UPDATE: Whitesboro's vote to dissolve defeated
The votes are in and the people have spoken for local government. In a landslide vote, folks in Whitesboro have opted not to dissolve into neighboring Whitestown by a vote of 679-280. Polls closed at 9:00 pm.
One of the main reason voters say they struck the proposal down was a lack of information.
"They talk about, 'we'll vote and then we'll go out and see what would happen if we do,' and I think that ought to be done first," says Whitesboro resident Bert Coon.
Another resident says he voted no because there were no guarantees taxes would go down if they dissolved into Whitestown.
"Taxes were sure to go up, because combing with the town, then they're going to have to take on the extra lighting, the extra trash, the extra everything," says Ronald Loubier. "There's no way around it."
Residents who voted for dissolution say a nearly 50% percent tax hike if the village didn't dissolve motivated them. Village officials say they will look into consolidating certain services, like the police department.
Read Matt's Memo blog about this latest consolidation attempt.
Previous Coverage: Polls will be open from Noon till 9pm today in the village of Whitesboro on a referendum to decide whether or not to dissolve the village government.
The vote was scheduled after 290 people signed a petition that forced the vote.
Whitesboro mayor Brenda Gilberti says the village had a revenue anticipation note due and needed to make adjustments in the budget because of that. That caused a 49% increase in taxes. Still, she says, if the village dissolves, there is no guarantee taxpayers will save money.
"People are going to end up with what they don't know or what they don't like because once that happens, Whitesboro will never come back," says Gilberti.
She says in other cases of dissolution, like in Seneca Falls, villages were able to study the effects of the decision, using grants. However, because it would likely cost more than $100,000, Whitesboro doesn't have the money to conduct a study or even put a plan together before the vote.
"This is totally backwards," she says.
Gilberti says the village has been working on other ways to save money, including looking into consolidating police services.
Chief Dominick Hiffa says it would make more sense to look into consolidating with nearby forces like New York Mills and Yorkville than dissolving altogether. He says the Whitesboro Police Department handles 2,700-3,000 calls each year.
"The village police department knows the residents. They know their business people. They know where people live. They know the routines of people," says Hiffa.
There are signs throughout the village encouraging people to "Vote Yes" or "Vote No."
The vote will take place Tuesday from 12pm-9pm at the Whitesboro village offices. Any registered voter who lives in the village of Whitesboro is eligible to vote.
Click here to read about the dissolution of Altmar.
Click here to read about the dissolution of Seneca Falls.
Click here to read Matt's Memo about consolidation and dissolution.