Battle for Johnson City's Future

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Oct 7, 2009 at 1:55 PM EDT

Save Johnson City signs are popping up all around the village.

As people try to fight off an effort to dissolve the village government into the Town of Union.

With the vote just four weeks away, Action News reporter Reed Buterbaugh tells us both sides of this debate are gearing up for next month's vote.

Meryl Deemie loads up her SUV everyday to deliver signs to people, hoping to rally support in saving Johnson City's village government.

"It's surprising how little the people know about what's actually happening," Deemie said.

Those opposed to dissolving the village say the projected 30 percent tax savings wouldn't make up for the loss of services.

"That tax decrease can only be guaranteed one year after that it's wide open," Deemie said.

"I feel that the savings is not going to outweigh the benefits of having our local firemen, our local policemen right here," said Trudy Deiss Savich of Johnson City.

Supporters of dissolution have not been as actively campaigning.

Signs pushing for dissolution are vastly outnumbered by those against the plan.

"I think that the majority of people out there who are going to vote for dissolution you're not going to see any evidence in their homes," said John Sullivan of Johnson City.

But that's starting to change.

Like this skeleton display at Performance Auto Sport on Harry L Drive.

"So people can be made aware that they're not alone in thinking we should do something about reducing the size of the government," said Chris Butora, president of Performance Auto Sport in Johnson City.

Butora calls the skeleton Henry and says he's a village resident that's been killed by rising taxes.

"Many years of big government, large bureaucracy and the majority not being able to come out and say we need to do something to become more efficient," Butora said.

Voters will decide November 3rd.

The question on the ballot is around 100 words.

But it may not adequately spell out the issue.

The Broome County Board of Elections will provide a lengthy description of the plan at all village polling stations.

The Board of Elections will not provide an audio recording of of the dissolution plan

It says it would take well over 20 minutes to voice the details.

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