1) The case for "consolidation" was not credible . . . not transparent.
- "Pros" and "cons" for the project would be different for each community, but only the "pros" from the perspective of Oriskany and Whitesboro were presented. Proponents completely missed the fact that the Town residents would be exposing themselves to potential liabilities they now avoid by being mere "customers" of village services.
- If you disagreed with the "pros," you were called a "liar" and had your motivations questioned rather than being civilly asked why your perspective was different.
- The makeup of the Board of Commissioners (Town vs Villages) had yet to be decided -- i.e., the plans were still a work in progress.
- Proposed tax rates and budgets were presented with no supporting documentation/explanation that public members could use to verify what they had been told.
- Since the public was not told of any specific equipment or personnel cuts, the financial benefits of "consolidation" were not evident.
- Since most service within the FD would be done by 2 rather than 4 units of firefighters, the "safety" benefit was not evident.
2) "Consolidation" from the perspective of a fire department was not a "consolidation" from the perspective of the taxpayer, who would be faced with paying an additional unit of government.
3) A board of appointed commissioners is not as accountable to the public as a board of elected commissioners.
The public is open to the idea of consolidation . . . but it must be real, transparent, and accountable.