About the Vote
On June 15, 2010 the Village of Brockport will hold a referendum to determine whether to approve or reject dissolving the Village of Brockport. The referendum will be held at Brockport Village Hall, 49 State Street, from noon - 9 p.m.
In order to vote, Village residents must be registered at least 10 days before June 15. For details click here.
Why a Vote Now?
Brockport is the first local government to hold a referendum on dissolution under a new state law. The recently enacted "New NY Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act" established procedures (see summary of the process) as part of a new Article 17-A of the state's General Municipal Law. The information that follows provides a brief summary of the key highlights of the process.
The law took effect on March 21, 2010 and lowered from 33% to 10% the number of signatures of registered voters needed to initiate a village dissolution process. On March 29 the Village Clerk was presented with a petition signed by Brockport voters. She subsequently determined 488 signatures were valid — more than the 276 required to initiate a dissolution process for Brockport.
Under the new law, the vote on dissolving a village, if voter initiated, occurs prior to the development of a dissolution plan. The governing board is required to set the date for a referendum within a prescribed timeframe. (Note: Previous state law called for the dissolution plan to be developed first.) Under the old law governing village dissolutions, a formal dissolution plan had to be prepared by a committee appointed by elected leaders. The plan described in detail how each of the services provided by the village would be provided by the town if the village dissolved; what would happen to village employees, assets, laws and codes, etc.; and the financial and tax impact of the changes. (For examples: click here).
Next Steps After June Vote
If a majority of residents voting on June 15 rejects dissolution, the referendum fails and there must be at least 4 years before another dissolution process can be started.
If a majority approves dissolution, the Village Board has 30 days to meet and 180 days from that meeting to propose and approve a dissolution plan. Within 35-90 days of approving it, the Board must hold at least one public hearing. The Board has the option of amending the plan following the public hearing(s), but must approve the final plan within 60 days of its last hearing.
Voting on the Dissolution Plan
Consolidation occurs on the date set in the plan unless a petition calling for a referendum on the plan is signed by at least 25% of Brockport voters and filed within 45 days.
If such a petition is filed, the Village Clerk would make a determination within 10 days regarding the sufficiency of the signatures. Assuming the number of valid signatures is adequate, the Board would have to approve a resolution within 30 days setting the date of the referendum on the plan. The referendum date must be within 60-90 days of when the resolution is adopted.
If a majority of Brockport residents casting votes favors the plan, it takes effect on the date specified in the plan.
If a majority is opposed, the referendum fails and the dissolution does not take effect. At this point, according to the state's citizen's guide, the Village Board may attempt to prepare a new plan but is not required to do so. The 4-year waiting period also does not apply in this scenario. If voters initially approve dissolution, but reject the plan subsequently presented by the Board, a new voter-initiated petition to start the dissolution process anew could be circulated and filed immediately.