Chautauqua County Executive Gregory Edwards is again talking regionalism. Over the weekend, the executive put out a call to those interested in exploring "municipal consolidation."
"New York State currently has 10,521 governments, many of which provide the same services to residents, and New York state and county taxpayers simply cannot afford to have this many," he said in his Monday Morning Memo. "Chautauqua County accounts for 2.3 percent of this total with 27 towns, 15 villages, and two cities. In an effort to provide real and meaningful change for all taxpayers in Chautauqua County, I will be hosting a forum for all community leaders to begin the conversation on municipal consolidation."
Edwards spoke of municipal and school consolidation efforts in his 2010 State of the County address. It went nowhere.
This forum is a start.
And for those municipal governments who do not believe they need to take part? Maybe your sales tax funds - handled by the county - can be withheld.
This cannot be a volunteer effort. It must be forced.