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Center for region to host April 8 forum on new law affecting dissolution of local governments
Monday, April 05, 2010

SUNY Fredonia’s Center for Regional Advancement (CRA) will host a forum to discuss the new law affecting consolidation of local governments in New York State. The purpose is to raise public awareness of the changes in the law and discuss the implications of those changes. It will take place in the conference room at Fredonia Village Hall on Thursday, April 8, at 6:30 p.m.

The Law

The Panel

John D'Agostino, '92, Publisher of Dunkirk Observer

J. David Sampson, New York State Deputy Attorney General 

David Rankin, SUNY Fredonia Political Science Chair

Michael Sullivan, Village of Fredonia Mayor

John Gullo, County Legislator

“This forum will be an opportunity for residents to learn more about the new opportunities that empower them to make positive changes in their local governmental structure,” said Center Director Chuck Cornell. “The Center strives to fulfill its mission of being a catalyst for regional governance in rural Western New York.”

The panel will feature New York State Deputy Attorney General J. David Sampson, who will discuss the new law, which took effect on March 23, and how it will be implemented and enforced. Other panelists include SUNY Fredonia Political Science Chair David Rankin, who also serves as the director for the newly formed Fredonia Academic Community Engagement (FACE) Center. In addition, Village of Fredonia Mayor Michael Sullivan, and County Legislator John Gullo will be panelists, while Observer Publisher and SUNY Fredonia alumnus John D’Agostino, ’92, will moderate the discussion.

The N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act establishes uniform procedures for the consolidation or dissolution of local government. These procedures apply to the consolidation and dissolution of towns, villages, fire districts, fire protection districts, fire alarm districts, special improvement districts or other improvement districts, library districts, and other districts created by law.

The law was introduced by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. According to his website, there are 10,521 local governmental entities in New York State, including counties, towns, villages, school districts, special districts and public authorities. There are 231 in Chautauqua County.

In addition to the CRA, the forum is sponsored by SUNY Fredonia’s American Democracy Project and the SUNY Fredonia FACE Center.

Since its founding in 1997, the CRA, formerly the Center for Rural Regional Development and Governance, has been a major catalyst for regional collaboration, governance innovations, community outreach and economic development. The mission of the CRA is to engage the intellectual and analytical human resources of SUNY Fredonia to enhance the region’s governance and economic development capacity.

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