Medina candidate sees government consolidation as best way to cut taxes, build stronger community

Posted 14 March 2015 at 12:00 am


I’m running as a write-in candidate for the Medina Village Board of Trustees. (The election is on March 18.)

I believe consolidation is the best route out of this winter of discontent. What I, and I’m sure many of you, heard and felt after the failed dissolution vote was a cry for solidarity. Not just for our leaders to get along better, but for our government to reflect reality.

The reality is we are one. The reality is we don’t define ourselves by voting district or lines on a map. We are friends and neighbors. We are a community – a family.

On a more pragmatic level, we simply do not need three layers of governance for 6,000 people. Consolidation can lower taxes in the village without raising taxes in the towns, while preserving the same level of service. With what I heard from Seneca Falls, I believe we can lower them across the board.

I’m skeptical of other routes, like shared services or a city charter. I believe that while shared services can save money and reduce inefficiencies, it won’t save as much and it won’t solve structural issues.

And I do not believe the Towns will cooperate any longer than it takes to get through a voting cycle. Villagers already pay for services they don’t actually provide. They had to be dragged into this dialogue as if they don’t work for us.

The dissolution vote was forced by the Towns after four years of flailing and failing to deliver a shared services solution. If one were reached, it would be subject to the whim and magnanimity of these same bodies. The same bodies who created uncertainty about dissolution by their repeated statements that they were under no obligation to cooperate with it.

This “roll up your sleeves and do the work” attitude has been met with “dig in your heels and protect the status quo” by those entrenched in the current regime. You have to wonder why someone is only willing to do what the people are asking for if, and only if, it protects their status and positions. If and only if the fiefdoms remain.

As for petitioning for a city charter, as I’ve said in the past, New York hasn’t issued a new charter in decades. From Albany’s point of view, this problem is solved with million dollar incentives on efficiency and redundancy efforts like consolidation. On the other hand, our population as a single entity makes our request for AIM funding disparity harder to ignore.

In other words, we can be treated like a city, without a city charter. Together we will be heard. Together we cannot be ignored.

I’m not a career politician. I’m not a prior Trustee. But I don’t think we need more of what’s already failed in the past. More of that “roll up your sleeves” rhetoric that will wind out for years and be met by that “dig in and fight” reality. What I do have is 20 years of people and program management, six of which was in community relations. And I bring a healthy dose of awareness of those realities.

The reality is that we can’t keep doing the same thing and get different results. The reality is that we ARE one. Let’s get real, let’s get it done.

Jeremy Hogan