Dissolution ‘fire’ needs common-sense voice
The Village of Medina began investigating the possibility of Dissolution after the Towns (of Shelby and Ridgeway) declined the Village’s numerous requests to pursue a 3-way municipal consolidation.
To me, this is akin to deciding that because the Towns said “no” to becoming a Bigger Better Farm Together, the Village Board decided to burn its own fields down.
The past Board had written that the final plan should:
1. Keep as many services in place as possible – such as fire, ambulance service, and police;
2. Minimize the impact of a dissolution on village employees;
3. Be implemented to the maximum extent possible by the Village Board, not the Town Boards; and
4. Require as few approvals of the State Legislature as possible.
In my view, what was suggested glosses over how the money is going to be saved:
1. Negotiated, bargained-for-exchange contracts are not important (oh, they are to you? Too bad.) The services the fire, ambulance, and police provide are important, just not their pensions.
2. Some but not all village employees will still have (contract-free) jobs.
3. The Towns don’t want to consolidate anyway, so even if we burn the field down, cleanup should be entrusted to us.
4. The Village doesn’t like oversight.
This may be rather negative of me, but I have yet to hear a common sense voice say: Look, it may save money, this plan. It may even save a lot of money. But, it will cost money to implement, and the savings will come directly from the benefits of the town workers you depend on. Even the new Village Board members (Michael Sidari, Marguerite Sherman) have not spoken clearly on this issue.
I hope that transparency can be a part of this process, and that the ‘fire’ of dissolution threatening the fields can be put out before it is too late. Of course, the firemen would have to do that, the ones whose pensions are at stake.
A concerned citizen,
(D’Amico is a former Medina resident who recently moved to Albion.)