Get the facts before you support petition to dissolve Village of Medina

Posted 14 August 2014 at 12:00 am


Members of OneMedina are now circulating petitions throughout the Village of Medina in hopes of getting registered voters to sign to force a referendum or vote on the dissolution of the village. In addition to the OneMedina members, they have encouraged others to help them get petitions signed.

If you are approached to sign a petition I urge you to get the facts before you affix your signature. Ask the individual presenting the petition if they can fully explain the process of OneMedina. Who has to dissolve? Who has to consolidate? How is it done? What happens if one of the processes breaks down? What are the state requirements? How does the village benefit if it consolidates with the towns? Will the ‘promised’ state aid still be there? I have not heard a firm explanation of the process as of yet and I don’t believe I read one in OneMedina’s mailer.

Ask them if they can approximate the costs associated with long-term pensions and health care benefits. Those costs will become a debt load for the village and will be paid by village residents only. Ask them if they are aware that the towns are currently happy with their police and fire coverage and have no desire to pick up additional costs for the village perhaps leaving the village with minimal ambulance, fire and police coverage. Once again, costs that will revert back to village residents. Ask them if all the village departments and employees will be retained if the village dissolves. Who will go, who will stay?

If, after discussing these issues with the presenter and you feel your questions have been answered, then it becomes your decision on whether or not to sign. If you have further questions of the OneMedina group and want more clarification I urge you to contact them personally. The members have listed their names on their web page.

Recently the boards of Medina, Shelby and Ridgeway met to further investigate sharing of services. All three entities agreed to meet further. The supervisor for the Town of Shelby, Skip Draper, presented many good ideas to move the shared services program along. He had asked for information from the village regarding the public works department in order to make a formal presentation that would alleviate some village taxes. It is a start.

The next meeting is scheduled for the beginning of September at which time Draper’s ideas will be revealed. Apparently that does not fit the timeline of the OneMedina people as they would rather take matters into their own hands.

We elect representatives to run our governments. We need to trust them to do what is best for the community. We elect them, pay them and monitor their doings daily. If they are not doing what we want or don’t like their decisions, we will not re-elect them. Plain and simple. But governing by referendum, such as what OneMedina would like, cannot work. Try to imagine every decision, no matter how large or how trivial, being made by a public vote.

As a matter of record, I am a former Medina Trustee. I am not in favor of dissolution but am in favor of shared services and limited consolidation. And I am a firm believer if my elected officials are not doing the job they should be replaced.

Owen Toale