The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

January 24, 2014

LOOKING ELSEWHERE

Medina Journal-Register — Over the past year, officials in Ridgeway, Shelby and Medina held several meetings concerning shared or consolidated services among the three municipalities. The meetings have essentially stopped, but in the Village of Medina a committee was formed in the latter half of last year to look at creating a dissolution plan.

While that plan is still incomplete, and therefore not available, the discussion among citizens about whether dissolving the village is a positive or negative step is ongoing. Ultimately, village residents may wind up voting on the issue, but that is not yet a given.

In one community of comparable size, dissolution occurred two years ago. 

Seneca Falls, located between Rochester and Syracuse, was dealing with a number of the same concerns frequently talked about locally. It also had both the Town Board of Seneca Falls and the Village Board of Seneca Falls. Different from Medina’s case, it is unique in that its population is almost evenly split between two towns.

As of Jan. 1, 2012, only the town exists. Town Supervisor Don Earle has answered many questions on the dissolution topic. He said oftentimes people will ask what could have been done differently and whether, if given the chance, it would be done again at all.

His response?

“I tell people that we would absolutely do this again,” Earle said. “And the only thing I wish we would have done differently is that I wish we’d done it sooner.”

Earle took office as supervisor on the day the village ceased to exist, but he was active and involved beforehand. He recalled how some of the discussions between the Seneca Falls village and town leadership were essentially power struggles.

“Neither leader wanted to give up power or authority or governance, and that’s why our efforts to share services fell apart,” Earle said. The village leadership began its dissolution discussion once those efforts failed, Earle said, and he said at that point a “line was drawn.”

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