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Supervisor-elect questions need for two governments

The newly elected Aurora town supervisor is questioning whether there is a need for both a town and a village government.

"I think it's inevitable that village government will not exist as it does today," Supervisor-elect Dwight D. Krieger said in an interview. "Why have those two layers of government for 15,000 to 16,000 people? A lot of people are questioning it."

Krieger, who has been closely aligned with the administration of departing Supervisor Terence M. Yarnall, has lobbied for the town to take control of the village-run police force and has questioned the need for both town and village governments.

The two people elected to join Krieger on the Town Board agreed that the town should consider eliminating duplicated services. Consolidation and talk of merging services have long been debated by both governments. Until recently, efforts had stalled on a nearly $400,000 state grant to study a joint municipal facility.

"We should focus on eliminating as much duplication as possible. Multiple layers of government with duplicated services end up costing taxpayers more money," said Councilwoman-elect Kelly Wahl.

Councilman Jeffrey Harris, who was re-elected to a third term last week, said the move away from duplication should start with reconsideration of talks to build a $6 million-plus municipal building for both the town and the village.

"It's ridiculous for the size of the community and the way taxes are," he said. "We can't keep building these Taj Mahal buildings."

If the town and the village combine services, Harris said he still sees a need for some village presence, or at least an elected joint village/town board.

However, Village Administrator Kimberly D. LaMarche said Thursday that the village's destiny will be up to the village residents.

"Wherever we find ourselves down the road, it'll be driven by the village people. The town has no power in that regard," she said, noting that a petition would have to be initiated by village residents or the Village Board to call for a study on the feasibility of dissolving village government. A study would have to be done before the issue could go before the public in a referendum."

Deputy Mayor Patrick F. McDonnell said that since winning the election, Krieger has indicated that he wants to work with village officials and is not aiming to dissolve the village.

"I'm going to take him at his word," McDonnell said. "What else can I do?"

Krieger, 65, the current deputy supervisor, defeated Democratic challenger Allan A. Kasprzak by winning 58 percent of the vote in the supervisor's race.

With his victory, coupled with those by Wahl and Harris, Republicans maintained their control of the Town Board. Wahl and Harris both believe that town government needs to be more open.

"The issue has been responsiveness and how questions are handled," said Wahl, who was elected to the post held by William D. Reuter, who did not seek re-election.


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