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AN EXAMPLE OF CONSOLIDATION STALLED

For an illustration of the problems that can quietly frustrate progressive moves toward government efficiency, take a look at North Collins.

Wouldn't it seem to be a no-brainer that merging the planning boards of North Collins the town and North Collins the village would be helpful to both? But the proposal has been greeted so far with insufficient interest to provoke quick action.

The problem can't be a fear of bigness -- not with the town holding some 3,650 residents, including a few more than 1,400 villagers.

Nor could it be rivalry between the separate planning boards, since the village planning board rarely meets. And it's not that town and village don't cooperate in other ways. They do. The town does property assessments for the village; the village provides certain police services for the town.

Despite these factors, though, the proposal of Town Councilman Richard Taczkowski, a former village trustee, to merge the village and town planning boards seems stuck on hold. Which is odd. Coordination is basic to good planning.

How could the town complete a master plan without coordinating with the village? Yet the town's most recent master plan didn't embrace the village. Does anyone believe the village could draft a useful master plan without considering the village's relationship with the town?

If there were ever a candidate for consolidation, this village and town planning function would seem to be it.

North Collins powers-that-be should get this proposal moving.

And the proposal in this rural town and village should suggest another obvious form of consolidation to other local officials in Western New York, too. What could be more interconnected than a town and the village within it? Surely, they should be planning together for their future.

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