Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Went Back to Upstate NY....and My City Was Gone

Granted, I returned to Upstate NY over 23 years ago.

And a city may die next Tuesday.  Or not.

Actually, not a city but a village.  A village that has been around for over 100 years but has become too expensive for it to continue to exist.  Or so many of its residents say.

The village is Johnson City, and the process is something called dissolution.

This dissolution will be voted on next Tuesday, and if it passes, Johnson City will dissolve and become part of the Town of Union.  In NY, towns are "subdivisions", so to speak, of counties.  Johnson City is located in the Town of Union, in Broome County.  The Town of Union has one other village, Endicott.  And a bunch of incorporated areas:  Westover, Fairmount Park, Endwell, among others.

If Johnson City dissolves it will become one of those areas.  They will receive police protection from the NY State Police and other services from the town.  It's somewhat complicated, like everything in NY tends to be.

Towns and villages in NY are somewhat independent; for example the village of Deposit lies partially in Broome County and partially in Delaware County.  However, before I give all my readers headaches, I'll go back to the topic.  Oh yes, Johnson City dissolving.

Until around a year ago the dissolution process was so daunting that few villages tried it.  But all changed, the process is now much easier, and now we really have it on the ballot (not "we"; I don't live in Johnson City) instead of the "just talk" it's been for so many years.

And, meanwhile, Johnson City is electing a mayor in the same election.  So if it dissolves, these people are running for an office that won't exist - I assume.  Should be interesting.  Wonder what their role would be then.

Of course, there are signs posted everywhere-pro and con. Vote for dissolution!  Vote agains!  People care....a lot.

Spouse thinks the dissolution will fail, but we will see.

So then what?

I think the name will remain Johnson City.  That wasn't the original name, which was Lestershire, but why change back?

Many years ago Lestershire was renamed in honor of George F. Johnson.  His story is quite interesting;  I encourage you to read about him and Endicott-Johnson.  The legacy of George F. Johnson is enormous and affected all parts of this country.

There's a lot of stuff in this area named for the Johnson family.  My son went to Harry L. Johnson elementary, which no longer exists.  (it's a senior apartment building now.) Similarly, he went to 5th grade at C. Fred Johnson Middle School.  That school doesn't exist anymore either.  Hmm....

I don't know about this blog, but I do agree Johnson City saw the last of its glory days a long time ago.  So, if George F. came back to life, would he tell Johnson City to dissolve?  Or not? What Would George Do?

Since he's not coming back, the residents of Johnson City will decide on Tuesday.  Stay tuned.

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