About 75 people met in Clarkson's Snell auditorium.
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Potsdam Village mayor Ron Tischler was at the meeting:
"We had probably about 25 speakers, they voiced their opinions. What I gather, most were not in favor of dissolution, there were a few that were, but of course that’s a small portion of the total population of the village of Potsdam."
Some in the audience last night argued for dissolution, saying lower village taxes might be a draw for more businesses to open up in Potsdam. Tischler says he’s skeptical about the “lower taxes” argument:
"For the most part, people are looking at the bottom line…they’re seeing savings in taxes which may or may not be real. I think there will be some savings in taxes, but what’s the trade-off? What are you going to lose in services as well?"
Of those who spoke against dissolution, many were concerned about losing services like speedy police response times; and about the general uncertainty they felt would come with losing the village government.
Others said that although village residents’ taxes would drop with dissolution—the taxes of all town residents might increase. That would mitigate the savings from village dissolution, and raise taxes on town residents who hadn’t been in the village before dissolution.
The Potsdam village board will likely decide by early last month whether or not to put dissolution to a vote in November. Tischler says if people want to voice their opinions, they can come to the village board meeting on Monday the 19th. More information is at potsdamny.us.
Meanwhile, the village of Waddington voted last week to table its dissolution study—on the basis that the study leaves too many questions unanswered. Waddington Trustees say they’ll continue to research that idea and other money-saving measures.