For the third time in 10 years, there’s a move afoot to dissolve the Village of Cobleskill.
And the effort has the weight of experience behind it; two former mayors and a former supervisor support making the village and town one municipality.
Although former leaders back the move, those now in office don’t. (See related story.)
Former Cobleskill mayor Mark Nadeau, Donat’s Brow developer, is circulating petitions, seeking what he says are the 200 signatures necessary to present to the village board for the issue to be on the ballot for voters.
Earlier dissolutions attempts––in 2009 and again in 2013––focused on tax savings. Mr. Nadeau sees some savings as possible, but the real attraction for him is dealing with one layer of government, not two.
The public would be able to deal with one town board, one planning board and one set of officials where there are now two, Mr. Nadeau argued.
He also believes the village and town currently don’t cooperate and often blame each other when things don’t get done or economic development lags.
“I think it would save us maybe $30,000 or $40,000,” Mr. Nadeau said. “That’s not much. But it takes out one layer of government.
“I want to see it on the ballot. Let’s see what the people want.”
Mark Galasso, also a former Cobleskill mayor, found out what the people wanted six years ago. Dissolution was the main plank on his re-election bid for mayor in 2013, but Mr. Galasso lost to Linda Holmes.
“I saw that as a referendum on dissolution,” Mr. Galasso said, though adding that he still supports one Cobleskill––even more than he did in 2013.
“The economy’s tanking in Upstate New York. . .people are leaving,” Mr. Galasso said. “We can’t support two governments.”
Mr. Galasso predicts tax savings if dissolution occurs, and former Seward supervisor Larry Phillips agrees with him.
Long an advocate of consolidation, Mr. Phillips, now a Cobleskill resident, has already signed Mr. Nadeau’s petition.
“My main thing is a tax concern,” Mr. Phillips said. “It’s not personal.”
Like Mr. Galasso, Mr. Phillips worries about dwindling population in the county, town and village and whether two governments are necessary for fewer people.
“We need to make it affordable to live here,” he said.
“We’d get rid of another layer of government, another layer of employees, and that turns into tax savings.”
Those savings wouldn’t be immediate, Mr. Phillips added. After several years, through attrition, government would be streamlined, cheaper and more efficient, he said.
“Even if we didn’t get savings right away, we’d cut out another layer of nonsense,” Mr. Phillips said.
Anyone interested in signing Mr. Nadeau’s petition can reach him at 518-231-0212.
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Mr. Nadeau wants the public to be educated about dissolution and read past reports. Those can be accessed at: