Residents come out to learn more about dissolving Village of Whitesboro

By CAROLINE GABLE

WHITESBORO, N.Y. (WKTV) - Residents are braving the winter weather, and gathering Wednesday at the Clinton Road Baptist Church, for what's expected to be a very large public information meeting.

Village of Whitesboro residents both for and against dissolving the village into the Town of Whitestown are ready to ask tough questions and get straight answers.

The public information meeting is being hosted by Wade Beltramo from The New York Conference of Mayors. Dissolving is one of his areas of expertise. Beltramo has been through the process of dissolving and merging towns before.

The movement to dissolve stems from some residents who feel their services are duplicated and that their taxes are too high. Now at least 300 residents say they're ready to get rid of a layer of local government.

Ed Misiaszek has been a driving force in the movement to dissolve.

"It's just too expensive to have five police agencies, four separate fire departments, along with village board, planning boards, zoning boards," Misiaszek said. "It's not necessary. You should have one town government."

However, Whitesboro Mayor Brenda Gilberti says there's a lot of misinformation out there and she hopes Wednesday night's meeting will help to clear that up.

"People think they are going to save a lot of money, and there are signs out there to "vote no," but there are also "vote yes" signs, that say save $2.7 million," Gilberti said. "Well, the village budget is not even $2.7 million. You still need street lights, you still need to plow the streets, you still need police and fire protection."

A new law passed this Spring allowed 300 petitioners to bring this issue to a vote at a special election that is being held in Whitesboro on January 4.

The outcome of that vote will decide the fate of the village, and a simple majority will rule either way.

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