Keeseville Mayor Dale Holderman.
Keeseville village residents will decide the fate of their municipality at the polls Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Members of the Keeseville Village Board of Trustees voted unanimously Oct. 25 to hold the dissolution referendum vote on the fourth Tuesday of 2013, with voting taking place from noon until 9 p.m. at the Village Hall, 58 Liberty St.
Mayor Dale Holderman said that the petition to hold a dissolution vote was validated by clerk Lynn Hathaway, with 119 signatures representing more than 10 percent of the registered village voters.
Holderman voted along with trustees Kathleen Klages, Mary King and Robin Bezio to set the date for the vote, while trustee John Casey was absent. Holderman and King both serve on the Keeseville Dissolution Committee.
Holderman said that the next step in the dissolution process will take place Nov. 5 when the committee will meet for the final time.
“We will finalize the dissolution plan at that meeting, and it will then be presented to the village board at the Nov. 13 meeting,” Holderman said.
The mayor said that he does not expect the board to move on the dissolution plan until after the vote on the matter takes place.
“We don’t vote on the plan,” he said. “We will accept the plan from the committee. Based on how the January vote goes, then we can work on the plan from there and decide if this is the plan we want to present to the taxpayers.”
Holderman said that the village will have 180 days to finalize the dissolution plan and hold a public hearing on it after the Jan. 22 vote.
Then, voters may have another chance to opt out of dissolution by submitting a referendum to vote for or against the dissolution plan.
“After the plan is finalized, voters can submit another petition,” Holderman said. “If our plan is not acceptable, the dissolution does not occur. One way or the other, we will have an answer within three months.”
The petition for referendum will require a larger initial push, requiring 25 percent of registered voters to sign the petition, rather than the 10 percent needed for the first vote.
Holderman said that he wanted a petition to come forward, which allows the dissolution plan to come under permissive referendum.
“The reason we wanted a petition to come in is because it gives the residents a chance for a second vote,” Holderman said. “It was never our intent not to have a vote. We wanted to give them the chance to have the total say.”
Holderman, who has stated his opposition to dissolution, said that he was happy that the dissolution committee process was coming to an end and that he felt it was an important part of the process.
“If we had not had this jump, we would have been in trouble,” Holderman said.