Monday, January 25, 2016

Residents making second attempt at Brockport dissolution

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 3:45 PM

A group of Brockport residents is once again trying to dissolve the village government.

Resident Rhett King sent out a press release this morning announcing that the group has submitted dissolution petitions with 429 signatures to the village clerk. The petitions will trigger a village-wide dissolution vote, as long as they stand up to scrutiny from the village; at least 250 of the signatures must be valid. The village has to comply with specific time frames, says Mayor Margay Blackman, and the Board of Trustees would likely have to hold a dissolution vote before the June 21 village elections.

The way that the state law is written, the village wouldn't prepare a dissolution plan — the document that lays out potential approaches for dealing with village services, including police and sewer — until voters approve dissolution the village. In other words, voters won't have an in-depth plan to consider when they head to the polls.

The petition marks the second time that a group of Brockport residents has tried to dissolve the village government; King was part of the first effort, which was organized and largely driven by some village landlords who are often at odds with village leaders and residents. That was in 2010, and voters rejected the proposal 959 to 662. State law protected Brockport from another dissolution proposal for four years after that vote. 

King says that taxes have continued to go up over the past six years, and that's the primary reason why the group is pursuing dissolution again. In its press release, the group also points to high water rates and a new sewer fee. King says that the group feels better prepared to make its case now than it was four years ago. 

"We're trying to be a little smarter this time, " he says.

Brockport is the biggest village in Monroe County and Blackman says that it's in better shape than it was in 2010. Its finances are better, she says, and so is its relationship with SUNY Brockport. The village has also received a state Canal Corporation grant to develop a rowing center along the Erie Canal.

"We'll do what we have to do, but in the meantime we've got a village to run," Blackman says.

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