The Association of Towns (AOT) of the State of New York was established in 1933 to help towns obtain greater economy and efficiency. The Association serves town governments by providing training programs, research and information services, technical assistance, legal services, computer software programs, insurance programs and a variety of publications to member towns. It represents town governments by providing advocacy in Albany, monitoring legislation and regulatory action, lobbying and presenting initiatives solely on behalf of towns.
As part of their efforts they developed a Legislative Program for 2011 that included several resolutions. Below you will find two resolutions that are very relevant and address the issue the Coalition on Article X (COAX) has chosen to pursue…the “LOSS OF HOME RULE” pertaining to the re-authorization of Article X.
For the full text of the download, go to the NY State Association of Town website homepage http://www.nytowns.org/ and download: 2011 Legislative Program (.pdf) file. NY State Association of Towns 2011 Legislative Program
2011 Legislative Resolutions
Resolution No. 1
Preserve and Strengthen Home Rule
Whereas, beginning in 1894, the people of the State of New York have voted repeatedly to approve Constitutional provisions granting broad home rule powers to local governments and corresponding restrictions on the state Legislature to preserve these powers; and
Whereas, home rule powers encompass a wide range of subjects including but not limited to: the power to adopt, amend and repeal local laws in the exercise of its functions, powers and duties; the power to share services and act cooperatively with other local governments; the power to acquire real and personal property for its corporate purposes; the power to establish recreational facilities; the power to dispose of its real and personal property; the power to levy and collect rents, charges, fees and penalties in a city, village or town; the power to adopt, amend and repeal zoning regulations; and the power to perform comprehensive or other planning work relating to its jurisdiction; and
Whereas, the exercise of these powers permits local governing bodies to meet the unique and diverse needs of local residents while fostering citizen participation and grass roots involvement in government; and
Whereas, New York’s diverse communities are best served by maintaining the principles of home rule, including those set forth in the state Constitution, Local Government Bill of Rights, Statute of Local Government and the Municipal Home Rule Law;
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Association of Towns calls upon the Governor and members of the state Legislature to preserve and strengthen home rule;
and Be It Further Resolved, that the Association of Towns will strongly oppose any state initiative to weaken or eliminate New York’s long-standing tradition of home rule and local government authority.
Resolution No. 12
Preserve and Strengthen Local Government’s Role in the Siting of Energy Generation Facilities
Whereas, the proper regulation of the siting and installation of wind energy facilities (WEFs) is necessary for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and welfare of neighboring property owners and the general public; and
Whereas, local governments have successfully developed, implemented and administered local WEF siting laws and policies with the input and guidance of local taxpayers, residents, business and agricultural representatives, environmentalists, energy generators, planners and lawyers; and
Whereas, the Wind Code of Conduct negotiated by the New York State Attorney General’s Office and agreed to by the predominate players in the Wind Energy Market has addressed potential conflicts of interests in the siting of wind energy facilities; and
Whereas, Article X of the Public Service Law (PSL), which set forth the siting procedure to construct and operate major power generation facilities with a capacity of 80 megawatts or more, expired Dec. 31, 2002, thereby requiring electric generating project developers to undergo local zoning review and environmental review pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law);
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Association of Towns calls upon the Governor, members of the state Legislature and state agencies to develop new laws and regulations that will preserve local authority over the siting of WEFs;
and Be It Further Resolved, that legislation authorizing the renewal of the state siting procedure for power generation facilities (PSL, article X) should include measures to enhance local government participation in the siting process such as, but not limited to: ad hoc membership on the state siting board, adherence to local siting policies, required community host agreements, and/or access to intervenor funds.