Mayor says dissolution talk is a 'distraction'
By Jay Braman Jr.
Calling the clandestine effort to get the Village of Fleischmanns to dissolve its government “a distraction,” Mayor Todd Pascarella said last week that he would much rather stay focused on the business of helping the village get back on its feet than go through the rigmarole that happened a few years ago when the village board took a long hard look at the idea before throwing it out the window.
Last week the mayor sent a letter to the Catskill Mountain News explaining his position on the matter. This week he was asked specifically about who it was that he felt is behind what he described as the, “movement afoot to try to force the disincorporation of the village.” “I am not sure,” was his response. The mayor added that there have been persistant rumors about some
residents actively working to convince others of the need for dissolution, but he would not make
those names public.
Phone calls by the press to various sources yielded no names of those that have taken on the cause.
So far, there has been no official discussion about dissolving village government at any public session, nor has anyone come to the board of trustees with a request for any such discussion to even commence.
Not liking to fall victim to rumor, Pascarella ignored them until they became rampant. In his prepared statement, the mayor said there are serious consequences for dissolving.
“Over the past four years, persistent effort has resulted in over $650,000 in grant money being awarded in the village. How much grant money would we receive as an unincorporated hamlet? Would Middletown continue to pay the MARK Project to actively search for grants specifically for us?
“In fact we would not have vigorous representation on the town level if we dissolved and would essentially have to go to the end of the line and wait,” he said.
He also said there would be a severe loss of community identity and power, a notion voiced long and loud years back when this was first considered, and that village residents must consider the strong possibility that, if dissolved, Fleischmanns could become a sort a Cinderella stepchild that watches from the sidelines as the stepmother takes care of her own.
“Our problems will not magically disappear if the village does, in fact, they will get much worse. The Town of Middletown has plenty of its own issues to worry about and they are not looking for a new set of problems to take on. Fleischmanns will be all but completely forgotten about.”