Bill S1824A-2011

Amends the NY government reorganization and citizen empowerment act

Amends the NY government reorganization and citizen empowerment act, relating to the requirements for consolidation or dissolution of certain local government entities.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 20, 2012: referred to local governments
  • Jun 20, 2012: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 20, 2012: PASSED SENATE
  • Mar 19, 2012: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • Mar 15, 2012: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Mar 14, 2012: 1ST REPORT CAL.356
  • Feb 17, 2012: PRINT NUMBER 1824A
  • Feb 17, 2012: AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • Jan 4, 2012: returned to senate
  • Jan 4, 2012: died in assembly
  • May 2, 2011: referred to local governments
  • May 2, 2011: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • May 2, 2011: PASSED SENATE
  • Feb 1, 2011: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • Jan 31, 2011: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Jan 25, 2011: 1ST REPORT CAL.38
  • Jan 13, 2011: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Local Government - Mar 14, 2012
Ayes (4): Martins, Ball, McDonald, Ritchie
Ayes W/R (2): Little, Klein
Nays (1): Stewart-Cousins
Excused (1): Oppenheimer

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1824A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general municipal law and the municipal home rule law, in relation to the requirements for consolidating or dissolving certain local government entities and to repeal sections 758, 759, 780 and 781 of the general municipal law relating thereto

PURPOSE: This legislation would make clarifying chapter amendments to the NY Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act, regarding post plan mandatory referenda for consolidating and dissolving 10cal government entities.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill would amend the General Municipal Law to:

1. Define the percentage of electors with reference to the number of electors at the local government's previous general election and will require petitions to initiate a consolidation/dissolution to contain signatures equal to at least 25% of the number of electors at the last general election of the local government entity or five thousand signatures, whichever is less.

2. Specify time periods for collecting signatures to initiate consolidation/dissolution proceedings.

3. Increase the time period to prepare an elector initiated consolidation/dissolution plan to 270 days, with the option of imposing two 90-day extensions.

4. Require residents to vote on a proposed local government consolidations/dissolutions after a elector initiated consolidation/dissolution plan has been developed.

5. Allow local government governing bodies to initiate dissolution proceedings by adopting a resolution which would commit the local government to developing a consolidation/dissolution plan and putting the issue of consolidating/dissolving the local government up for a vote of the entity's residents.

6. Prohibit the filing of an electorate petition initiating consolidation/dissolution if the local governing body has already adopted a resolution pursuant to General Municipal Law initiating the consolidation/dissolution.

7. Require a study commission to be formed to develop the consolidation/dissolution plan.

8. Amend the Municipal Home Rule Law to require that all proposed dissolutions of local government entities initiated by a county must receive a majority vote of the residents of each local government entity for the proposed dissolutions to be effective in that local government.

JUSTIFICATION: The New York Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act provided for new procedures and processes for consolidating and dissolving local governments, This bill, which will amend The New York Government and Citizen Empowerment Act, will strengthen the legal foundations and effectiveness of the statute, thereby helping to prevent legal challenges against those entities seeking to consolidate or dissolve and promote the realization of meaningful taxpayer savings.

The 10% signature threshold requirement currently in place in the Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act is extremely low and instead of being democratic in nature and empowering the electorate, it has resulted in uninformed and, consequently, undemocratic votes on dissolution. This low signature threshold has resulted in 15 contentious and uninformed votes, with only one of those votes resulting in a dissolution. The signature threshold should be increased to 25% to prevent nuisance consolidations/dissolutions procedures. At the same time, if a petition is filed meeting the 25% threshold, a consolidation/dissolution plan must be developed and put to a vote of the local government's residents. Requiring a plan to be developed and presented to the voters prior to a vote will result in a better process, with voters better informed when they go to the polls to vote. However, requiring a plan to be developed before the vote without raising the signature threshold requirement would result in an unfunded mandate, allowing a small minority of a community to foist the substantial expense developing a dissolution plan on the entire community.

In addition, the current petition process in GML Article 17-A fails to identify how the number of signatures of electors is calculated. The number of electors in a municipality is constantly fluctuating because of people changing residency and registering to vote. College communities see their number of electors vary dramatically with the school calendar. Even in communities without colleges, the number of electors changes seasonally and as a result of economic factors. Article 17-A should be amended to clarify that, for the purpose of calculating the number of signatures required to initiate the dissolution process, the number of electors is based upon the number of registered voters (i.e., electors) at the previous general election for the local government entity.

GML Article 17-A creates an unprecedented scenario in New York State law where there is no time period imposed upon the collection of signatures. It is unclear whether a signature ever becomes stale and

thus invalid. GML Article 17-A should be amended to require the 25% of signatures required to initiate a dissolution proceeding be signed within 120 days of the petition being filed with the local government entity's clerk for the signature to be valid.

GML Article 17-A imposes a 180-day period for developing a dissolution or consolidation plan. Experience has proven that this timeframe is unrealistic. Most communities will need to hire a consultant to assist in developing a dissolution or consolidation plan. The process of hiring a consultant alone will take 30 to 90 days. Conducting the inventory of assets that local governments have and the services local governments provide, and determining how those services will be provided upon dissolution or consolidation, which frequently includes negotiations with the town in which the local government entity is located, generally take more than a year to complete. Because dissolving and consolidating local government entities are serious undertakings, communities should not be forced to rush through the process of understanding the full implications of dissolution and consolidation. A survey of recent dissolution activity revealed that the average time to complete a dissolution study takes over one year. consequently, Article 17-A should be amended to extend the timeframe to complete a dissolution or consolidation plan to 270 days, with the possibility of two 90-day extensions.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This bill would promote savings to taxpayers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1824--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 13, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government -- recom- mitted to the Committee on Local Government in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the general municipal law and the municipal home rule law, in relation to the requirements for consolidating or dissolving certain local government entities and to repeal sections 758, 759, 780 and 781 of the general municipal law relating thereto THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 752 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: 2. The proposed joint consolidation agreement shall specify: (a) the name of each local government entity to be consolidated; (b) the name of the proposed consolidated local government entity, which name shall be such as to distinguish it from the name of any other like unit of government in the state of New York (except the name of any one of the entities to be consolidated); (c) the rights, duties and obligations of the proposed consolidated local government entity; (d) the territorial boundaries of the proposed consolidated local government entity; (e) the type and/or class of the proposed consolidated local govern- ment entity; (f) the governmental organization of the proposed consolidated local government entity insofar as it concerns elected and appointed officials and public employees, along with a transitional plan and schedule for elections and appointments of officials;
(g) a fiscal estimate of the cost of and savings which may be realized from consolidation[;],INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING: (I) INCREASED EFFICIENCIES THROUGH IMPROVED ECONOMIES OF SCALE; (II) DISCONTINUING AND/OR RESTRUCTURING THE PROVISION OF PARTICULAR SERVICES, AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH DISCONTINUING AND/OR RESTRUCTURING SUCH SERVICES MAY ONLY BE ACHIEVED THROUGH CONSOLIDATION; (III) THE ELIMINATION OF ELECTED OFFICES; (IV) INCREASED AID FROM THE STATE TO THE RESULTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY; AND (V) THE EXTENT TO WHICH SERVICES WILL NO LONGER BE PROVIDED THROUGH THE USE OF VOLUNTEERS; (H) THE PROJECTED CHANGE, IF ANY, IN PROPERTY TAXES FOR THE TAXPAYERS LOCATED IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES TO BE CONSOLIDATED; (I) WHETHER THE CONSOLIDATION WILL RESULT IN A NET INCREASE OR DECREASE IN THE STATE'S LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE; [(h)] (J) each entity's assets, including, but not limited to, real and personal property, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States; [(i)] (K) each entity's liabilities and indebtedness, bonded and otherwise, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States; [(j)] (L) terms for the disposition of existing assets, liabilities and indebtedness of each local government entity, either jointly, sepa- rately or in certain defined proportions; [(k)] (M) terms for the common administration and uniform enforcement of local laws, ordinances, resolutions, orders and the like, within the proposed consolidated local government entity, consistent with section seven hundred sixty-nine of this title; [(l)] (N) the effective date of the proposed consolidation; and [(m)] (O) the time and place or places for the public hearing or hear- ings on such proposed joint consolidation agreement pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-four of this title. S 2. Section 755 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 755. Referendum resolution for consolidation [of towns or villages]. 1. [If a joint consolidation agreement calls for the consolidation of two or more towns, two or more villages or one or more towns and villages, then contemporaneous] CONTEMPORANEOUS with the final approval of the joint consolidation agreement pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred fifty-four of this title, the governing body or bodies of the local government entities to be consolidated shall enact a resolution calling for a referendum on the proposed consolidation by the electors in each of the entities. 2. The resolution calling for the referendum on the proposed consol- idation shall: (a) provide (i) the name of each [of the towns and/or villages] LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY proposed to be consolidated, (ii) a statement fully describing the territory to be included within the proposed consolidated local government entity, (iii) the name of the proposed consolidated local government entity, and (iv) the date for the referendum, in accordance with subdivision one of section seven hundred fifty-eight of this title; (b) state the substance of the question to be submitted to the elec- tors; and
(c) set forth such other matters as may be necessary to call, provide for and give notice of the referendum and to provide for the conduct thereof and the canvass of the returns thereupon. 3. The resolution calling for a referendum on the proposed consol- idation shall have attached to it the final approved version of the joint consolidation agreement. 4. IF THE REFERENDUM SHALL FAIL, THE CONSOLIDATION PROCESS SPECIFIED BY THIS TITLE SHALL NOT BE INITIATED FOR THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES BY ELECTORATE PETITION PURSUANT TO SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-SEVEN OF THIS TITLE WITHIN FOUR YEARS OF THE DATE OF THE REFERENDUM. THIS MORA- TORIUM SHALL NOT APPLY TO A PROPOSED CONSOLIDATION INVOLVING A DIFFERENT COMBINATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES. S 3. Section 757 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 757. Initiative of electors seeking consolidation. 1. The electors of two or more local government entities may commence a consolidation proceeding by filing an original petition, containing not less than the number of signatures provided for in subdivision two of this section and in the form provided for in subdivision three of this section, with the clerk of the town in which the entities or the greater portion of their territory are located, except that if one or more of the entities to be consolidated is a village the original petition of electors from the village shall be filed with the clerk of the village. Accompanying the filed petition shall be a cover sheet containing the name, address and telephone number of an individual who signed the petition and who will serve as a contact person. 2. The petition shall contain [the] signatures [of] EQUAL TO at least [ten] TWENTY-FIVE percent of the number of electors AT THE LAST GENERAL ELECTION OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY or five thousand [electors], whichever is less, in each local government entity to be consolidated[; provided, however, that where the local government entity to be consol- idated contains five hundred or fewer electors, the petition shall contain the signatures of at least twenty percent of the number of elec- tors]. No signature on a petition is valid unless it is the original signature of an elector. FOR A SIGNATURE TO BE VALID, IT MUST BE SIGNED WITHIN ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS OF THE PETITION BEING FILED WITH THE CLERK. 3. The petition shall substantially comply with, and be circulated in, the following form: PETITION FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONSOLIDATION We, the undersigned electors and legal voters of (insert type of local government entity - e.g., town, village or district) of (insert name of local government entity), New York, qualified to vote at the next gener- al or special election, respectfully petition that there be submitted to the electors and legal voters of (insert type and name of local govern- ment entities proposed to be consolidated), for their approval or rejection at a referendum held for that purpose, a proposal to consol- idate (insert type and name of local government entity) with (insert type and name of local government entity or entities) PURSUANT TO A CONSOLIDATION PLAN DEVELOPED AND PRESENTED TO THE PUBLIC PRIOR TO THE REFERENDUM. In witness whereof, we have signed our names on the dates indicated next to our signatures. Date Name - print name under signature Home Address 1. _____ _________________________________ ____________ 2. _____ _________________________________ ____________
3. _____ _________________________________ ____________ (On the bottom of each page of the petition, after all of the numbered signatures, insert a signed statement of a witness who is a duly quali- fied elector of the state of New York. Such a statement shall be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affidavit, and if it contains a material false statement, shall subject the person signing it to the same penalties as if he or she has been duly sworn. The form of such statement shall be substantially as follows: I, (insert name of witness), state that I am a duly qualified voter of the state of New York. Each of the persons that have signed this peti- tion sheet containing (insert number) signatures have signed their names in my presence on the dates indicated above and identified themselves to be the same person who signed the sheet. I understand that this state- ment will be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affida- vit, and if it contains a materially false statement, shall subject me to the penalties of perjury. _________________ _________________________________ Date Signature of Witness) (In lieu of the signed statement of a witness who is a duly qualified voter of the state of New York, the following statement signed by a notary public or a commissioner of deeds shall be accepted: On the date indicated above before me personally came each of the electors and legal voters whose signatures appear on this petition sheet containing (insert number) signatures, who signed the petition in my presence and who, being by me duly sworn, each for himself or herself, identified himself or herself as the one and same person who signed the petition and that the foregoing information they provided was true. _________________ _________________________________ Date Notary Public or Commissioner of Deeds) 4. An alteration or correction of information appearing on a petition's signature line, other than an un-initialed signature and date, shall not invalidate such signature. 5. In matters of form, this section shall be liberally construed, not inconsistent with substantial compliance thereto and the prevention of fraud. 6. Within ten days of the filing of the petition seeking consolidation pursuant to subdivision one of this section, the clerk with whom the petition was filed shall make a final determination regarding the suffi- ciency of the number of signatures on the petition and provide timely written notice of such determination to the contact person named in the cover sheet accompanying the petition. The contact person or any indi- vidual who signed the petition may seek judicial review of such determi- nation in a proceeding pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice [laws] LAW and rules. [7. Upon the clerk's determination that the petition contains not less than the number of signatures of electors required in subdivision two of this section, the governing body or bodies of the local government enti- ties to be consolidated shall, no later than thirty days thereafter, enact a resolution in accordance with subdivision two of section seven hundred fifty-five of this title calling for a referendum on the proposed consolidation by the electors in each of the entities and set a date for such referendum.] S 4. Sections 758 and 759 of the general municipal law are REPEALED. S 5. Section 760 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
S 760. [Duty to approve proposed elector initiated] STUDY COMMISSION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PROPOSED consolidation plan. 1. [In the case of a proposed consolidation of local government entities properly initiated by petition of electors pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-seven of this title, if a majority of the electors voting in a referendum held in each of the local government entities to be consolidated vote in favor of consolidation] UPON THE CLERK OF EACH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY DETER- MINING THAT THE PETITION CONTAINS NOT LESS THAN THE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES OF ELECTORS REQUIRED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY- SEVEN OF THIS TITLE, the entities' governing body or bodies [shall] MUST meet within thirty days after certification of the [favorable vote and, within one hundred eighty days of such meeting, prepare and approve by resolution a proposed elector initiated consolidation plan] PETITION TO FORM A COMMISSION TO STUDY, FORMULATE A PLAN FOR, AND MAKE RECOMMENDA- TIONS REGARDING THE CONSOLIDATION OF (INSERT TYPE AND NAME OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES). 2. THE STUDY COMMISSION MAY HAVE ANY NUMBER OF MEMBERS THE LOCAL GOVERNING BODIES DETERMINE TO BE BENEFICIAL FOR DEVELOPING A CONSOL- IDATION PLAN WITH THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE COMMISSION MUST, IN ADDITION TO APPOINTMENTS MADE BY THE CHIEF ELECTED OFFICER SUBJECT TO THE GOVERN- ING BODY'S APPROVAL, INCLUDE THE CHIEF ELECTED OFFICIAL (IN THE CASE OF A SPECIAL DISTRICT OR FIRE DISTRICT, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS) OF EACH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY, ONE MEMBER OF EACH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY'S GOVERNING BODY TO BE SELECTED BY A MAJORITY VOTE OF THE GOVERNING BODY (IN THE CASE OF A SPECIAL DISTRICT OR FIRE DISTRICT, THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MUST SELECT NO LESS THAN ONE COMMISSIONER OR REPRESENTATIVE). EACH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY MUST HAVE EQUAL REPRESEN- TATION ON THE COMMISSION. 3. THE STUDY COMMISSION MAY FORM SUB-COMMITTEES AND CONDUCT COMMUNITY FORUMS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS IT DEEMS NECESSARY TO DEVELOP A CONSOLIDATION PLAN. IT IS A PROPER PUBLIC PURPOSE FOR THE GOVERNING BODIES TO APPRO- PRIATE MONEY FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES RELATED TO STUDYING THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATION AND DEVELOPING A CONSOLIDATION PLAN. THE STUDY COMMISSION IS A PUBLIC BODY WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED TWO OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW. MEMBERS OF THE STUDY COMMISSION WHO ARE NOT ALREADY PUBLIC OFFICERS MUST FILE AN OATH OF OFFICE WITH THE CLERK OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY. 4. WITHIN TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY DAYS OF ITS FORMATION, THE STUDY COMMISSION MUST PREPARE AND APPROVE A PROPOSED ELECTOR INITIATED CONSOL- IDATION PLAN. UPON THE REQUEST OF THE STUDY COMMISSION, THE LOCAL GOVERNING BODIES MAY EXTEND THE TIME TO COMPLETE THE CONSOLIDATION PLAN BY NINETY DAYS. [2.] 5. The proposed elector initiated consolidation plan shall include: (a) the name of each local government entity to be consolidated; (b) the name of what will be the consolidated local government entity, which name shall be such as to distinguish it from the name of any other like unit of government in the state of New York (except the name of any one of the entities to be consolidated); (c) the rights, duties and obligations of the consolidated local government entity; (d) the territorial boundaries of the consolidated local government entity; (e) the type and/or class of the consolidated local government entity; (f) the governmental organization of the consolidated local government entity insofar as it concerns elected and appointed officials and public
employees, along with a transitional plan and schedule for elections and appointments of officials; (g) a fiscal estimate of the cost of and savings which may be realized from consolidation; (h) each entity's assets, including, but not limited to, real and personal property, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States; (i) each entity's liabilities and indebtedness, bonded and otherwise, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States; (j) terms for the disposition of existing assets, liabilities and indebtedness of each local government entity, either jointly, separately or in certain defined proportions; (k) terms for the common administration and uniform enforcement of local laws, ordinances, resolutions, orders and the like, within the consolidated local government entity, consistent with section seven hundred sixty-nine of this title; (l) the effective date of the PROPOSED consolidation; [and] (m) the time and place or places for the public hearing or hearings on such proposed elector initiated consolidation plan pursuant to section seven hundred sixty-two of this title[.]; (N) THE PROJECTED CHANGE, IF ANY, IN PROPERTY TAXES FOR THE TAXPAYERS LOCATED IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES TO BE CONSOLIDATED; (O) A FISCAL ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF AND SAVINGS WHICH MAY BE REALIZED FROM CONSOLIDATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING: (I) INCREASED EFFICIENCIES THROUGH IMPROVED ECONOMIES OF SCALE, (II) DISCON- TINUING AND/OR RESTRUCTURING THE PROVISION OF PARTICULAR SERVICES, AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH DISCONTINUING AND/OR RESTRUCTURING SUCH SERVICES MAY ONLY BE ACHIEVED THROUGH CONSOLIDATION; (III) THE ELIMINATION OF ELECTED OFFICES; (IV) INCREASED AID FROM THE STATE TO THE RESULTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY; (V) THE EXTENT TO WHICH SERVICES WILL NO LONGER BE PROVIDED THROUGH THE USE OF VOLUNTEERS; (P) WHETHER THE CONSOLIDATION WILL RESULT IN A NET INCREASE OR DECREASE IN THE STATE'S LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE; AND (Q) ANY OTHER MATTER DESIRABLE OR NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE CONSOL- IDATION. 6. DELIVERY OF THE PLAN TO THE GOVERNING BODIES. AFTER CONDUCTING A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE FINALIZED PLAN, SUCH HEARING HELD ON AT LEAST SEVEN DAYS NOTICE PUBLISHED IN A NEWSPAPER OR NEWSPAPERS WITH GENERAL CIRCULATION IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES, THE CONSOLIDATION STUDY COMMISSION MUST FILE A FINALIZED CONSOLIDATION PLAN AND ITS RECOMMENDA- TIONS ON WHETHER TO CONSOLIDATE WITH THE CLERKS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES WHO MUST IMMEDIATELY DELIVER THE PLAN AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES' GOVERNING BODIES. S 6. The opening paragraph of section 761 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: No later than five business days after [approving] RECEIVING a proposed elector initiated consolidation plan pursuant to section seven hundred sixty of this title, the governing body or bodies of the local government entities to be consolidated shall: S 7. Subdivision 1 of section 762 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: 1. The governing body or bodies of the local government entities to be consolidated shall set a time and place or places for one or more public hearings on the proposed elector initiated consolidation plan. The
hearing or hearings shall be held no less than thirty-five days and no more than ninety days after RECEIVING the proposed elector initiated consolidation plan [is approved] DEVELOPED pursuant to section seven hundred sixty of this title. The hearing or hearings may be held jointly or separately by the governing body or bodies of the entities. Any interested person shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on any aspect of the proposed consolidation. S 8. Section 763 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 763. [Effective date of] REFERENDUM ON THE elector initiated consol- idation plan[; permissive referendum]. 1. [Local government entities consolidated pursuant to an elector initiated consolidated plan shall continue to be governed as before consolidation until the effective date of the consolidation specified in such plan, which date shall be no less than forty-five days after final approval of such plan pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred sixty-two or subdivision four of section seven hundred sixty-four of this title. 2. Notwithstanding subdivision one of this section, the] THE elector initiated consolidation plan shall not take effect [if, no later than forty-five days after final approval thereof pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred sixty-two or subdivision four of section seven hundred sixty-four of this title, electors of a local government entity to be consolidated pursuant to such plan shall: (a) file an original petition, containing not less than the number of signatures provided for in subdivision three of this section, seeking a referendum on the question whether the elector initiated consolidation plan shall take effect, with the clerk of the town in which the entity or the greater portion of its territory is located, except that if the entity is a village the original petition of electors from the village shall be filed with the clerk of the village; and (b) thereafter less than] UNLESS a majority of the electors in [the] EACH entity vote in the affirmative on such question at a referendum. [3. The petition shall be circulated, signed and authenticated in substantial compliance with the provisions of section seven hundred fifty-seven of this title, shall contain the signatures of at least twenty-five percent of the number of electors or fifteen thousand elec- tors, whichever is less, in the local government entity to be consol- idated, and shall be accompanied by a cover sheet containing the name, address and telephone number of an individual who signed the petition and who will serve as a contact person. 4. Within ten days of the filing of the petition seeking a referendum on whether the elector initiated dissolution plan shall take effect, the clerk with whom the petition was filed shall make a final determination regarding the sufficiency of the number of signatures on the petition and provide timely written notice of such determination to the contact person named in the cover sheet accompanying the petition. The contact person or any individual who signed the petition may seek judicial review of such determination in a proceeding pursuant to article seven- ty-eight of the civil practice law and rules. Upon the clerk's determi- nation that the petition contains no less than the required number of signatures, the governing body of the local government entity to which such petition applies shall within thirty days enact a resolution call- ing for a referendum by the electors of such entity on the question whether to approve the elector initiated consolidation plan and set a date for such referendum in accordance with subdivision five of this section.
5.]
2. The referendum on the question OF whether the elector initiated consolidation plan shall take effect shall be submitted at a special election to be held not less than sixty or more than ninety days after enactment of a resolution APPROVING THE FINAL VERSION OF THE ELECTOR INITIATED CONSOLIDATION PLAN pursuant to subdivision [four] THREE of [this] section SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY-TWO OF THIS TITLE, provided, however, that in cases where a town or village general election falls within such period, the referendum question may be considered during [a] THAT town or village general election. [6.] 3. Notice of the referendum shall be given to the electors of the local government entity to which the petition applies by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation within the boundaries of the entity at least once a week for four consecutive weeks immediately prior to the referendum. The notice shall include, but not be limited to: (a) a summary of the contents of the resolution and elector initiated consolidation plan; (b) a statement as to where may be examined a copy of the resolution and elector initiated consolidation plan; (c) the time and place or places at which the referendum will be held, in accordance with subdivision [five] TWO of this section; and (d) such other matters as may be necessary to call, provide for and give notice of the referendum and to provide for the conduct thereof and the canvass of the returns thereupon. [7.] 4. In a referendum held pursuant to this section, the referendum question shall be placed before the electors of the local government entity to which the petition applies in a form reading substantially as follows: ["The voters of the (insert type and name of each local government entity to which the consolidation plan applies) having previously voted to consolidate, shall the elector initiated consolidation plan take effect?] "SHALL (INSERT TYPE AND NAME OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES) BE CONSOLIDATED? YES ____ NO _____" [8.] 5. The elector initiated consolidation plan shall not take effect unless a majority of the electors voting in the local government entity to which the petition applies vote in favor of such plan taking effect. If such a majority vote does not result, the referendum shall fail and consolidation shall not take effect. 6. IF THE REFERENDUM SHALL FAIL, THE CONSOLIDATION PROCESS SPECIFIED BY THIS TITLE SHALL NOT BE INITIATED FOR THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES BY ELECTORATE PETITION PURSUANT TO SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-SEVEN OF THIS TITLE WITHIN FOUR YEARS OF THE DATE OF THE REFERENDUM. THIS MORA- TORIUM SHALL NOT APPLY TO A PROPOSED CONSOLIDATION INVOLVING A DIFFERENT COMBINATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES. S 9. Section 773 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 773. Commencing the proceeding. 1. A local government entity other than a town may be dissolved and terminated by the procedure described in this title. 2. Dissolution proceedings may be commenced by: (a) a resolution of the governing body of the local government entity to be dissolved [endorsing a proposed dissolution plan]; or (b) elector initiative. S 10. Section 774 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
S 774. [Proposed] GOVERNING BODY-INITIATED dissolution [plan]. 1. The governing body of a local government entity may, by resolution, [endorse a proposed dissolution plan for the purpose of commencing dissolution proceedings under this article] INITIATE A DISSOLUTION PROCEEDING BY FORMING A COMMISSION TO STUDY, FORMULATE A PLAN FOR, AND MAKE RECOMMEN- DATIONS REGARDING THE DISSOLUTION AND TERMINATION OF THE LOCAL GOVERN- MENT ENTITY. THE RESOLUTION MAY ONLY BE ADOPTED AFTER CONDUCTING A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PROPOSAL, SUCH HEARING HELD ON AT LEAST SEVEN DAYS NOTICE PUBLISHED IN A NEWSPAPER WITH GENERAL CIRCULATION IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY. 2. THE STUDY COMMISSION MAY HAVE ANY NUMBER OF MEMBERS THE LOCAL GOVERNING BODY DETERMINES TO BE BENEFICIAL FOR DEVELOPING A DISSOLUTION PLAN WITH THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE COMMISSION MUST, IN ADDITION TO APPOINTMENTS MADE BY THE CHIEF ELECTED OFFICER SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNING BODY'S APPROVAL, INCLUDE THE CHIEF ELECTED OFFICIAL (IN THE CASE OF A SPECIAL DISTRICT OR FIRE DISTRICT, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF COMMIS- SIONERS) OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY, ONE MEMBER OF THE LOCAL GOVERN- MENT ENTITY'S GOVERNING BODY TO BE SELECTED BY A MAJORITY VOTE OF GOVERNING BODY (IN THE CASE OF A SPECIAL DISTRICT OR FIRE DISTRICT, THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MUST SELECT NO LESS THAN ONE COMMISSIONER OR REPRESENTATIVE), AND THE SUPERVISOR OF THE TOWN OR TOWNS IN WHICH THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY IS LOCATED. 3. THE STUDY COMMISSION MAY FORM SUB-COMMITTEES AND CONDUCT COMMUNITY FORUMS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS IT DEEMS NECESSARY TO DEVELOP A DISSOLUTION PLAN. IT IS A PROPER PUBLIC PURPOSE FOR THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY TO APPROPRIATE MONEY FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES RELATED TO STUDYING THE PROPOSED DISSOLUTION AND DEVELOPING A DISSOLUTION PLAN. THE STUDY COMMISSION IS A PUBLIC BODY WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED TWO OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW. MEMBERS OF THE STUDY COMMISSION ARE REQUIRED TO FILE AN OATH OF OFFICE WITH THE CLERK OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY. 4. WITHIN TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY DAYS OF ITS FORMATION, THE STUDY COMMIS- SION MUST PREPARE AND APPROVE A PROPOSED DISSOLUTION PLAN. UPON THE REQUEST OF THE STUDY COMMISSION, THE LOCAL GOVERNING BODY MAY EXTEND THE TIME TO COMPLETE THE DISSOLUTION PLAN BY NINETY DAYS. [2.] 5. The proposed dissolution plan shall specify: (a) the name of the local government entity to be dissolved; (b) the territorial boundaries of the entity; (c) the type and/or class of the entity; (d) a fiscal estimate of the cost of dissolution; (e) any plan for the transfer or elimination of public employees; (f) the entity's assets, including but not limited to real and personal property, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States; (g) the entity's liabilities and indebtedness, bonded and otherwise, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States; (h) any agreements entered into with the town or towns in which the entity is situated in order to carry out the dissolution; (i) the manner and means by which the residents of the entity will continue to be furnished municipal services following the entity's dissolution; (j) terms for the disposition of the entity's assets and the disposi- tion of its liabilities and indebtedness, including the levy and collection of the necessary taxes and assessments therefor; (k) findings as to whether any local laws, ordinances, rules or regu- lations of the entity shall remain in effect after the effective date of
the dissolution or shall remain in effect for a period of time other than as provided by section seven hundred eighty-nine of this title; (l) the effective date of the proposed dissolution; (m) the time and place or places for a public hearing or hearings on the proposed dissolution plan pursuant to section seven hundred seven- ty-six of this title; [and] (N) THE PROJECTED CHANGE, IF ANY, IN PROPERTY TAXES FOR THE TAXPAYERS LOCATED IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY TO BE DISSOLVED; (O) THE PROJECTED CHANGE, IF ANY, IN PROPERTY TAXES FOR THE TAXPAYERS OF THE TOWN OUTSIDE OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY TO BE DISSOLVED; (P) A FISCAL ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF AND SAVINGS WHICH MAY BE REALIZED FROM DISSOLUTION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING: (I) INCREASED EFFICIENCIES THROUGH IMPROVED ECONOMIES OF SCALE, (II) DISCON- TINUING AND/OR RESTRUCTURING THE PROVISION OF PARTICULAR SERVICES, AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH DISCONTINUING AND/OR RESTRUCTURING SUCH SERVICES MAY ONLY BE ACHIEVED THROUGH DISSOLUTION; (III) THE ELIMINATION OF ELECTED OFFICES; (IV) INCREASED AID FROM THE STATE TO THE RESULTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY; (V) THE EXTENT TO WHICH SERVICES WILL NO LONGER BE PROVIDED THROUGH THE USE OF VOLUNTEERS; (Q) WHETHER THE DISSOLUTION WILL RESULT IN A NET INCREASE OR DECREASE IN THE STATE'S LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE; AND [(n)] (R) any other matter desirable or necessary to carry out the dissolution. 6. DELIVERY OF THE PLAN TO THE GOVERNING BODY. AFTER CONDUCTING A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE FINALIZED PLAN, SUCH HEARING HELD ON AT LEAST SEVEN DAYS NOTICE PUBLISHED IN A NEWSPAPER WITH GENERAL CIRCULATION IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY, THE DISSOLUTION STUDY COMMISSION MUST FILE A FINALIZED DISSOLUTION PLAN AND ITS RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHETHER TO DISSOLVE WITH THE CLERK OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY WHO MUST IMME- DIATELY DELIVER THE PLAN AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY'S GOVERNING BODY. S 11. The opening paragraph of section 775 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: No later than five business days after [commencement of dissolution proceedings] THE DELIVERY OF THE DISSOLUTION PLAN AND RECOMMENDATIONS pursuant to section seven hundred seventy-four of this title, the governing body of the local government entity to be dissolved shall: S 12. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 776 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, are amended to read as follows: 1. The governing body of the local government entity to be dissolved shall set a time and place or places for one or more public hearings on the proposed dissolution plan. The hearing or hearings shall be held no less than thirty-five days and no more than ninety days after [commence- ment of dissolution proceedings] RECEIVING THE DISSOLUTION PLAN RECOM- MENDATIONS pursuant to section seven hundred seventy-four of this title. Any interested person shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on any aspect of the proposed dissolution. 3. After completion of the final hearing, the governing body of the local government entity to be dissolved may amend the proposed dissol- ution plan, provided that the amended version complies with the provisions of subdivision [two] FOUR of section seven hundred seventy- four of this title and is publicized pursuant to subdivision four of this section, [and/or] OR approve a final version of the dissolution
plan[, or decline to proceed further with dissolution proceedings]. Any approval by the governing body of a final version of the dissolution plan must occur within one hundred eighty days of the final hearing. S 13. Section 777 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 777. Referendum resolution for dissolution [of villages]. 1. [If a dissolution plan calls for the dissolution of a village, then contempo- raneous] CONTEMPORANEOUS with the final approval of the dissolution plan pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred seventy-six of this title, the governing body of the [village] LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY shall enact a resolution calling for a referendum on the proposed dissolution by the electors in the [village] LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY. 2. The resolution calling for the referendum on the proposed dissol- ution shall: (a) provide (i) the name of the [village] LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY to be dissolved; and (ii) the date for the referendum, in accordance with subdivision one of section seven hundred eighty of this title; (b) state the substance of the question to be submitted to the elec- tors; and (c) set forth such other matters as may be necessary to call, provide for and give notice of the referendum and to provide for the conduct thereof and the canvass of the returns thereupon. 3. The resolution calling for the referendum on the proposed dissol- ution shall have attached to it the final approved version of the dissolution plan. 4. IF THE REFERENDUM SHALL FAIL, THE DISSOLUTION PROCESS SPECIFIED BY THIS TITLE SHALL NOT BE INITIATED FOR THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY BY ELECTORATE PETITION PURSUANT TO SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-NINE OF THIS TITLE WITHIN FOUR YEARS OF THE DATE OF THE REFERENDUM. S 14. Section 779 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 779. Initiative of electors seeking dissolution. 1. The electors of a local government entity may commence a dissolution proceeding by filing an original petition, containing not less than the number of signatures provided for in subdivision two of this section and in the form provided for in subdivision three of this section, with the clerk of the town in which the entity or the greater portion of its territory is located, except that if the entity is a village the original petition of electors from the village shall be filed with the clerk of the village. Accompanying the filed petition shall be a cover sheet contain- ing the name, address and telephone number of an individual who signed the petition and who will serve as a contact person. A PETITION MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION IF A RESOLUTION INITIATING THE DISSOLUTION PROCESS HAS BEEN ADOPTED PURSUANT TO SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-FOUR OF THIS TITLE, UNTIL THE PROCESS THEREUNDER, INCLUDING THE CONDUCTING OF THE REFERENDUM PURSUANT TO SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY- SEVEN OF THIS TITLE, HAS BEEN COMPLETED. 2. The petition shall contain [the] signatures [of] EQUAL TO at least [ten] TWENTY-FIVE percent of the number of electors AT THE LAST GENERAL ELECTION OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY or five thousand [electors], whichever is less, in the local government entity to be dissolved[; provided, however, that where the local government entity to be dissolved contains five hundred or fewer electors, the petition shall contain the signatures of at least twenty percent of the number of elec- tors]. No signature on a petition is valid unless it is an original signature of an elector. FOR A SIGNATURE TO BE VALID, IT MUST BE SIGNED
WITHIN ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS OF THE PETITION BEING FILED WITH THE CLERK. 3. The petition shall substantially comply with, and be circulated in, the following form: PETITION FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT DISSOLUTION We, the undersigned, electors and legal voters of (insert type of local government entity -- e.g., town, village or district) of (insert name of local government entity), New York, qualified to vote at the next general or special election, respectfully petition that there be submitted to the electors of (insert type and name of local government entity proposed to be dissolved), for their approval or rejection at a referendum held for that purpose, a proposal to dissolve and terminate (insert type and name of local government entity) PURSUANT TO A DISSOL- UTION PLAN DEVELOPED AND PRESENTED TO THE PUBLIC PRIOR TO THE REFERENDUM. In witness whereof, we have signed our names on the dates indicated next to our signatures. Date Name - print name under signature Home Address 1. ________ _________________________________ ____________ 2. ________ _________________________________ ____________ 3. ________ _________________________________ ____________ (On the bottom of each page of the petition, after all of the numbered signatures, insert a signed statement of a witness who is a duly quali- fied elector of the state of New York. Such a statement shall be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affidavit, and if it contains a material false statement, shall subject the person signing it to the same penalties as if he or she has been duly sworn. The form of such statement shall be substantially as follows: I, (insert name of witness), state that I am a duly qualified voter of the state of New York. Each of the persons that have signed this peti- tion sheet containing (insert number) signatures, have signed their names in my presence on the dates indicated above and identified them- selves to be the same person who signed the sheet. I understand that this statement will be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affidavit, and if it contains a materially false statement, shall subject me to the penalties of perjury. _________________ _________________________________ Date Signature of Witness) (In lieu of the signed statement of a witness who is a duly qualified voter of the state of New York, the following statement signed by a notary public or a commissioner of deeds shall be accepted: On the date indicated above before me personally came each of the electors and legal voters whose signatures appear on this petition sheet containing (insert number) signatures, who signed the petition in my presence and who, being by me duly sworn, each for himself or herself, identified himself or herself as the one and same person who signed the petition and that the foregoing information they provided was true. _____________________ _________________________________ Date Notary Public or Commissioner of Deeds) 4. An alteration or correction of information appearing on a petition's signature line, other than an un-initialed signature and date, shall not invalidate such signature. 5. In matters of form, this section shall be liberally construed, not inconsistent with substantial compliance thereto and the prevention of fraud.
6. Within ten days of the filing of the petition seeking dissolution pursuant to subdivision one of this section, the clerk with whom the petition was filed shall make a final determination regarding the suffi- ciency of the signatures on the petition and provide timely written notice of such determination to the contact person named in the cover sheet accompanying the petition. The contact person or any individual who signed the petition may seek judicial review of such determination in a proceeding pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules. [7. Upon the clerk's determination that the petition contains not less than the number of signatures of electors required in subdivision two of this section, the governing body of the local government entity to be dissolved shall, no later than thirty days thereafter, enact a resol- ution in accordance with subdivision two of section seven hundred seven- ty-seven of this title calling for a referendum on the proposed dissol- ution by the electors in the entity and set a date for such referendum.] S 15. Sections 780 and 781 of the general municipal law are REPEALED. S 16. Section 782 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 782. [Duty to approve proposed elector initiated] STUDY COMMISSION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PROPOSED dissolution plan. 1. [In the case of a proposed dissolution of a local government entity properly initiated by petition of electors pursuant to section seven hundred seventy-nine of this title, if a majority of the electors voting at a referendum vote in favor of dissolution] UPON THE CLERK'S DETERMINATION THAT THE PETITION CONTAINS NOT LESS THAN THE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES OF ELECTORS REQUIRED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-NINE OF THIS TITLE, the entity's governing body [shall] MUST meet within thirty days after CLERK'S certification [of the favorable vote] and[, within one hundred eighty days of such meeting,] FORM A COMMISSION TO STUDY, FORMULATE A PLAN FOR, AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THE DISSOLUTION AND TERMI- NATION OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY. 2. THE STUDY COMMISSION MAY HAVE ANY NUMBER OF MEMBERS THE LOCAL GOVERNING BODY DETERMINES TO BE BENEFICIAL FOR DEVELOPING A DISSOLUTION PLAN WITH THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE COMMISSION MUST, IN ADDITION TO APPOINTMENTS MADE BY THE CHIEF ELECTED OFFICER SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNING BODY'S APPROVAL, INCLUDE THE CHIEF ELECTED OFFICIAL (IN THE CASE OF A SPECIAL DISTRICT OR FIRE DISTRICT, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF COMMIS- SIONERS) OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY, ONE MEMBER OF THE LOCAL GOVERN- MENT ENTITY'S GOVERNING BODY TO BE SELECTED BY A MAJORITY VOTE OF GOVERNING BODY (IN THE CASE OF A SPECIAL DISTRICT OR FIRE DISTRICT, THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MUST SELECT NO LESS THAN ONE COMMISSIONER OR REPRESENTATIVE), AND THE SUPERVISOR OF THE TOWN OR TOWNS IN WHICH THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY IS LOCATED. 3. THE STUDY COMMISSION MAY FORM SUB-COMMITTEES AND CONDUCT COMMUNITY FORUMS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS IT DEEMS NECESSARY TO DEVELOP A DISSOLUTION PLAN. IT IS A PROPER PUBLIC PURPOSE FOR THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY TO APPROPRIATE MONEY FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES RELATED TO STUDYING THE PROPOSED DISSOLUTION AND DEVELOPING A DISSOLUTION PLAN. THE STUDY COMMISSION IS A PUBLIC BODY WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED TWO OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW. MEMBERS OF THE STUDY COMMISSION WHO ARE NOT ALREADY PUBLIC OFFICERS MUST FILE AN OATH OF OFFICE WITH THE CLERK OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY. 4. WITHIN TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY DAYS OF ITS FORMATION, THE STUDY COMMIS- SION MUST prepare and approve a proposed elector initiated dissolution plan. UPON THE REQUEST OF THE STUDY COMMISSION, THE LOCAL GOVERNING
BODY MAY EXTEND THE TIME TO COMPLETE THE DISSOLUTION PLAN BY NINETY DAYS. [2.] 5. The proposed elector initiated dissolution plan shall specify: (a) the name of the local government entity to be dissolved; (b) the territorial boundaries of the entity; (c) the type and/or class of the entity; (d) a fiscal estimate of the cost of dissolution; (e) any plan for the transfer or elimination of public employees; (f) the entity's assets, including but not limited to real and personal property, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States; (g) the entity's liabilities and indebtedness, bonded and otherwise, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States; (h) any agreements entered into with the town or towns in which the entity is situated in order to carry out the dissolution; (i) the manner and means by which the residents of the entity will continue to be furnished municipal services following the entity's dissolution; (j) terms for the disposition of the entity's assets and the disposi- tion of its liabilities and indebtedness, including the levy and collection of the necessary taxes and assessments therefor; (k) findings as to whether any local laws, ordinances, rules or regu- lations of the entity shall remain in effect after the effective date of the dissolution or shall remain in effect for a period of time other than as provided by section seven hundred eighty-nine of this title; (l) the effective date of the dissolution; (m) the time and place or places for a public hearing or hearings on such proposed dissolution plan pursuant to section seven hundred eight- y-four of this title; [and] (N) THE PROJECTED CHANGE, IF ANY, IN PROPERTY TAXES FOR THE TAXPAYERS LOCATED IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY TO BE DISSOLVED; (O) THE PROJECTED CHANGE, IF ANY, IN PROPERTY TAXES FOR THE TAXPAYERS OF THE TOWN OUTSIDE OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY TO BE DISSOLVED; (P) A FISCAL ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF AND SAVINGS WHICH MAY BE REALIZED FROM DISSOLUTION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING: (I) INCREASED EFFICIENCIES THROUGH IMPROVED ECONOMIES OF SCALE, (II) DISCON- TINUING AND/OR RESTRUCTURING THE PROVISION OF PARTICULAR SERVICES, AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH DISCONTINUING AND/OR RESTRUCTURING SUCH SERVICES MAY ONLY BE ACHIEVED THROUGH DISSOLUTION; (III) THE ELIMINATION OF ELECTED OFFICES; (IV) INCREASED AID FROM THE STATE TO THE RESULTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY; (V) THE EXTENT TO WHICH SERVICES WILL NO LONGER BE PROVIDED THROUGH THE USE OF VOLUNTEERS; (Q) WHETHER THE DISSOLUTION WILL RESULT IN A NET INCREASE OR DECREASE IN THE STATE'S LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE; AND [(n)] (R) any other matter desirable or necessary to carry out the dissolution. 6. DELIVERY OF THE PLAN TO THE GOVERNING BODY. AFTER CONDUCTING A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE FINALIZED PLAN, SUCH HEARING HELD ON AT LEAST SEVEN DAYS NOTICE PUBLISHED IN A NEWSPAPER WITH GENERAL CIRCULATION IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY, THE DISSOLUTION STUDY COMMISSION MUST FILE A FINALIZED DISSOLUTION PLAN AND ITS RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHETHER TO DISSOLVE WITH THE CLERK OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY WHO MUST IMME- DIATELY DELIVER THE PLAN AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY'S GOVERNING BODY.
S 17. The opening paragraph of section 783 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: No later than five business days after [approving an] RECEIVING A PROPOSED elector initiated dissolution plan pursuant to section seven hundred eighty-two of this title, the governing body of the local government entity to be dissolved shall: S 18. Subdivision 1 of section 784 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: 1. The governing body of the local government entity to be dissolved shall set a time and place or places for one or more public hearings on the proposed elector initiated dissolution plan. The hearing or hearings shall be held no less than thirty-five days and no more than ninety days after RECEIVING the proposed elector initiated dissolution plan [is approved] DEVELOPED pursuant to section seven hundred eighty-two of this title. Any interested person shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on any aspect of the proposed dissolution. S 19. Section 785 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: S 785. [Effective date of] REFERENDUM ON THE elector initiated dissol- ution plan[; permissive referendum]. 1. [A local government entity dissolved pursuant to an elector initiated dissolution plan shall continue to be governed as before dissolution until the effective date of the dissolution specified in the elector initiated dissolution plan, which date shall be no less than forty-five days after final approval of such plan pursuant to subdivision three of section seven hundred eight- y-four or subdivision three of section seven hundred eighty-six of this title. 2. Notwithstanding subdivision one of this section, the] THE elector initiated dissolution plan shall not take effect [if, no later than forty-five days after final approval of such plan pursuant to subdivi- sion three of section seven hundred eighty-four or subdivision three of section seven hundred eighty-six of this title, electors of the local government entity to be dissolved shall: (a) file an original petition, containing not less than the number of signatures provided for in subdivision three of this section, seeking a referendum on the question whether the elector initiated dissolution plan shall take effect, with the clerk of the town in which the entity or the greater portion of its territory is located, except that if the entity is a village the original petition of electors from the village shall be filed with the clerk of the village; and (b) thereafter less than] UNLESS a majority of the electors vote in the affirmative on such question at a referendum. [3. The petition shall be circulated, signed and authenticated in substantial compliance with the provisions of section seven hundred seventy-nine of this title, shall contain the signatures of at least twenty-five percent of the number of electors or fifteen thousand elec- tors, whichever is less, in the local government entity to be dissolved, and shall be accompanied by a cover sheet containing the name, address and telephone number of an individual who signed the petition and who will serve as a contact person. 4. Within ten days of the filing of the petition seeking a referendum on whether the elector initiated dissolution plan shall take effect, the clerk with whom the petition was filed shall make a final determination regarding the sufficiency of the number of signatures on the petition and provide timely written notice of such determination to the contact
person named in the cover sheet accompanying the petition. The contact person or any individual who signed the petition may seek judicial review of such determination in a proceeding pursuant to article seven- ty-eight of the civil practice law and rules. Upon the clerk's determi- nation that the petition contains no less than the required number of signatures, the governing body of the local government entity to be dissolved shall within thirty days enact a resolution calling for a referendum by the electors on the question whether the elector initiated dissolution plan shall take effect and set a date for such referendum in accordance with subdivision five of this section. 5.]
2. The referendum on the question whether the elector initiated dissolution plan shall take effect shall be submitted at a special election to be held not less than sixty or more than ninety days after enactment of a resolution APPROVING THE FINAL VERSION OF THE ELECTOR INITIATED DISSOLUTION PLAN pursuant to subdivision [four] THREE of [this] section SEVEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-FOUR OF THIS TITLE, provided, howev- er, that in cases where a town or village general election falls within such period, the referendum question may be considered during [a] THAT town or village general election. [6.] 3. Notice of the referendum shall be given to the electors of the local government entity to be dissolved by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation within the boundaries of the entity at least once a week for four consecutive weeks immediately prior to the referendum. The notice shall include, but not be limited to: (a) a summary of the contents of the resolution and elector initiated dissolution plan; (b) a statement as to where may be examined a copy of the resolution and elector initiated dissolution plan; (c) the time and place or places at which the referendum will be held, in accordance with subdivision [five] TWO of this section; and (d) such other matters as may be necessary to call, provide for and give notice of the referendum and to provide for the conduct thereof and the canvass of the returns thereupon. [7.] 4. In a referendum held pursuant to this section, the referendum question shall be placed before the electors of the local government entity to be dissolved in a form reading substantially as follows: ["The voters of the (insert type and name of local government entity to be dissolved) having previously voted to dissolve, shall the elector initiated dissolution plan take effect?] "SHALL (INSERT TYPE AND NAME OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY) BE DISSOLVED? YES ____ NO ____" [8.] 5. The elector initiated dissolution plan shall not take effect unless a majority of the electors voting in the local government entity to which the petition applies votes in favor of dissolution. If such a majority vote does not result, the referendum shall fail and dissolution shall not take effect. 6. IF THE REFERENDUM FAILS, THE DISSOLUTION PROCESS SPECIFIED BY THIS TITLE MAY NOT BE INITIATED FOR THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITY BY ELECTORATE PETITION PURSUANT TO SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-NINE OF THIS TITLE WITHIN FOUR YEARS OF THE DATE OF THE REFERENDUM. S 20. Subdivision 2 of section 33-a of the municipal home rule law, as amended by chapter 74 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: 2. Any such local law, or an amendment or repeal of one or more provisions thereof which would have the effect of transferring or abol-
ishing a function or duty of the county or of the cities, towns, villages, districts or other units of government wholly contained in the county, shall not become operative unless and until it is approved at a general election or at a special election, held in the county by receiv- ing a majority of the total votes cast thereon: (a) in the area of the county outside of cities and (b) in the area of cities of the county, if any, considered as one unit, and if it provides for the transfer of any function or duty to or from any village or for the abolition of any office, department, agency or unit of government of a village wholly contained in the county, it shall not take effect unless it shall also receive a majority of [all] the votes cast thereon in [all] EACH OF the villages OR LOCAL UNITS OF GOVERNMENT so affected [considered as one unit]. Such a local law, amendment or repeal thereof, shall provide for its submission to the electors of the county at the next general election or at a special election, occurring not less than sixty days after the adoption thereof by the board of supervisors. S 21. This act shall take effect immediately.

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