Executive Fiala Pushes Consolidation Debate

BINGHAMTON, NY - Broome County Executive Barbara J. Fiala announced today an effort to put the power over whether communities consolidate into the hands of the people. Fiala outlined an education effort which she has dubbed “Petitioning for Progress” at a news conference this morning at the County Office Building. Fiala says the initial phase of this education effort is aimed at villages in Broome County because that is where the voters have the most power.

“Our job is to educate and facilitate but not dictate,” said Fiala. “We know there are louder and stronger voices out there calling for consolidation so we just figured it was time to let people know they do have the power to force change.”

Fiala outlined what needs to take place for villages in Broome County to dissolve. It is a multi-step process but one that has to be jump started by a petition process. It is a petition process that must be carried out by a grassroots effort. It can be done in each village where the residents would like to see their elected leaders at least investigate the impact of dissolution. If sufficient voters sign a petition, the village boards must adopt a plan for dissolution and schedule a referendum for voters to decide whether to adopt the plan or not.

  • Collect signatures on petitions from one third of electors in Village.
  • Signatures valid for 120 days.
  • File petitions with Village clerk.
  • Village appoints study committee including at least two representatives of town who reside in part town area. Committee must:
    • Report to Village within time set by Village Board.
    • Conduct at least one public hearing.
    • Send report to Town Supervisor.
  • Village Board must conduct its own public hearing.
  • Village Board reviews comments from public and report from Committee.
  • Village Board formally adopts Proposition/Plan.
  • Proposition/Plan for Dissolution shall be sent to Town, published and presented to voters at next regular election; held not less than 30 days after public hearing.

“We have discussed this issue to death with very little action taken,” said Fiala. “We’re not asking people to support dissolving villages now, we are only asking them to support the process. In the future, after the plans are created and more details emerge about the impact, the voters need to decide once and for all if consolidation is the way to go.”

Blank petition forms will be mailed to village clerk’s offices throughout Broome County. The forms will also be made available on www.goBroomeCounty.com, or people can receive copies of the petition forms by calling the County Executive’s Office at 607.778.2109. Two information sessions about the petition process will be held in the near future. Dates for those sessions will be announced soon.

Village Dissolution Forms
Johnson CityJohnson City
Port DickinsonPort Dickinson
Whitney PointWhitney Point