Great Neck – Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel was a lonely no vote on the floor of the Assembly on the issue of Consolidation and Dissolution of local governments: villages, towns, special districts and fire districts.
Assemblywoman Schimel read the following statement on the floor of the Assembly Chamber before casting her vote:
My goal as Town Clerk and now as a state representative is to empower people to love government and recognize all of the services and opportunities it affords to help ALL people, families and neighbors.
I come from an Assembly District that is blessed with elected officials that truly love government and to that end work tirelessly on the ground for little compensation to insure the safety, security and services for their communities in which they live.
I am not opposed to the bill's concept. If it does what it is intended to do-empower the grass roots to determine their own governmental destiny, then I say Godspeed.
My apprehension of the bill in its present form is because of the low threshold requirement of signatures for petitions to initiate a consolidation or dissolving of a local government or district. In addition I am concerned about top down decision making of the state on matters of local government.
I hope I am wrong in my apprehension for the sake of my district.
Because of my apprehension and my strong support for the village mayors and trustees, commissioners, volunteer firefighters and civic activists I have no choice but to cast a no vote.