Our Country is supposed to be a representative Republic. So should be the City. Who would a city-wide "Council Person" represent? Congressmen have a district. Senators represent a state. Would someone from a Ward in the southern part of the city care about the other end? Think about it. Each city has sections that have distinct issues which don't affect all of the city. For example, flooding, snow removal, blight, crime, etc. When we are represented by Ward, we have someone to complain to, or help cut through the "Red Tape" and get things done.
The people of my Ward vote to elect our own representative. And... if they don't represent us, we can vote them out. They are responsible to us.
A few questions: Will Wards dominate the Council by having multiple representatives? Can the Council Persons all be from one Ward?
We all deserve equal representation. There is no need for change.
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With the very public history of dysfunction on our Common Council and between the Council and Mayor, we need a means by which our representatives will pull together on behalf of the people of our city. We need to set concrete and common goals that will align our purpose and mission as a unified city. Ward designation is divisive. A citywide vision may bring our representatives back to focusing on doing what is best for everyone and not just themselves or their ward. It's time we advocate for a commonality of purpose or we are headed for a downfall of epic proportions.
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Westender,"Ward designation is divisive" ??? really??? Think about that. Are congressional districts divisive?? NO How would you feel if the Federal gov't did away with them??? All of the states representatives would come from the highly populated areas. There might be 1 from the Buffalo/Rochester/ Syracuse area, maybe 1 or 2 from the Albany area and the rest from the Big Apple, and none of them would two hoots what happens in Fulton County. Keep the wards and elect people who want to serve the community, not those looking for an entry level position on the great money train
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ForWhichItStands....yes, it could be possible for all members of the council to be elected from the same area or ward if they were the top vote earners. It's also even possible it could be a very popular family that could win by name recognition.
If it were city wide elected council, who would citizens call on for their problems? Just pick the first one alphabetically? One 'popular' council person could get calls all the time from anywhere in the city while the other council members who may not be as well liked or effective may get no calls.
I kept an open mind when I first heard of this idea. Now I see the flaws in this plan and would still want someone close to my own neighborhood to represent me.
Other questions brought up: does this affect the ward elections for county supervisors? How does this affect the number of signatures required on an election petition? I have not heard final answers to these yet.
Druggy: We already have a NYC governor and Cuomo could give a rat's backside for us hayseeds.
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There usually is a reason for change, in this case the need is hidden in the mind of those seeking the change. Lets hear why and who wants the change and then we can determine the true reason the change is being sought. I am willing top bet that it is a way for someone to gain power or shift the power to their advantage.
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"Someone" ? The mayor is pushing this ridiculous scheme. As I said before.....I want to have someone in my ward represent me, not Joe Doakes who lives on the other side of town and could not care less about our neighborhood. Forwhichitstands is absolutely right.
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Let's hope that, should this question come to a vote, the majority of voters approach this decision not from the perspective of what is best for an individual or a ward, but from what is really the only salient point, that being what is best for the entity of the city of Gloversville. We can fail alone or succeed together. History has proven that fact many times over.
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Westender, You are missing the main point. Who determines what is best for the city. We don't want people to represent us who all agree on everything. Government is not a Girl Scout camp-out, sitting around the campfire singing,"Kumbaya". Not making a decision is making a decision. Majority Rules. No majority...no rule. What's wrong with that.
Gloversville as a whole has no vision for the future. At the moment, the lack of leadership, and the inability to gather a majority is the holding us back. When the leader arrives, and a common vision arises, you will see the Common Council come together. In the mean time, this is what the voters want. We may be divided along many different lines, but we have one thing in common. We are all in the same boat. We are just missing the right Captain.
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( ForWhichItStands ) You seem to have this City-Wide Council Election Proposal Pretty well figured out, can you also give your Opinion on the City Manager VS. Mayor Proposal?
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Someone by the name of J. Hoffman wrote in the Southern Arizona News-Examiner concerning the city of Tuscon's dubious flirtation with at-large elections:
"Those who argue the contrary [that at-large elections are better] often point out that a City Council member's vote affects the whole city, not just the ward. This, of course, is true. But it is also beside the point: The issue is representation, not the effects of the representation. If the effects were an overriding concern, we would have nationwide elections for federal senators and representatives - since their votes on federal bills usually affect the country as a whole. We do not, and that is because the duty of those officeholders is to represent their constituents."
After 100 years of use, at-large elections are closely identified with disenfranchisement for minorities (be they minorities based on race, economics or political party or other factors). Is that really the direction we should be heading?
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"After 100 years of use, at-large elections are closely identified with disenfranchisement for minorities (be they minorities based on race, economics or political party or other factors). Is that really the direction we should be heading?" If I may xsubsquid, by that standard we are already there, we are ALL in one 'minority' or another. That being said, you are correct...this is about fair representation, we are still a Representative Republic regardless of whether it's Federally or several City blocks.
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Dirtracefan, You asked for an opinion on the City Manager proposal. Ask yourself what extra are we going to get for the additional $100,000 in salary and benefits we are going to have to pay for a non-elected City Manager. We can fire a Mayor every four years if we need to with voter majority support. The City Department heads seem to be doing a pretty good job. I don't garbage piling up in the streets. The streets are slowly getting fixed (I realize there is only so much money to go around). Water flows from my faucet. I don't see neighborhoods any more unsafe than they have ever been. The Fire Department seem to be doing a good job. Did hiring a City Manager work out for Schenectady? No. Consider our size. What is there to manage that isn't already being taken care of? Do we need someone to come into Gloversville with a "cookie-cutter" plan to "save us". If something needs to be addressed, the City Council deals with it. Do we need a City Manager?
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I think a thermonuclear detonation is a good idea for Gloversville.
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Maybe a bit off topic but in today's issue of the PARADE magazine (with the Sunday paper) there is a good article on what small towns can do to become better places, and surprise-- none have to do with government. So stop acting like spoiled little kids and get the job done.
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In 1950, Gloversville's population was 25,000, with a vibrant downtown. In the 60's when Britts and other stores sprang up outside the city limit, downtown deteriorated. Efforts to bring back a vibrant Gloversville are being made on many levels, and to their benefit, there has been much improvement. The population now rests around 15,000 a difference of 10,000 people, but the government hasn't shrank with it. Will downsizing be an issue if a city manager is voted on? How will the voters influence the city manager if there are issues of concern. Then if city wide elections are voted on, how will each ward be represented in the County government?
One other comment, every one of the 17 districts in Fulton county have a Dept. of Highway with buildings and equipment to maintain, Clerk a district building. For such a small county, wouldn't it be best to just have a county wide government? Do we really need all these entities to support and maintain?
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...So here we are, I think a better question would be "Do you know the difference between a 'Representative Republic' and a 'Democracy'?" We are one but not the other. Those educated pre 1970's will have one answer, post 70's have a different answer. What have YOU been taught to believe?...and so, here we are; suffering the fate of misunderstanding our National identity with a proposition such as this.
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Forwhichitstands, there are two errors in the information you provided.
First, Schenectady does not have a city manager. Schenectady is a strong mayor government. They don't even have a city administrator.
Second, the position of City Manager in Gloversville would not earn an additional $100,000 (over and above what the current mayor makes). The position would earn about $100,000 TOTAL. Since the current plan is to combine the position of mayor and finance commissioner, there is actually going to be a net savings of about $10,000 +/-.
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Annarondac, how can you say government hasn't shrunk in Gloversville?
In 1950, Gloversville had 12 council members. Today it has 7.
In 1950, the Gloversville Police Department had about 40 members. Today it barely hits 30.
In 1950, Gloversville Fire Department had about 45 members. Today it is in the low 30's.
In 1950, DPW had about 45 members. Today it too is in the low 30's
In 1950 the city employed at least 3 assessors. Today it has one
In 1950, the city employed at least 2 building inspectors. Today it has 1.
I could go on, but basically what I'm saying is that you are sadly misinformed if you believe any of what you've written here. It is all catastrophically wrong. Sorry to come on so forcefully, but, seriously dude. You couldn't be more wrong if you tried.
(xsubsquid) You may not be old enough to remember "Mayor Frank Duci" in Schenectady and the scandals brought on the by the "City Managers" at that time (including terrible labor agreements and even wiretapping)read some of that history. Schenectady dropped the City Manager several decades ago. I doubt that the Council will be able to hire a Manager with finance experience for under $100,000 with benefits. If it does pass, I only hope that I am wrong and that it does work out.
The in-fighting between the City Council and the Mayor is not pretty to watch. Both trying to do the other in, like arm wresting (or little kids).
The only way to solve the problem is for new people- who are sick of it- to run for office. People who really care about whats going on in Gloversville, and want to do something about it.
You are right about the City downsizing. There have been many job losses at all departments. I cringe at the budget hearings each year...waiting for th
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Xsubsquid, You lost me at dude, for which I am not. That language does not serve you well.
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The Bottom line is this: What is taking place now in Gloversville is not working. Why, because the Council has no faith in the Mayor, and the Mayor has no faith in the Coucil, it is what it is. I worked for the City of Johnstown for 34 years and Mayor Slingerland was in Control, the Council had total faith in her Decisions and made sure there was no Controversy at all times. The Mayor and the Council had total faith in all the Dept. Heads which is Critical for a Small City to Operate. The City of Gloversville for some unknown reason has lost its Identity with all Chiefs and no Indians, there is no reason in the world why a Mayor can't run a small City like Gloversville, be a City Manager or what ever else you would like to call him or her, as long as everyone understands who is in Charge, it is not Rocket Science, can't we all just get along. Tim B. Neuhaus- Retired City of Johnstown Water Dept. Employee
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Sorry about the "dude" Annarondac. Fortunately, that part occurred after everything else I wrote so if I did, unfortunately, "lose" you, I did so after my point was made.
xsubsquid And we are still paying many of those former employees, retirement, healthcare and such... that is why we are BROKE!
TiredofTax, who says Gloversville is broke? Didn't Dayton King make it quite clear during his campaign that Gloversville had a fund balance of at least $3,000,000 (probably more than that now)? Yes, so he's recently painted some gloom and doom scenarios. Even with those, Gloversville is doing much better.
I don't want to paint too rosy of a picture. I'm certainly not advocating profligate spending. Things are nowhere near as bad as they appeared to be in 2004-2005 when we were seriously contemplating the elimination of whole departments to close million dollar plus budget gaps.
We need to maintain perspective, and not react to all the hype, rumors and little tails that get told around this place.
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8 East Fulton St. , Gloversville, NY 12078 | 518-725-8616