Dissolution Plan Requirements vs. Kevin Gaughan’s Plan
The following is a complete list of requirements for a village dissolution plan under the New York State Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act.
Section 782. Duty to approve proposed elector initiated dissolution plan.
2. The proposed elector initiated dissolution plan shall specify
a. The name of the local government entity to be dissolved
b. The territorial boundaries of the entity
c. The type and/or class of the entity
d. A fiscal estimate of the cost of dissolution
e. Any plan for the transfer or elimination of public employees
f. The entity’s assets, including but not limited to any real and personal property, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States
g. The entity’s liabilities and indebtedness, bonded and otherwise, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States
h. Any agreements entered into with the town or towns in which the entity is situated in order to carry out the dissolution
i. The manner and means by which the residents of the entity will continue to be furnished municipal services following the entity’s dissolution
j. Terms for the disposition of the entity’s assets and the disposition of its liabilities and indebtedness, including the levy and collection of the necessary taxes and assessments therefore
k. Finding as to whether any local laws, ordinances, rules or regulations of the entity shall remain in effect after the effective date of the dissolution or shall remain in effect for a period of time other than as provided by section seven hundred eighty-nine of this title
l. The effective date of the dissolution
m. The time and place or places for a public hearing or hearings on such proposed dissolution plan pursuant to section seven hundred eighty-four of this title
n. Any other matter desirable or necessary to carry out the dissolution
Of the fourteen points the law states shall be covered by a dissolution plan, Gaughan covered three of them and partially covered a fourth.
Four of the required items Gaughan did not cover are definitional. They are required, but not important for Gaughan’s plan and this discussion.
Gaughan’s plan did not cover important issues like: the cost of dissolution, the value of assets, the disposition of assets, the amount of indebtedness, how indebtedness would be paid off, how villages will be charged for continued services, and the amount they will be charged.
Gaughan’s plan did not cover important monetary impacts of his own plan, like: how much will former village employees be paid by the town, what benefits will they receive, and the impact on town and village taxes.
The biggest problem I have with Gaughan’s plan is: he’s attempting to make the dissolution process appear to be simple.
He’s making it look like the voters go to the polls, vote to dissolve their village, and nothing changes.
That’s not the case.
Voting to dissolve a village means the village is gone; it no longer exists. The amount of direct control over legal, zoning, development, and a myriad of other issues former village residents had diminishes.
It is an extremely complicated transition that requires complex negotiations between a village and a town. Even if both entities come to agreement, if at some time in the future, the town decides an aspect of the agreement is disadvantageous to itself, or it’s residents, they can do something completely different.
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