Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Communities

Dave, at Ithaca Is Home, raises some interesting points about where he lives and how he identifies with his community. Dave lives in the southwestern corner of the Town of Dryden. His house is in the Brooktondale fire district but he's not eligible to join that fire department 'cause he lives in the town of Dryden. Happily for us, he's joining the Fire Department in the nearby hamlet of Varna in the Town of Dryden. Meanwhile he lives in the Ithaca school district and has an Ithaca mailing address. Confused yet? No, he doesn't have multiple dwellings. He just happens to live at the intersection of multiple overlapping jurisdictions.

I live in the northwestern part of the Town of Dryden and I have an Ithaca phone number and a Freeville mailing address. It's easier for me to identify with the Town of Dryden than it is for Dave, 'cause I live in the Dryden school district.

Former Tompkins County legislator, Mike Lane, makes a convincing case for eliminating townships and consolidating local jurisdiction in the county government. I think I understand the efficiency that might be possible in a consolidated government. But I cling to my sense of community and the feeling of belonging to Dryden.

In 2000 there were nearly 100,000 people in Tompkins County, nearly 30,000 of whom live in the city of Ithaca. 14,000 live in the villages of Dryden, Freeville, Groton, Cayuga Heights, Lansing and Trumansburg. The remaining 56,000, a majority of the county population live outside the incorporated city and towns and so, would be represented directly by the county government. Do I think that representation would be as strong for the unincorporated areas as it would for the city and towns? No, I do not. The Town of Dryden did not accept the Tompkins County comprehensive plan because it differs in some ways from our own comprehensive plan. There are still things we like to do for ourselves, 'cause we know our neighbors better than representatives from the other side of the county do.

Now I have to find out more about the differences between the Town and County comprehensive plans. And more about why Mike feels county government would be more effective. And whether or not we can strengthen town government. Dave, wanna join my study group?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Dave said...

Count me in. I'll meet you on the porch.

3:08 AM, July 10, 2006  

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