On December 17, South Nyack residents will make a monumental decision about starting the process to dissolve the village..
Unless I’m missing something, the public discussion has not given a clear road map on how to move forward, in particular to an option that many people would like to consider, but has not been part of the conversation: consolidating with the Village of Nyack.
There are three options as an end-state, from what I can tell:
1- Remaining as the Village of South Nyack
2- Dissolving and becoming part of the Town of Orangetown
3- Consolidating with the Village of Nyack (or possibly others)
The problem is that residents are being asked to vote YES or NO to pursue dissolution. And if people want option 3, which many do, they don’t know if a YES or NO vote is strategically a better way to get there.
The Village commissioned a study to analyze the impact to residents, but consolidating with Nyack was not part of the scope, so the issue was ignored.
I originally ran for Trustee in Nyack in 2009 with consolidation as a primary issue. There were state grants available to study consolidating South Nyack, Nyack and Upper Nyack, or some combination. I personally believe this is the best way to keep the local control of our village(s) while having a large enough tax base for long-term, fiscal sustainability.
I’ve talked with many people over the years on this issue, and there is a big gap between the reflex response “This will never happen” and what I hear from so many people when I talk it through with them. Many people support the idea, but we need to understand the advantages and disadvantages, and what options there are to minimize the negative impacts.
We all have the same downtown, Memorial Park, and marina, and South and Upper Nyack are naturally part of the same village. A consolidated Village of Nyack would still be small enough where we can make a difference in our community, and know our elected officials. The economies of scale would allow the village to support its downtown and parks better, and easier to fill the critical volunteer boards.
This is a historic moment, and despite the fact that fear is a primary motivating factor that triggered this process, let’s take advantage of the momentum and decide what kind of community we want.