Sep 10, 2009 Ami Olson Uncategorized
When former Marcellus Town Supervisor John Bendarski politely challenged Village Mayor Mike Plochocki to prove that the village government served a purpose, Plochocki fired back that perhaps a committee was needed to study the question – and Bednarski should chair it.
Six months later, the Committee for the Future of the Village of Marcellus was appointed by the village board at the regular meeting Aug. 24, and Bednarski’s name is among the eight members chosen by the board.
Plochocki said the question of whether or not village government was a necessary layer for taxpayers to be burdened by was not a new one when Bednarski posed it, but his comment was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Since the board meeting, one appointed member, Peg Nolan, has decided not to sit on the committee.
The purpose of the committee
Though the committee was selected and appointed by the board, Plochocki made note that the group would neither take direction from nor report to the village board in any formalized manner and is purely an advisory board.
Most importantly, the committee is not tasked with the dissolution of the village.
“This is not a committee on the dissolution of the village, this is not that kind of a committee,” Plochocki said. The committee is expected to examine the efficiency of the current structure of village government and determine whether it is the best plan for the future of the village or whether a change is in order.
Trustee Mary Jo Paul said establishing the committee is a proactive step for the village, especially since state legislation has made it easier for villages to study their efficiency.
Forcing a government to examine its own efficiency through a similar committee used to require 90 percent of the population to sign a petition, but now only calls for 10 percent, Paul pointed out.
“We don’t want to wait for the people to become disillusioned with us,” Paul said. “We are trying to be proactive, not reactive.”
The committee is made up entirely of volunteers and will pursue the topic at no additional cost to taxpayers.
Though the village board will remain relatively hands-off, it did request the first meeting of the committee be set tentatively for 7 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 8 at Village Hall.
Residents appointed to the Committee for the Future of Marcellus
Who they are, why they were chosen and what they bring to the group
Town resident, 40 years
Former town supervisor and town councilor, lector at St. Francis Xavier Church, president of Polish Heritage Club of CNY
Would “certainly ask and raise the question” of the issue of consolidation and the possibility of joining together the two municipalities is a worthwhile discussion certainly worth having.
Would like to determine whether it would it be feasible to merge two municipalities together.
Town resident, 35 years; grew up in village
Town supervisor and board member for 26 years, member of Marcellus Rotary Club, parishioner of Marcellus United Methodist Church
“I’m a believer that the village certainly has to have its own autonomy. At this point I simply want to hear what people are saying, what their thoughts are.” Believes consolidation would not provide significant savings, but some services could be shared to increase efficiency.
“I just want to see that what happens for Marcellus is the best thing for Marcellus.”
Village resident, 40 years
Village trustee for 13 years, member of Marcellus Olde Home Days Committee since inception in 1995, trustee with Marcellus Historical Society, has published two books on history of Marcellus, trustee at St. Francis Xavier Church
“I object strongly to elimination of village as a government.” Shared services to reduce duplication has already been implemented in some ways and can be effective in the future. Expansion of village to create more logical boundaries and provide better service should also be examined.
All services provided by town and village should be studied for cost and efficiency. Issue of consolidation can be addressed but cost savings not likely.
Village resident, 60 years
24 years with Marcellus Police Department, 20 years as Chief of Police, served as coordinator of public works for two to three years, worked three summers with highway department while in college
“While I have some thoughts, I’m open to the possibility [of consolidation].”
Goal of committee should be to find a way to provide the most efficient and cost effective service to taxpayers of the entire town, whether it’s with one government or two.
Village resident, 9 years
Completed thesis on government consolidation for a master’s in public administration, using the town and village of Marcellus as one example
“I don’t have an opinion either way, until you look at the whole situation.”
Would like to bring to committee the knowledge of his research, which studied consolidation of communities throughout North America of different sizes and situations, for the last 100 years.
Village resident, 15 years
Three and a half years on Marcellus Planning Board, four years as recording secretary with Marcellus Academic Club Board, religious education volunteer instructor at St. Francis Xavier Church, also volunteers with: Marcellus Booster Club, Earth Day cleanup, Marcellus After the Ball committee, and Marcellus Girls Varsity Soccer Operation Southern Comfort.
“As the recession continues to keep its hold on residents in the community, the time is right to seriously commit to review sharing of services between the town and village.” There is no room for redundancy, high taxes and increasing costs.
Wants to accomplish reducing costs to residents by pooling common projects.
Note: The committee also includes Mike Plumpton, who was not available for interview as of press time.