Seven villages, two school districts, five fire districts, a bridge authority, a sanitation department, the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County. Suffice to say, areas of the Five Towns have many levels of government.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been a proponent of consolidation on both the state and local level. His first budget included $35 million for the Citizen Empowerment Tax Credits and Citizen Reorganization Empowerment Grants, which give incentives to communities that consolidate governments, according to WNET.
There's even a state website with instructions on "consolidating overlapping governments."
"In order to get on the ballot you must begin with a petition. The Empowerment Act law requires signatures of 10 percent or 5,000 registered voters within the effected municipality, whichever is less, to initiate the process (for municipalities with a population less than 500, the law requires signature of 20 percent of the registered voters)."
Sure, there are obvious advantages to keeping things local, but in the end, these benefits cost money.
So our question to you is this: If given the choice, would you get rid of some of our local municipalities and fold their services into larger entities? Or should things stay the same as they are now?