Friday, November 02, 2012

Special Legislation

OD's View: Special legislation for merger vote should be passed (to allow Mohawk and Illion School Districts to merge):

A proposed three-district merger that included the two districts and Herkimer was rejected Oct. 18, and while Mohawk and Ilion want to press forward, they’re handcuffed by the law.Last week, the two districts passed a resolution asking for special state legislation that would allow another vote to take place sooner than permitted under current law. 
Why is it that when the local elites don't get their way, they go to Albany for "special state legislation?"

We saw this a few years ago when Mrs. Destito sponsored legislation to give the Mohawk Valley Water Authority special rights that it did not have under state law.  We saw this more recently  with Mr. Brindisi's "successful" sponsorship of legislation to exempt the City of Utica from state rules that required a showing of "public necessity" before the city could establish an ambulance service that would compete with a private company.  Now we're seeing another request to shorten the waiting time on school district merger votes.

There is a purpose to every state law that "handcuffs" local authorities. In every instance of special legislation, the purpose of the "handcuff" is being thwarted.  At least some of the people who would be affected by  special legislation are being denied the protection of state laws afforded to persons elsewhere in the state.

In the case of the original 4-way school district merger, Frankfort dropped out in one vote, Herkimer dropped out in a second.  Ilion and Mohawk want to press forward anyway, but are now forced to wait a year under state law before they can vote again.

Isn't repeated voting on an issue a tool that elites in government use to coerce voters into approving a pre-ordained outcome? Isn't the state law there to prevent coercion?     

While the overwhelming majority in Ilion and Mohawk voted for 4 and 3-way mergers and probably will settle for a 2-way merger, you do not really know the outcome of such a vote until it is taken.  One thing you do know is that at least a minority of voters prefer separate districts.  Those people are probably feeling coerced right now by the proposal for another vote.  Mob rule?

When you hear that "special legislation" is being proposed, think of who may be losing the rights held by others elsewhere.

Next time maybe YOU will be the one receiving "special treatment."

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