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May 8, 2012 - 4:41pm

Consolidation put on hold after town board doesn't pass necessary resolution

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, consolidation.

Consolidation of the town and city hit a bump in the road this week when the Town of Batavia failed to enact a home rule resolution that would allow the state legislature to clear the path for a local referendum.

Chad Zambito, chairman of the consolidation task force, announced today that all planned public meetings on the topic are being postponed and it's unlikely that voters will be given a chance to vote on the proposal in November, as originally planned.

"We wanted to get a final document to come before the people and that's not going to happen in the time originally envisioned," Zambito said.

While the Batavia City Council passed the necessary home rule legislation a week ago, the town board failed to pass the same resolution, which is needed to get a bill through the State Legislature thereby allowing the consolidation process to go forward.

Town Supervisor Greg Post, who in the past has advocated strongly for consolidation, could not be reached for comment.

Zambito said that two informational meetings originally set for May 17 and May 24, as well as a set of four public hearings starting May 31, have been postponed indefinitely.

Getting an initiative on the November ballot was an aggressive goal, Zambito said, and now with the delay in the home rule legislation, it would be hard to meet the necessary timeline.

He said the task force will work on tweaking the charter document and re-present it to the public bodies for consideration.

Jack Dorf
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Huge waste of time. I don't believe the residents in the town will ever vote for consolidation. A vote for consolidation with the City is a vote for higher taxes for Town residents. Guaranteed.

John Roach
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This has been a waste of money. The question now is will the Task force ask for more money. The original mandate was to have this on the ballot this year. But now, since it is going to go past November, will they say they need more money?

Dave Olsen
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I'm thinkin both Jack and John are right, the town doesn't seem very interested in consolidation. I can see what the benefit would be to the City, but what exactly would the Town gain?

Jack Dorf
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Dave, the Town gains nothing in my opinion. The town has a zero tax rate right now. That will never remain if consolidation happens. What have they done in the City to reduce cost that has had a real impact for City residents... Zip. The City side streets and side walks are a joke, i'll give you one guess where the "new" revenue will come from to help the City with this and other issues.

John Roach
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The main thing the City gets, other than some DPW consolidation, is the promise of more State money. How many of you really believe the State will keep its promise not to cut the funding? As soon as the next "fiscal crises" hits, the funds will be cut and we are right back where we started.

David Russell
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The town should not pursue the consolidation as there is not a lot of support by the residents. Everyone that I have talked to are against it.Some people very vocally oppose the merger.

Neither the city nor the town has provided information that convinces anyone in the TOB that it would be in the TOWNS best interests to merge with the CITY. Now the "informational meetings" have been put on hold indefinitely. Why, when the people from the town want more information, does the CITY decide to stop the process ?

From all I have read, the city gets all the benefits and the town gets to support the city with their $$$$$.

The city plan for the new council calls for four wards, (all in the city) and five at large members. To the towns people this leaves a lot to be desired on the new council. I think the town board knows that if put to a vote,it would be another resounding "NO".

Why Greg Post is still pursuing this is beyond most towns peoples belief. They can only ask,"Why does he want this so bad and does he have a hidden agenda?" I have heard from many that feel that way. I also have heard things that I can not post here.

I think Howard needs to put an informal poll up related to the merger targeted to the people of the town.

Most of the sheeple in the city could care less ( thank you John Roach for being well informed) and only blindly follow the councils whims.

John Roach
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Dave,
Just to be clear, the four proposed wards each have two of the present city wards and each have part of the town, so all town residents are in one of the four wards. And not all of City Council are on board with consolidation, but they did want to see what the committee would recommend.

I favor consolidation, and I believe in the long run, it will happen. But I would not vote for what was proposed.

Howard B. Owens
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To be clear, the city did not put a stop to the meetings. The committee did.

David Russell
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Thanks for the clarification both John and Howard.

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