Governor’s message to Malone: “Consolidate services!”

November 9, 2012

“10,500 [municipal] governments in the State is unsustainable!”—Gov. Cuomo
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Now that “dissolution” of the Village of Malone has been rejected by voters, we must take the steps necessary to ensure the village’s financial survival.

RiverCityMalone.com urges all local government officials to watch this short video of Gov. Andrew Cuomo explaining that:

(a) NYS is not going to bail out municipalities like ours,

(b) NYS is already paying a huge amount of money into municipal coffers via Medicaid services,

(c) Hell will freeze over before he (Cuomo) gives yet more money to municipalities,

(d) Municipalities are going to have to balance their budgets either by reducing the cost of services or convincing taxpayers to override the 2% tax cap or, failing that,

(e) Municipalities can ask the state Financial Control Board to take over the municipality.

The best solution to achieve financial solvency, argues Cuomo, is for villages & towns & counties to consolidate their services.  In his words, “10,500 [municipal] governments in the State is unsustainable!”  No doubt that’s true, but it’s a slogan and like all slogans it’s overly simplistic.  In particular, it does not follow from this that the Village of Malone should have “dissolved” into the Town of Malone.  The day may indeed come when the two governments merge, but they should do so as two partners seeking union—as in a marriage.  “Dissolution” is not a marriage; “dissolution” is disfranchisement—always a bad starting point for a relationship, be it civic or personal.  

In sum, the governor is telling Malone:  “Consolidate village, town, and county services!”  (Note, there is a big difference between “dissolving” the Village of Malone and “consolidating services” between the village, town, and county.)

Maybe we should listen—before we find ourselves married to the NYS Financial Control Board.
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