Gloversville mayor proposes county-wide government
The Gloversville mayor is reaching out to local officials to help Fulton County strive. As our Maria Valvanis explains, Mayor Dayton King believes the ticket to prosperity is through consolidation.
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GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. -- Gloversville Mayor Dayton King said, "At this point in Fulton County, we have 17 different governments. We have a county board of supervisors, we have 10 towns, two cities, and four villages."
But what Mayor King proposed to a group full of Fulton County officials Wednesday at Gloversville High School is to combine all of those bodies into one.
"Talk about one county government, perhaps a county legislator, that would just eliminate the redundancy," said King.
Gloversville Finance Commissioner Bruce Van Genderen, said "There would not necessarily be a chief financial officer in the City of Gloversville and the City of Johnstown; it would be a county-wide job. I think that that would certainly save a lot of wage dollars."
King acknowledged an act like this would only be possible through attrition, a process that could take more than a decade. But a piece he hopes to initiate right away is merging local departments in order to become more business friendly.
"We currently have a couple of businesses that want water or sewer, but we aren't allowing that because we don't have property or sales tax," said King.
And sharing services has already proven to work in the past. The Gloversville and Johnstown Police and Fire Department's have been doing this unofficially for years, saving taxpayer dollars and keeping both cities more safe.
"As far as I'm concerned everything's been positive. we borrow equipment, share personal when we have operations or events we can't handle ourselves," said Gloversville Police Chief Donald VanDeusen.
Moving forward, King plans to schedule meetings focused on more specific areas of the government. He also hopes to get the public involved to voice their opinion on how they want their money spent.
"Certainly if we were to merge municipalities, likely most people's taxes will go down," said King.