Where does the Dissolution Process stand in the Village of Lyons?
“My job is to run the village, find ways to save money and continue to do business,” said newly elected Lyons Village Mayor Terry VanStean.
A group of village citizens calling themselves “Save the Village of Lyons” recently turned in a petition to call for a new vote to reaffirm whether or not the Village of Lyons should be dissolved. According to one of the organizers, the group felt that the first vote was taken before enough information was given on any consequences.
The petition from that group, which included 615 signatures, more than the the 25% of registered voters (491) signatures needed, was presented to the Village Clerk/Treasurer Denise Darcangelis, and has been certified.
“The clerk had a certain period of time in which to certify the petition once it was delivered to her and she did that. She was also required to inform the Mayor, the board and the petitioners of that certification. She also did that.” explained Mayor VanStean.
The Mayor noted that the clock started ticking at that point for setting a date for the referendum (vote). He believes it is a 60-90 day window for the date of the vote. How would the question read? “It should read something to the effect of “Shall the Village of Lyons be dissolved?” Similar to the first vote, but I will check that for sure with the Consultants when we meet on Monday,” said Mayor VanStean.
The Village Clerk has notified the press of a special meeting of the Village Baord of Trustees scheduled for Thursday, January 9th at 6:30 pm at the Lyons Village Hall to act on setting the date for the referendum, asking whether the consolidation or dissolution plan should take effect.
The Mayor was asked about the OneLyons response, contesting the petition. After obtaining a copy of the petitions from the “Save The Village of Lyons” group, OneLyons leader Jack Bailey filed a notice of intent to dispute many of the signatures.
“I am not sure what to do with that dispute. I am following the law, and I see nothing in the law that would keep us from proceeding,” VanStean noted.
“I will continue to follow the process unless I am told otherwise, legally. Article 78 states that we follow the process set forth by law. If the vote comes out yes to dissolution, we will proceed on the same course as before, with the same plan.” he noted.
VanStean stated that the vote is a pass/fail. It either passes with a Yes and the village proceeds with the dissolition plan or the voters say No and the issue is over. The village would continue to exists and they would continue to look for sharing and cost savings.
“We have always had a Shared Services Committee between the Village, Town and School, but it was suspended during this time of proceeding with a dissolution plan. We have decided to reinstate the committee and once again have a conversation on sharing and savings on a regular basis. We will continue to search for ways to save – all options open – even looking at sharing townwide police and/or sharing of courts,” said the Mayor.
Helen Weimer of the “Save the Village of Lyons” group said they will now just wait to see what the next step is. Supervisor Brian Manktelow replied in the same light. “We have to wait and see what the voters decide. It is not up to us. We are always open to sharing and discussions of compromise,” the Supervisor stated.
As for the OneLyons group, they have stated on their website: “Thus far, by our approximation of costs posted by the Village of Lyons, it appears that over $115,000 has been spent to prove that dissolution will save taxpayer $, promote efficiencies, and decrease the bureaucracy of our local governments. The original CGR Study of 2011 was commissioned by the Village of Lyons and showed $5-7 per $1,000 assessed savings were possible. The Final Dissolution Plan of the Village of Lyons shows $9.21 per $1,000 savings are possible, if not more!
The Alternatives to dissolution, pushed by both the Village of Lyons Board of Trustees and the “Save Lyons” group, promise that $1.74 per $1,000 savings are achievable if we will trust the Village Board again to implement all of the potential savings possible.
OneLyons continues to believe that if dissolution fails, then none of these savings will ever be realized. We do not forsee another effort to ever dissolve again. Thus, for Village taxpayors, it’s time to truly decide your future…”