It doesn’t look like Rhett King and the other slumlords trying to dissolve Brockport will be using Macedon as an example anymore of how well dissolution works. Not after the article published on the front page of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle this morning showed that the people in Macedon will have to vote on dissolution all over again.
Until now, most people in Brockport and Macedon thought that the biggest flaw in New York State’s dissolution law is that you don’t come up with a dissolution plan until after you vote on dissolution. If the dissolution law was well written, you would come up with a plan and then vote on the plan. Village residents would get to decide if it was a good plan or a bad plan. However, under New York State’s dissolution law, you vote before you plan.
If the village residents vote to dissolve the Village, the Village Board has the responsibility to write the dissolution plan (after the fact). But to make matters worse, the Town Council does not have to follow the dissolution plan in any way shape or form. The Town Council can just throw the dissolution plan away and ignore it.
So no matter what you do there is no plan. Maybe that’s why the bone-headed legislators in Albany added the insane provision to the law that the Democrat & Chronicle wrote about this morning. Under the provisions of Article 17-A of New York State’s General Municipal Law, the Government Reorganization and Empowerment Act, the voters have the right to challenge dissolution by having a referendum on the dissolution plan approved by the village board.
That is what just happened in Macedon. They are going to have to vote on dissolution all over again on March 15, 2016.
It is pretty obvious that Rhett King and the slumlords who want to dissolve the Village of Brockport weren’t aware of this provision of the law, and neither was Kristina Gabalski when she wrote her piece for the Suburban News. Neither Rhett nor Kristina did their homework. Shame on them.
This provision of the law may have been included as an attempt to deal with low voter turnout in such a critical election. According to the Wayne County Board of Elections, there are 946 registered voters in the Village of Macedon. However, only 546 of those registered voters voted in the recent vote on the question of whether or not to dissolve the village. That is less than 58 percent of the registered voters.
But this vote will be different. In the vote last June, the voters in Macedon were asked to vote on whether they wanted to dissolve the village or not. That is the same question the voters in Brockport will be asked this spring. However, in the vote scheduled for on March 15, voters in Macedon will vote to approve or disapprove the dissolution plan written by the Village Board.
If the voters in Macedon answer yes, then the village government in Macedon will be dismantled on March 31, 2017. If the voters in Macedon answer no, the Village of Macedon will remain intact and the question of dissolution cannot be put to the voters again for another four years.
At least they will get to vote for a plan. But the dissolution law is so badly written that even if the voters in the Village of Macedon vote to approve the dissolution plan, the Town Board does not have to adhere to that plan at all. What a stupid idea. What a stupid law. After all that work you still don’t have any idea what you’re going to get. Doesn’t that mean that anyone who votes for dissolution is stupid?
If Brockport residents vote for dissolution, this means that the fate of the dissolution plan will rest in the hands of the republican majority of the Sweden Town Board; Rob Carges, Bob Muesebeck and Danielle Windus-Cook. These are the same people in who presided over the Town of Sweden during a series of nasty scandals. Do Brockport residents really want to trust their future to those three politicians?