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Mayor plans one county-wide government

August 28, 2012
By JOHN BORGOLINI , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - Fulton County officials will meet Wednesday morning at the Gloversville High School cafeteria to discuss options for sharing more services and consolidating government activities.

Mayor Dayton King invited all officials from the county to the 8:30 a.m. meeting to discuss getting rid of the 17 governing bodies in the county and creating a single, county-wide government.

King said he believes such a plan would take time before it went into effect.

"I think people will support it if it's not about them," he said. "I think if it's five or 10 years into the future, it will work. We can do it by attrition when officials retire. If we start talking about it [starting] next year, [people won't like it]."

King said in a statement that he believes there is too much government with "about 100 people representing the 55,000 people that live here."

Johnstown Mayor Sarah Slingerland said she thinks it would be possible to change to a single government, but it would take 15 to 20 years to complete.

"I think it has more to do with complexity," Slingerland said. "You have multiple unions, multiple financial [responsibilities] and multiple taxing districts. Plus, is the will there? All the towns, cities and villages would have to accept this.

"And if it had to go to a public referendum, the general public would be against it at this point. There would be a real shift in taxes from the cities to the towns and villages."

Whether it takes five or 20 years until the public accepts the idea, King said, he believes it will eliminate redundancy among local municipalities.

The statement released from his office said the government would consist of 12 representatives on the county board, down from 20.

Officials also will discuss the consolidation of the fire, police and public works departments throughout the county.

Gloversville Fire Chief Beth Whitman-Putnam said she will be attending the meeting, but had no further comment.

So far, King is expecting 20 to 30 officials tomorrow morning, but doesn't know how many people plan on showing up.



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