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Meier will seek re-election to Medina mayor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 December 2013 at 12:00 am

MEDINA Andrew Meier is seeking re-election to village mayor on March 18, and he hopes to work towards a dissolution of the village which he ultimately said would reduce the costs of local government and ensure a brighter future for Medina.

Today is the first day candidates can pick up petitions for the election. They have until Feb. 11 to submit petitions signed by at least 100 village eligible voters.

Meier was first elected in March 2012, running on the Village Party with David Barhite and Pat Crowley. Their trustee positions are also up for election in March.

Meier, 34, is a local attorney and entrepreneur. He was thrust into the mayor’s position on Sept. 11, 2011 when former mayor Adam Tabelski resigned due to an impending deployment with the U.S. Army.

Meier sees a downtown in the midst of a rebirth. But the neighborhoods need revitalization and more investment is needed.

“There is unfinished work,” he said about his decision to run.

He has been railing against the unfairness in local tax rates and distribution of costs for providing services. He believes the villages bear an unfair burden. The village tax rate of $16.45 per $1,000 of assessed property is far more than outside the village in the towns of Shelby and Ridgeway. The village has the added burden of paying town tax rates as well.

Meier may be the only mayor in Orleans County history who has worked for the elimination of his office. That’s what would happen with a village dissolution, if the village government went away and the two towns then provided services in the village.

In that scenario, Meier expects the tax rates would be nearly uniform, which would take away the incentive for people to own property outside the village where the taxes are far cheaper.

A dissolution committee led by Don Colquhoun, the retired director of the Arc of Orleans County, expects to receive a report from a consultant by Jan. 23. The document from the Center for Governmental Research will provide some scenarios for the dissolution and how services could be shifted to the towns.

“We’re working on answering all of the questions in the process,” Meier said.

There will be several public meetings about the dissolution plan as it moves forward. Village residents will have to approve the dissolution in a public referendum for it to proceed. The two towns are not obligated to follow a plan put together by the village and a committee is working on the issue.

Ridgeway and Shelby leaders say if the dissolution is approved, special taxing districts would likely be created for police, fire and other services.