Consolidation: A word for our time

— The results of the recent referendum involving the future of the tax receiver’s office in the town of Camillus could be considered a possible harbinger of things to come.

Camillus residents had the opportunity to have their town receive recognition as a trend setter among the 19 towns in Onondaga County. The consolidation vote was a relatively small, but nonetheless important initiative designed to modernize a portion of their local government.

The simple beauty of this initiative was its ability to provide a significant tax savings without any apparent decline in the quality of the service provided by the town.

Estimates vary on the potential tax savings to local tax payers. However, if every town in Onondaga County approved a similar measure, total savings to the beleaguered taxpayers of the county would be in excess of $500,000.

Another simple beauty apparent in the tabulation of the referendum was the almost overwhelming voter acceptance of the proposal. Observers were surprised at the very large turnout. The margin for approval was by more than two to one, with more than 900 ayes and over 400 nays.

The town board members, including the supervisor, voted unanimously to establish the referendum in order to let the voters decide the issue.

This stance by the town board is worthy of kudos to the members.

The final results of the referendum spoke volumes.

In the past, when any elected official spoke in favor of governmental consolidation, it was at great political peril. It was akin to touching the electrified third rail in a subway system.

The results were so startling it might now be the time to examine other areas of potential tax savings to local residents

While the tax receiver consolidation issue could be described as low hanging fruit in politics the results were a clear signal it is A-OK to work on other initiatives within the town and the area.

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