The Village of Cobleskill’s Dissolution Committee dissolved itself Thursday after the four surviving members argued it was, in part, speculative and “a fire drill of the outgoing administration.”
It wasn’t, however, a waste of time, said Brian Kaiser; if nothing else, it gave people a look at what dissolving the village---an idea that’s been floated frequently over the years—would entail.
“It wasn’t a useless exercise,” Mr. Kaiser said. “But it’s time to shelve it until we get a clear idea of where we’re going.”
The future of the related City Status Committee has yet to be determined.
Sandy MacKay, a former trustee who’s been acting as chair there, said his committee will meet before the end of the month to decide on its future.
But he also said he “never saw city status as a defense against dissolution.
‘I still think it’s something that should be looked at closely,” he said. “The problems haven’t disappeared.”
In addition to Mr. Kaiser, the only other members of the dozen or so Dissolution Committee members at Thursday’s meeting were Dave Case, Ron Reinemann, and Mike O’Brien.
Mr. Kaiser said they did “attempt to meet their mission” by holding a series of meetings and collecting data, but quickly ran into a number of hurdles—not the least of which was that they quickly realized there would be no real savings.
Additionally, Mr. Kaiser said, state laws regarding dissolution are in flux and they were at the point that they needed legal advice—and money to pay for it with.
“We could, in fact, end up devising a plan that was dead on arrival,” he said.
Mr. Kaiser pointed out that under Mayor Mark Nadeau, the new village administration has already taken steps including sharing office space with the town and combining the courts that his group might well end up recommending.
“And we may find ourselves, six to eight months down the road, in the same place anyway,” he said, asking for a vote on tabling the efforts until asked by the board or a public referendum to take them up again.
Mayor Nadeau was a member of the Dissolution Committee, but stepped down because he felt it was a conflict of interest once he was elected.
Thursday, he asked Mr. Kaiser to reach out to the City Status Committee and perhaps even draft a checklist of thoughts on the process.
Mayor Nadeau said he also intends to continue exploring the recommendations of the CGR study on consolidation.
The vote to table the Dissolution Committee was unanimous.