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Medina residents strongly support keeping village MEDINA — Residents of the Village of Medina recently voted almost 2-to-1 to keep their village, thwarting a dissolution attempt by a group spreading misinformation and preaching a huge tax reduction if the Orleans County village ceased to exist. “We know that dissolving a village does not automatically mean a tax cut,” said CSEA Western Region President Flo Trii. “In fact, dissolving a village can actually mean a tax increase for some people.” “We know that dissolving a village does not automatically mean a tax cut. In fact, dissolving a village can actually mean a tax increase for some people.” Dissolution not the answer Medina is the latest in a series of misguided village dissolution campaigns CSEA and its allies have fought, most notably in the Western Region. In 2009-2010, CSEA worked with anti-dissolution coalitions in Williamsville, Farnham, Brockport, Sloan and Lakewood, In each case, voters decided by wide margins to retain their village. In at least three other villages, anti-dissolution coalitions were able to halt the issue before it went to a referendum. As noted in the May 2014 Work Force, which examined village dissolution and the campaigns to stop them at length, New Yorkers who live in villages are strong supporters of maintaining the villages, as opposed to consolidating and Greene County, Troy workers fight for fair contract in holiday season rallies The Grinch may have tried to steal Christmas, but he stood strong with CSEA Capital Region members fighting for fair contracts at two holiday season demonstrations. In Greene County, the famous Dr. Suess character joined workers in demonstrating in front of the county office building, waving signs and chanting demands for a fair contract. The large line snaked around the county building and caused quite a scene in the normally quiet town of Catskill. Later that evening, employees gathered for a meeting of the county legislature, where CSEA Capital Region President Kathy Garrison addressed the group and urged them to stop stalling. Garrison chided officials for approving a $10,000 pay increase for the sheriff and county clerk while county employees linger without a contract. The unit is in the final stages of fact-finding with a public hearing planned for late January. A few days later in the City of Troy, the Grinch joined city workers as they marched to raise awareness about stalled contract talks. A pre-rally meeting with the city’s mayor, Lou Rosamilia, failed to yield results. — Therese Assalian sharing services. Rather than merging and consolidating, residents want local services, and they’re willing to pay for them to maintain their unique and individual communities. Dissolving a village and absorbling it into one or more towns is not as easy as just putting two things together, and it never guarantees a reduction in taxes. Community effort In Medina, CSEA and antidissolution coalition members went door-to-door to explain the dangers of dissolution to residents. Retaining services – the village provides specialized services such as sidewalk snowplowing – would mean the establishment of special districts to collect taxes for those services. Police and fire response times Left, Greene County workers demonstrate for a fair contract. Above, the Grinch joins City of Troy workers in their fight for a fair agreement. Right, the Grinch joins Greene County workers. may have also been negatively impacted by dissolution. The towns of Shelby and Ridgeway that would have absorbed the village would have been under no obligation to keep the village police and fire departments. Coalition members also held a letter to the editor writing workshop and they flooded local media with letters in the days leading up to the vote. Medina coalition partners included village police officers and firefighters, the two town supervisors and many concerned citizens. Residents voted 527 in favor of dissolving the village to 949 against dissolution. By law, the issue cannot be brought up for a vote again for at least four years. — Lynn Miller 12 The Work Force February 2015


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