Big tax hikes, few services

Once you get past the fact the sidewalks may not be plowed or the leaves will not be picked up, you may wonder exactly why there is a village government for Forestville.

Earlier this month, a non-resident, a former mayor and a former village clerk who resigned due to improper billing procedures were some who implored those at a board meeting to not allow for the dissolving of the 700-resident entity. Homer “Chum” Bowker, who is highly regarded in the village as well as the north county, spoke his opinion at the meeting.

“I would like to tell you of the pros and cons of giving the village away,” he said. “I will tell you that I haven’t found any pros, there may be some but I haven’t seen them yet. I spoke with Steve D’Angelo, the highway superintendent of Hanover, and he told me, number one they will not plow our sidewalks period. Number two, they will not pick up our leaves in the fall period. Number three, they will not pick up brush and metal. Number four, they will not put in new sidewalks.”

That’s it? That is all the residents get for seeing their village taxes go up nearly 50 percent from 2010 to May 2013?

In terms of services, it is almost a pittance. And why on earth would any town highway supervisor commit to doing any extra work that is not already on their plate? Most of these elected officials already tell constituents they are too busy and understaffed to take on any additional work, which has become a fairly typical response in the public sector.

So if dissolved, the village will be losing services. Those services, however, if purchased by the residents through an independent contractor, are less expensive than the annual taxes.

That is being progressive. Continuing village property taxes, we already know, brings the opposite result.