continued However, he stressed that those numbers are only estimates, and cited unpredictable parts of the budget like unfunded mandates and potential costs for other departments as reasons why the board can’t settle on solid figures just yet.
“Everyone wants to know the numbers, and I agree that it’s certainly important to know what type of impact this will have,” Tackman said. “But I have to be clear that the numbers we give you will truly be estimates. I can’t say that abolishing the police with a contract will guarantee $6 in savings – it’s just impossible.”
“We’re going to save 35 percent of our police costs and protect you in a better fashion – that’s the bottom line,” added Trustee Daniel Wagner.
Still, several residents questioned why the board was still pushing to abolish the police after the village overwhelmingly voted against almost the same proposal two years ago by a vote of 531 to 300 in Oct. 2012. Tackman insisted that the board is still in the process of looking into cost savings in other departments as well.
“The police isn’t the end-all solution,” he said. “It’s the beginning.”
In the end, the board pushed back the proposed special election date of March 26 to April 2 to ensure that it can provide all residents with the information necessary to make an informed decision. The village will be mailing out information to all residents this month.
Voter registration changes in the village
On April 2, all qualified voters who reside within the village’s borders may vote in the special election. However, there have been some changes since the last police referendum vote which redefine who is eligible to participate.
In January 2013, the village of East Syracuse approved a new voting law, which requires residents to register to vote through the County Board of Elections. East Syracuse voters who have already registered with the county do not need to re-apply – the law applies only to those residents who had registered solely through the village.
Residents who are not registered through the county can either request a voter registration application to be mailed or download the application at ongov.net/elections. Voters have the option of sending the application by mail or dropping it off at the Board of Elections Office at 1000 Erie Boulevard West, Syracuse, New York.
The polls will be open from 12 to 9 p.m. on April 2 at the East Syracuse Village Hall.