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Study weighs consolidating village, town

Should the Village of Orchard Park exist?

That is the question Donald P. Quinlan, the spokesman for a group doing a study of government efficiency in Orchard Park, said his group has been receiving from residents.

Quinlan said the group's research is nearly finished and a report and recommendations are expected to be issued early next month.

He gave a progress report at the Town Board's July 18 meeting, when he saidresidents don't seem to know when they enter or leave the Village of Orchard Park.

"Generally, that's a positive sign," he said, "since it would seem to indicate the services presently provided by either are comparable. . . . It doesn't matter to most people who does the job."

Later Quinlan said, "The question that seems to keep coming up is, 'Why do we need two governments?' Jobs and politics aside, the answer is we do not need two management layers to handle a relatively simple service business."

The group Quinlan leads was appointed in June by Supervisor Mary Travers Murphy, who said the members -- town businessmen like Quinlan, a former executive for Graphic Controls in Buffalo -- came to her in the wake of an article by Kevin Gaughan in The Buffalo News.

"They have no agenda other than if their experience can tell us how to do it better," Travers Murphy said. "And obviously village residents would determine what would be done, since they would have to vote in a referendum for anything to happen."

It's been a contentious issue on the Town Board, where the group's goals have been questioned by the Republican majority. Village Mayor John Wilson has criticized how the supervisor handled the group's creation.

Councilman Mark Dietrick has said the village and town already did a similar study several years ago, suggesting the group was part of Travers Murphy's "political tactics and intrigues."

Dietrick said he is convinced taxpayers would save little with a consolidation.


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