Tough Decisions Ahead After Dissolution Vote in Lyons
If the current margin holds up, residents in the Wayne County village of Lyons will have voted to dissolve a village government that's been around for nearly two centuries.
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The village of Lyons was incorporated in 1831. Dissolving it may have taken just one vote.
On Tuesday, village residents were asked to decide whether to dissolve the village of Lyons and its government into the town of Lyons. Yes votes outnumbered no's by a count of 45.
"I'm surprised,” said Corrine Kleisle, mayor.
Kleisle grew up here. She's at a loss.
"I just don't understand how people can give away that history."
"You're going to save money, there's no way around that,” said Jack Bailey.
The push to dissolve the village was spearheaded by Jack Bailey, a local minister and former elections commissioner who believes the move will save taxpayers money.
"A lot of it is due to duplication of services and we felt that eliminating a layer of government which the town could adequately cover for us would make it more efficient and reduce costs."
The mayor says there's no proof dissolution will add up to savings.
"The majority of people voted to dissolve without any concrete plan, without an actual savings,” Kleisle said.
The effort to look into dissolving the village of Lyons began over the summer. Signatures were collected on petitions. Informational meetings were held.
"I think village residents have been very engaged in the debate,” said Bailey
The dissolution of the village of Lyons isn't a done deal, yet. Ninety-nine absentee ballots must still be counted.
If the vote stands, officials from the town and village have to figure out what to do with the village's 46 full and part-time employees, and all the services provided.
"We need to streamline, be more efficient, reduce layers, and in the end that does reduce tax burdens,” Bailey said.
"Ultimately, the town will decide the bottom line. What's going and what's staying,” said Kleisle.
Kleisle says tough decisions will have to be made, but in what's now the village of Lyons, life will go on.
“I think people bounce back. Whatever happens they make it work,” said Kleisle.