Monday, February 22, 2010

The Consolidation Proclamation

Will New Yorkers Seize Upon Opportunity To Dissolve Special Districts?  

With just one month to go before the Attorney General's Consolidation Bill takes effect, rumors abound over whether this district or that will be dissolved -- like aspirin as cure-all for our property tax headaches.

Will there be a Petition drive to, say, eliminate one or more of the town-operated sanitary districts? Perhaps a district with one of those million-dollar managers, or where town sanitation could do the job, if not necessarily more efficiently, then, certainly, with more cost-effetiveness?

We are reminded, by groups such as the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC), as to the many reasons for consolidating and eliminating special taxing districts, not the least of which would be to save We, The People, millions in tax dollars.

Political, patronage-riddled fiefdoms run amuck, a major contributing factor to Long Island's burgeoning property tax. [Too bad school districts -- all 124 of 'em in Nassau and Suffolk -- are immune from the consolidation blitz. Check out what we pay to operate our school districts in payroll alone by clicking here.]

But we digress.

The real question is not whether we should consolidate special districts, be they water, sewer, sanitation, or otherwise (frankly, that's a no-brainer to anyone who thinks -- other than those on the public dole), but rather, will LIers have the moxey to petition their grievances, and then, amidst the boisterous incantations of "local control" and "you enjoy paying more for garbage collection than you do for police protection," go to the polls in support of referenda to dissolve and consolidate?

After all, we're not big on change here on Long Island -- other than back to the way we were, warts and all.

We gripe. We complain. We pay through the nose. But to actually do something about it? Is that in the DNA of New Yorkers, let alone Long Islanders?

The power to consolidate, if not to save a penny or two, will soon be in our hands. Getting it was almost easy. [We said, almost.] Doing something with it is the hard part.

To petition or not to petition? Vote to dissolve or to stay the course? Is it the right thing to do? Will we really save money by consolidating?

Decisions. Decisions.

As Moses Maimonides, medieval scholar and philosopher, once said, "The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision."

How true!
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Check out the Nassau County Government Efficiency Project at for more on property taxes, consolidation, and reforming govermnent.

Then, check in regularly at The Community Alliance blog for observations, from the astute to the amusing, on the quality of life on our Long Island.

If it impacts upon you, it concerns us! [And if it doesn't concern you, you're simply not paying attention...]

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