Governments: Support fades for many entities

Wilson, a village in Niagara County, was awarded a narrow reprieve.

By a 13-vote margin, fear-mongering status quo voters won the right Tuesday to maintain the village for another four years despite a petition effort and referendum to dissolve into the town. The vote was 222 to 209. While it is a narrow victory, the result is still clear: residents are ready for change.

Archaic laws, however, make change almost impossible. Consider school mergers. Both districts have to give their blessing to merger plans. Even if the overall vote is more than 55 percent – and it has been in the last two recent merger votes – both districts have to say yes separately to move it forward.

In the 21st century, that is crazy.

Consider how poorly the state would be run if the two portions of the state – both upstate and downstate – had to approve the same person for governor? We’d be at a standstill.

That is exactly what we get at a local level – standstill government. Nothing improves – and take a look around if you think things are better in Chautauqua County over the last 30 years.

Real change – dissolving a standstill government or dwindling school districts – is scary. The current situation of continuing down the same destructive path, however, is even scarier.