From The Mayor's Desk

A collection of writings about small town democracy by Roy Reehil, Mayor of the Village of Cleveland, New York.


New Cleveland Budget Reduces Taxes

News Item - Week of the election The village of Cleveland’s 1995-96 budget has some good news for Cleveland residents - lower taxes!

The accepted budget went into effect on June 1st and reduces village taxes from $8.00 per thousand of assessed value to $7.73. It’s also the first time a village budget has been created using a computer. And there’s more good news. the Sewer rates have also been reduced from $446 per year to $434 per year, marking the first sewer reduction since the installation of the sewer system. “These are not huge reductions, but we’re moving things in the right direction” said Cleveland mayor Roy Reehil. “What’s important is that we’re tightening our belts now, and looking for new ways to save money in the future”.

The budget didn’t provide all good news though. The annual rate for water service will increase $10.40 per household per year in the village.

Mayor Reehil explained the rate increase this way. “The water rate has remained the same in the village since 1988, even though the cost of providing water has increased. Previous budgets were taking money from the sewer fund and the general fund to provide water. That means that people in the village, were paying higher sewer and tax rates for people outside of the village to have a low water rate. Raising the water rate puts the cost of supplying water where it belongs, on the water bills of everyone including people outside of the village. That way villagers don’t pay higher tax and sewer rates for the water rate to remain artificially low. Our new computerized budget should allow future Village Boards to re-evaluate the tax, sewer and water rates easily, which should keep the rates fair for villagers in the future.”


The Election

“Congratulations” was the word of the day on June 21st as I accepted the congratulations of villagers, family and friends. But I would like to congratulate everybody who took the time to vote… no matter who you voted for. I’m proud that 183 Clevelanders, about half of our registered voters, thought it was important enough to vote. I’m excited because so many people were willing to participate. That is so important because, the village board can oversee the details, but it takes help from the community to do a really good job. The more people involved, the more we can achieve!

Our village government is a small force alone: a mayor, four trustees, a DPW supervisor, a DPW Assistant, a Village Clerk and the Clerk’s Assistant. Nine people.

You’ve heard the saying that two heads are better than one… how about 183 heads and their families and friends too. We can make noticeable improvements to the quality of life here in Cleveland, and we can lower our taxes further, if we agree to work together. There are loads of little projects, cleanup and fix-up jobs in the village right now that could be done with a few volunteers. Perhaps you have a project or idea that you’d like to see completed.

The village government can work better with villagers contributing, and everyone has something to offer. Some can provide physical work while others might make sandwiches. Donations of money or materials are great for those that can offer them.

Some of the projects that have been discussed are: fixing up the village hall, fixing up railings and fences next to village creeks, sidewalk renovation, a neighborhood watch program and a general cleanup.

Do You Want to Lower Taxes? Here’s how you can help: Volunteer to help out on a project that’s of interest to you. We all get to enjoy the fruits of our labor without spending any money. What’s your idea? Call the village hall to volunteer! With your help we will get things done.

Thanks to Volunteers

Thanks to everyone who’s been helping out with different projects around the village. The new playground at the elementary school was funded and installed by volunteers. Trees on Lake St., North St. and at the fire hall were planted by volunteers. Bob Hinds not only donated trees at the fire hall but he is also cleaning out the garage at the village hall. Thanks also to Gerald Griesmyer and his helpers for cleaning up and mowing all over the village. Cleveland Summer Youth Program Begins Soon: It’s for kids, it’s at the park and it’s free… Call the village hall for details.

Independence Day

I hope everyone had a safe and happy fourth of July weekend. The weather has been amazing for recreation and I can’t remember ever having this many hot and sunny days in a row. The downside of this great weather is that we may have to begin conserving water soon. Many communities have already put into place mandatory restrictions on water usage. We certainly hope that we won’t have to resort to those kinds of restrictions but, I’d like to recommend that we begin some voluntary conservation of village water. Wait a little longer to wash your car, and only water your lawn or garden every other day instead of everyday. Any way you can think of to conserve water will be helpful. The goal is to make it through the drought without any mandatory water restrictions. Thanks for your help, ideas and participation and have a great summer!

Roy Reehil, Mayor


Note: The following text was edited out of this article for space concerns, but I thought I would include it here:

I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote, no matter who you voted for. And thanks to Mal Davis and Dan Murphy because they were willing to take the job. I especially want to thank the good people who will serve with me as trustees, for I will challenge them, and the $500 they receive for the year will be earned many times over.

It may sound corny but, I am honored to be elected mayor. When my friends joke with me and call me “your honor” they don’t realize that it is my honor to serve. But I know that to do a great job as mayor, I’ll need to do more than being honest, fair and able to hear new ideas. I’ll need to let everyone in Cleveland know that their participation and ideas are just as important as mine or anyone else who’s involved in our village government. I will be judging my success on the villages continued participation and willingness to excel.

Roy Reehil, Mayor
Village of Cleveland


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Copyright Roy Reehil, 2004