I am writing concerning a very troubling issue. It is the attempt by the New York State Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, to push the State Assembly and Senate into adopting a law which is intended to and will make it easier to dissolve a village such as ours.
Mr. Cuomo has introduced what he calls “landmark legislation” entitled the “New N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act.” This law is purely and simply an attempt to eliminate villages, fire districts and other local forms of government and to establish Big Government in New York State.
Our village form of government was created in order to provide the most responsive and economic method of administering public affairs for our residents. It is based upon the principle of subsidiarity, which stands for the proposition that governmental decisions are best made by those people closest to the issues and closest to the people affected by them. That is the very model for state government. As we move from village to town to county to state we realize that government becomes more and more unresponsive to our local needs.
We all recently experienced the benefit of the village form of government when New York State and the MTA tried to cram a third track on the LIRR down our throats. What derailed that project? Villages. The villages along the main line protected the quality of life of our citizens when Big Government wanted to have its way in spite of local concerns. The village form of government works.
We have read about some special districts where, unfortunately, financial and other abuses took place. But the checks and balances and auditing contained in the village form of government protect us against those abuses. They don’t exist in villages. So why are villages targeted for elimination?
Villages control local zoning regulations in order to protect, promote and preserve the quality of life for their residents. But these regulations sometimes prevent massive, Big-government sponsored projects from being plunked down in communities. The Big-government agenda – expanded mass transit at any price, mandatory affordable housing, monopolies on solid waste disposal (and the consequent higher costs), sprawling developments – will be advanced in our communities unless our village form of government is there to protect us.
So that’s one of the reasons for getting rid of villages. They are an annoyance to Big Government.
The other reason is money. Since villages collect and manage their own taxes, these monies do not fall into the hands of Big Government which wants to control these funds. The people in Big Government think that they can better spend and watch over your tax dollars than can the neighbors you elect at the local level to do that job. They can’t. Just look what they’ve done to our state, county and nation.
I am calling upon all residents of New Hyde Park to join with the Village Trustees and me in opposing Mr. Cuomo’s proposal. Please contact our State Senator and our State Assemblyman and tell them to promise to vote NO when the Cuomo proposal comes before them. We need a commitment from them. They can be reached as follows:
Senator Craig M. Johnson
151 Herricks Road, Suite 202
Garden City Park, New York 11040
Phone: (516) 746-5923
Assemblyman Tom McKevitt
224 Seventh Street, Suite 200
Garden City, New York 11530
Phone: (516) 739-5119
Assemblyman Tom Alfano
925 Hempstead Turnpike, Room 350
Franklin Square, New York 11010
Phone: (516) 437-5577
Let us together commit to fight Mr. Cuomo’s attack upon the village form of government. Let us together pledge to do everything within our power to keep New Hyde Park the wonderful community which we have all built.