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Curtin debuts 'A Case For the Village' column

Beginning in the Nov. 11 issue of the Eagle Observer, Marcellus resident John Curtin will become a regular columnist with the paper. His column, A Case for the Village, will run every other week, opposite Clyde Ohl's column, The Good Ohl Days. Curtin's column will present an different perspective on consolidation than Ohl's, which often calls for consolidation of governments and fire districts.

Below is the first installment of Curtin's column. See next week's issue of the Eagle Observer to see Curtin in print.

A Case For the Village

By John P. Curtin

Much has been made lately of the issue of consolidation. Much has also been made of the idea that the most logical type of consolidation is for the Village to dissolve into the Town. This has become even more debatable with the recent passage, at Attorney General Cuomo's urging, of "The New N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act," set to take effect in March 2010, and rushed through the State Legislature without any public hearings. This act makes it easier for villages to consolidate or be dissolved and many have seen it as a natural outgrowth of what they feel should be "good" government.

I am very much opposed to the dissolution of the Village and feel that the public must be adequately informed on the issue of consolidaton. I also feel that this latest attempt by the Attorney General and the State of New York is nothing more than a way to attract media attention and address a situation that seems to offer a "quick fix" for the tax situation in New York State. With all of the levels of government that there are in New York State, and the proliferation of so many special taxing districts (all of which have nothing to do with villages), this latest ploy by the State of New York is merely an attempt to divert attention from the real problem with rising taxes -- unfunded State mandates and rising property taxes that fund schools, counties, fire departments, libraries, etc. Villages, for the most part, do not contribute to the rising tax rate in New York State -- in fact, they are probably the most efficient and cost savings governmental entity in the entire state.

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