be made.

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