Dissolution chair: move would be ‘disastrous’
To the Editor:
On November 8th, voters in the Village of Potsdam will decide our community’s fate in a monumental way. By a simple “Yes” or “No” vote, residents will choose weather to preserve or abolish our village. Over 19 long months, 15 town and village residents have gathered facts, studied alternatives, and prepared reports. We have learned everything that can be learned about our local governments, and wrestled with options. My team has acted openly and fairly. They have worked hard and I am immensely proud of them. The work we turn over to the village board reflects no bias and makes no recommendation on dissolution. It provides facts, options, and one possible perspective on what dissolution could mean for our community.The dissolution study and plan is now in the hands of the Village Board and our work as a committee is complete. Over the weeks to come, many people who worked on our plan will come forward with their personal opinions on dissolution based on their deep understanding. Listen to these people. There is no better way to help you put the issues in perspective.
As for me, I believe that dissolution of the Village of Potsdam could have disastrous negative effects for all stakeholders in the Town of Potsdam and beyond.
There is only one benefit of dissolution we can rely on. We will absolutely eliminate the bickering and disharmony that exists between the Village and Town boards. But that is the only guarantee.
Thanks to factors at the state, county, and town level, there is nothing else that one can say for certain about a post-dissolution world. Remember that the Dissolution Committee’s plan is not binding on anyone. It is only a guideline. Don’t expect the town to follow it to the letter. Our town government has the right and responsibility to act in the best interest of Potsdam as a whole and they will control costs and taxes as they deem appropriate. I am not predicting doom and gloom simply because the village goes away, but when the dust settles, the reality of dissolution could look nothing like the plan.
The Dissolution Plan you vote on on November 8th cannot guarantee you lower taxes, or an effective police force, or plowed sidewalks, or a museum, or code enforcement that keep young residents and absentee landlords in check, or anything else. Dissolution is a tremendous gamble for our community. Visit www.cgr.org/potsdam, get the facts, pay attention, and on November 8th, do whatever you feel is best.
Tim Connolly, Former Chair, Potsdam Dissolution Study Committee