Nov 01, 2012 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
Helen Kiggins Walsh is no typical candidate for village trustee.
A year ago, she campaigned for the dissolution of the village of Camillus. Now she’s running uncontested for a seat on the village board of trustees, a one-year term. She and her husband, Michael Walsh, have lived in the village of Camillus since 2004.
She’s also the Onondaga County Republican Elections Commissioner; according to state law, elections commissioners can legally run for village office. She is running on the Camillus Party line and not the GOP, in an effort to stay non-partisan.
The Eagle Observer asked her why she wants to become more involved in local government and if she still feels the village should be dissolved.
Why are you running for Camillus Village Trustee?
“I have attended almost every board meeting for the last year and a half. A lot of effort is needed to run any government. We need to find a way to keep the village solvent without raising taxes too much. It is easy to complain about what things are not getting done. I am willing to try to be part of the solution.”
What are the biggest issues facing the village, and how will you address them?
“Since we will be a village for at least several more years, we need to be responsible fiscally to the residents of the village. The two big issues facing the village are road repair and trash. Only one road has had any major work done to it in the last few years and that was just this month. The other big issue is trash. We currently pick up trash for restaurants, apartment buildings and other entities. In some cases the cost to the village to pick up this trash exceeds the moneys collected in property taxes. The village has been working toward a solution and hopes to have a trash policy in place by the end of the year.”
A year ago today you were campaigning for the dissolution of the village. Do you still think the village should dissolve?
“I did campaign for dissolution last year because I feel we have too many layers of government. I also think at some point the village will not be able to sustain itself. The village population is just over 1,200 and the amount of property taxes paid to the village is just over $258,000. The amount of sales tax the village is receiving is decreasing. Grants to repair roads and infrastructure are hard to get. The town of Camillus would have received a $1,000,000 grant to be used for property tax reduction if the village had dissolved into it.
“That being said, a vote for dissolution cannot be held again until 2014.”
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.