Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Jamestown Mayor Teresi's latest State of the City address included a call, and some specific proposals, for more attention to the idea of regionalism. I first encountered this idea in Buffalo, where a cash-strapped city was considering various mergers to alleviate budgeting concerns. In general, though, it is an idea that should be considered. The various municipal laws in NY (General Muni, Town, Village, etc) provide differing mechanisms for sharing services or for wholesale consolidation of towns/villages. A hundred years ago, our system of local government made more sense, pre-telephone and pre-motorized transportation. A local town government was needed to maintain the roads and bridges and see that necessary services were implemented. With the growth of county government and the growth of state agencies (ie, the DOT and their maintenance of roads), there's less need for the vast number of local governments we have in NY. Regional and shared-services planning, be it merging towns or sharing an assessor's office, is a wise, budget-conscious descision.


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