I value people who are willing to reconsider their positions based on facts and differing views. I strive to do it myself. I’ve reconsidered the referendum to move village elections from March to November.
Initially, I thought it best to keep March elections. I’ve appreciated their local focus, outside the cacophony of town, state and federal elections. But I’ve scrutinized the pros of a November election, and I’m convinced.
It’s been argued that by moving our elections, the budgeting process will improve; newly elected trustees will have more opportunity to shape the next fiscal year’s budget. It’s compelling to have all five trustees accountable for the choices they make with our money. I’m not convinced, however, that this shift will facilitate capital planning. That should be happening throughout the year — thoughtfully, thoroughly. In fact, it’s probably more effectively done outside annual budget deadlines.
I’m following the current budget discussions closely. For the first time in my nine years in Cold Spring, an administration is really taking apart the budget, identifying where to conserve and where to be creative. Previously the budget process was cursory, superficial. Mayor Merandy and trustees Murphy and Early are doing superb work. The state tax cap is placing dramatic constraints on the village; we must consider service-sharing seriously. Shifting the election is low-hanging fruit — it recaptures at least $5,000.
Finally, folks argue that moving village elections to November will increase voter participation. I want them to be right. Get to the firehouse Tuesday, March 15 and vote yes on the referendum.
Kathleen E. Foley, Cold Spring