Orleans communities should push for consolidation and reduce government costs
Some time ago I posted a Letter to the Editor suggesting discussion on the top of consolidating the 10 Orleans jurisdictions into one organization. Two citizens responded with thoughtful letters.
After I wrote that letter, I was surprised to learn that a “Consolidation Study for the Village of Albion, Town of Albion and Town of Gaines” had already been completed in March 2009. The study was conducted by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) at no cost to the jurisdictions. The study stated in the Key Findings (page 8) that:
- “CGR estimates that if the Village of Albion merges with the Town of Albion, taxpayers should save at least $535,000 (an 18% property tax reduction).
- If the Town of Gaines also consolidated with them, taxpayers savings should be at least $736,000 (a 22% property tax reduction).
This study was funded by the New York State Local Government Efficiency (LGe) office, (phone 800 367 8488). The LGe has also funded over 50 other consolidation studies that have included: Ulster County, Town and Village of Chester, Cohocton, Orange County, Town of Elba (Lake Placid area), City of Mechanicville, Town of Portland and Village of Brockton, etc. The entire list can be found on the LGe website.
I remain puzzled at the lack of interest in consolidation by leaders in all levels of government in the county. The above noted jurisdictions cited increased efficiency and lower taxes as their main reasons for considering consolidation.
A note to Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians: as they have in hundreds of jurisdictions across the state, it would seem reasonable that voters would favor lower taxes and improved efficiency at future elections.