We're not opposed to Gloversville Mayor Dayton King's idea of combining some city elected positions with current county-level elected positions, but we do think there are other things in the city that need energy and research ahead of this.
Last month, King brought up the idea of consolidating positions to allow the mayor and council members to serve on the county Board of Supervisors as well- a change that he says could streamline government and save money.
This is an interesting idea, and not one that should be dismissed, but it's something that should have been discussed with the sitting county supervisors for the city. They say they weren't consulted before the idea was aired in public. That's a shame because their input could be valuable, especially if King thinks he can handle their job duties and his own.
The idea that it could save money is debatable - wouldn't someone doing both jobs want more money? We doubt the stipend for county supervisor or city council member would be erased all together. Town supervisors usually draw a salary from both their towns and the county. City representatives would still need to have their own city meetings to accomplish city business, and we've heard from city representatives what they have on their plate can be overwhelming as it is.
Another potential problem: Board of Supervisors meetings are during the day. Already this limits who can serve on that panel, so combining the positions could further limit who could represent the city.
This problem could be eliminated if changes were made on the county level, and that's a major point we want to emphasize. Montgomery County went through a thoughtful process and effectively changed its government. If Fulton County wants to do the same, it should go through the correct channels.
Yes, Gloversville residents should be the ones to determine how their city is governed, but a change in county government shouldn't ignore the county. It should be done with the county.
Would it cause any problems if the two cities in the county had different forms of government? We don't know, and that's why we think this requires more study.
At this point in time it seems the mayor might find it would benefit city residents more if he were to focus on the city's problems at hand and have improved communication with their other representatives.