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Looking Beyond the Dissolution Vote

by Michael Lockett

As I have watched the past few months unfold, I have been surprised at what I have seen from the small village of South Nyack. The petition to dissolve our village has broken our community into opposing factions.

I, like my fellow community members, am given only one vote. So what I choose is not as important as looking beyond the vote to what happens next in our community. In all honestly, I’m concerned.

I accepted an appointment and then was elected with hope I could help make things better for the community I love. The acrimony and hateful misinformed speech being bandied about has me worried that regardless of what happens, there will be many people so offended or hurt by this process that we will not be able to come together to chart our future.

If we do dissolve, it becomes the Board of Trustees’ job to craft a plan to dissemble our village. And we’ll be left hoping that the dust has settled enough that we get agreement from our neighbors. No matter how advantageous for the village it is written (and approved), Orangetown still has the final say on governance moving forward.

If we do not dissolve, I feel it becomes the Board of Trustees’ immediate job, since the budget is looming, to equitably address taxes in this village. We cannot deny that we live in one of the highest taxed counties in the state. We also cannot deny that if we control our own finances then we have some control over how much we put upon ourselves to carry the cost of running the village.

With either decision–no or yes–we as a community have to find a way to work together. I have seen some incredibly hateful speech, as well as misinformation, spread. We have to move beyond the struggles and come together for the benefit of  our community. My wife and I moved here nearly 14 years ago because we felt welcome in this diverse community. I want us to get back to that feeling–and trusting that our community has healed.

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Given all that has happened in 2020, I am glad we are getting this vote. It ensures democracy continues to work, which is always good, but also gives us an opportunity to come closer together as a community. December 17th gives us new life to be our better selves–our kinder, more just, more transparent and equitable selves.

However you vote, I welcome any member of South Nyack to reach out so we can start working together to make better community. Together we are smarter, stronger and capable of solving all of our challenges fairly.

Michael Lockett is a Village of South Nyack Trustee.

Need more background on the issues concerning the South Nyack Dissolution vote? Here’s a list of articles and op-ed’s we’ve published recently on this topic.

Arguments For:

Arguments Against:

See also:


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