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Village of Corinth Dissolution Vote
The citizens of Corinth have no doubt heard quite a bit about the upcoming referendum to dissolve the Village into the Town. Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of confusion about one aspect of this proposal that we would like to clarify for all citizens of the Town and Village, summed up by the question, “Since this vote affects all Town residents, why do only Village residents get to vote on the matter?”. The short answer to this question is that the Village received a “dissolution petition” from a citizen’s group instead of a “consolidation petition” and, therefore, the Village had no choice but to hold a referendum that would only allow Village voters to decide the matter.
The confusion centers around the technical terms of “dissolution” versus “consolidation” as set forth in Article 17-A of New York State law that governs municipal mergers. “Dissolution” is a process by which an existing government entity is voted out of existence. In that case, the residents of that entity are asked whether they would like to dissolve the entity completely. “Consolidation” is a process by which two government entities are joined into a single entity. For example, two school districts might consolidate into one, larger district. In that case, residents of both entities are separately asked whether they would like the two entities to be joined together. Both referendums must pass with a “yes” vote to make the consolidation happen.
In the case of the Village of Corinth, or for any village in New York State, both dissolution and consolidation will lead to the same end: a Town where there is no longer a Village. In a “dissolution”, Village voters are asked if the village should cease to exist. In “consolidation”, both Town and Village residents are asked if the Village should merge into the Town. In both cases, the Village ceases to exist and only the Town remains. So, it is important to note that the final outcome of dissolution and consolidation are identical, but the process by which they are voted is quite different.
Well over a year ago, the Village commissioned a study committee to examine the question of village dissolution and produce a report on the financial and service delivery impacts. In effect, that exact same report also describes the financial and service delivery impacts of consolidation, since those two actions lead to identical outcomes. The committee finished its report and recommended that the Village not be dissolved.
Since that time, a citizen’s group has been promoting the idea of moving forward with the dissolution process despite the committee’s findings. That same group drafted a dissolution petition and collected the necessary signatures to submit it to the Village. At that point, the Village had no choice in the matter and had to submit the dissolution question only to Village residents for a vote. If that some citizen’s group had instead drafted a consolidation petition and submitted it to the Town and Village, both Town and Village residents would have had the right to vote on the matter.
What is done is done and now Village residents must vote. We encourage everyone to read the committee’s report and decide for yourselves if their conclusions were founded in fact. Please visit www.villageofcorinthny.com to read the committee report and letters from the committee members. Feel free to call the Village Hall at 654-2012 with any questions.
Village of Corinth Board of Trustees