Thursday, December 11, 2008

Interesting proposal ...

Here is a another proposal for the consolidation of governmental entities in New York State.

It will be interesting to see the details. On first blush the referendum reform seems well thought out. Yes there should be uniform, more simple rules for public referendum (as we've advocated in our Referendum Cycles, Virtual Constitution, Best Practices Wiki sections among many others). Allowing counties to "forcibly" consolidate districts however seems counter to the idea of a streamlined referendum process, although I may be misreading the intent of the proposal.

Less clear on the press release is the methodology for determining the validity and the efficiency of districts, towns, villages etc although I'm sure that will be forthcoming.

Just because there are a lot of districts doesn't necessarily mean they are a bad thing or not well managed. Well coordinated small units can be as effective or more effective than larger units and "corruption" and "inefficiency" is part of the human condition against which we must always be vigilant, it is not the sole domain of one form of government (or any organization for that matter) over another. Increased collaboration and coordination among all branches of government should always be our goal.

Lastly, it would be interesting to see this current proposal integrated into all of the other ideas for comprehensive change in New York, from all quarters and to take the best parts of each so that we may move forward in unison and with a common purpose.

I'm afraid however, that until we have the access to information and fair and complete analysis of the type we've been proposing (for the last 15 years or so and more vigorously for the past couple of years) large scale sustainable change may be rather difficult since there will always be a trust issue to overcome.

Is what we are being told true and are we getting all the information we need to make a rational judgment?

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