After months of meetings, discussions and public forums, the people of Painted Post have spoken. It all came down to a simple pencil marking 'yes' or 'no' to dissolve the Village into the Town of Erwin. Results show the village will remain intact and as YNN's Katie Husband tells us, there was a good amount of participation from residents through the entire process.
PAINTED POST, N.Y. -- There was a tremendous turnout for Thursday's referendum vote on whether or not to dissolve the Village of Painted Post's government.
"The pros and cons, there's a lot of them out there and if you drive up and down our streets you can see pros and cons signs...and there's a lot of them out there," said Richard Lewis, Village of Painted Post, Deputy Mayor.
The rising cost of property taxes was the main reason for the push behind the dissolution from the group, Painted Post Tax Relief. But, Deputy Mayor Lewis says they have fought to keep those numbers down.
"We just automatically turned it around because it just was facts and figures that weren't really visible at the time that came to light and things started turning around and we've been in an upswing ever since," said Lewis.
Even though the no-vote won out, neighbors feel it brought light to how they need to keep a closer eye on local government.
"We need to pay attention to what our village board is doing or what the town boards are doing rather than just showing up to vote during elections then, kind of, just reading the newspaper, to go out to some more meetings, go to the village meetings and to actually see what they're doing, and I think we need to pay more attention," said Richard Burton, Village of Painted Post resident.
Village residents say it was a long haul getting to this point with all the public forums and the meetings but it was nice to see the entire community come out to participate in such an important decision.
"Folks are involved and they care either one side or the other it's nice to see people care. So, it's been fun seeing people get out and about and get involved because that's what we need to do because a lot of times we just kind of let things happen and don't pay attention," said Burton.
Now that the decision has been made to keep the village in tact, Deputy Mayor Lewis says the board will work on keeping taxes from increasing.
The village will now have to wait four more years for a referendum to be voted on a second time.
A total of 667 residents voted on the proposal Thursday night, with 376 saying no and 291 saying yes.