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Municipal budget pressures

The level of interest by the public in the topic of cost-saving initiatives by local municipalities has seen a noticeable increase over the past several years.

However, the speed of the trend certainly does not yet register on the Richter Scale. It probably can be considered akin to the movement of glaciers.

Recent successful examples include the town of Clay merging its police department with the Onondaga County Sheriff's department, and the merger of the economic development offices of the city and county into a more unified operation.

Another example has been the approval of the consolidation of the city-county purchasing offices into a single entity. Several towns and village shave expressed interest in joining the soon-to-be consolidated unit.

One example of a less successful effort would be the recent decision by the mayor of Solvay to table any consideration of the proposed merger of its village police department with the town of Geddes. The reasons for the tabling are unclear at this time.

It is ironic that the two police stations are within several hundred feet of each other and are probably the two most likely candidates for a police department merger in all of New York State, if not the country.

The issue has been an old potato, initially proposed as long as thirty years ago.

Another unsuccessful illustration would be the recent decision by the Cicero town board to defer any action on the possible merger of the Cicero Police Department with the county sheriff's department. The announced reasons were rather ague.

Question: Where is the next arena where similar issues will be played out?

Would the town of Camillus ever examine, in a truly outside-the-box effort, the range of locally provided public safety programs, with one main goal in mind?

The goal would be to ascertain whether or not the services could be provided in a more modern, more cost-effective means, designed to provide relief for local taxpayers.

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