2011-12-11 / Front Page

Genesee County Small Cities & Village focused on consolidation

BY JEANNE MARCELLO STAFF REPORTER


SMALL CITIES - Montrose City Mayor Ray Foust (right) was appointed chairman of the Genesee County Small Cities & Villages Association during the organization’s Dec. 7 meeting at the Montrose Railroad Depot. The featured speaker was State Senator John Gleason (left) and Santa Claus made a special appearance at the end of the meeting. (TCC Photo by Jeanne Marcello) SMALL CITIES - Montrose City Mayor Ray Foust (right) was appointed chairman of the Genesee County Small Cities & Villages Association during the organization’s Dec. 7 meeting at the Montrose Railroad Depot. The featured speaker was State Senator John Gleason (left) and Santa Claus made a special appearance at the end of the meeting. (TCC Photo by Jeanne Marcello) MONTROSE – The City of Montrose hosted the Dec. 7 meeting of the Genesee County Small Cities & Villages Association, filling the Montrose Rail Road Depot with administrators and other city and village officials from Genesee County, including (but not limited to) Montrose, Clio, Davison, Goodrich, Swartz Creek and Gaines.

The featured speaker was State Senator John Gleason, who talked briefly about the fiscal incentive for service consolidation, which the small cities and villages are now facing. He talked about Genesee County having been at the forefront of shared services and consolidations. “This is an easy bunch to talk with about shared services,” he commented, adding, “Much of the consolidation has already taken place.”


DISCUSSION - Despite the festive atmosphere, most city and village officials were discussing their efforts to consolidate services. (TCC Photo by Jeanne Marcello) DISCUSSION - Despite the festive atmosphere, most city and village officials were discussing their efforts to consolidate services. (TCC Photo by Jeanne Marcello) Mayor Foust commented about what he has accomplished in working with other municipalities to share equipment and services over a cup of coffee. “You’d be surprised what you can get accomplished over a cup of coffee.”

Gleason commented, “We know you’re broke already. We shouldn’t have taken your money,” referring to state shared revenues.

Gleason mentioned that he believed there are areas where schools should be able to consolidate, then referring to purchasing supplies jointly. “We have to think differently than before,” he stated.

He also talked about restructuring the road commission, putting those positions on the ballot. He believes the road commissioners should be placed on the ballot to be better held accountable for the $10 million budget they receive annually.

Furthermore, Gleason talked at length about his political opinions saying “I think term limits are terrible,” commenting that “Term limits have offered a lot of opportunities for irresponsible action.” He also called term limits “short-sited.” He also mentioned his intent to run for reelection.

In addition, he criticized politicians who signed a no tax increase pledge. “I’d raise taxes,” he said, as opposed to cutting funds and services.

Santa Claus made an appearance, toward the end of the event. Putting smiles on the faces of the many municipal officials present.

Robert Jacobs, a friend of Mayor Foust’s from the Knights of Columbus, had prepared an amazing meal for the guests as a special favor to the mayor.

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