Should South Nyack Residents Vote to Dissolve Their Village?

By: Jennifer Korn

On Thursday Dec 17, South Nyack residents will be asked to vote on a referendum that could result in their village being reabsorbed into Orangetown.

After the petition to hold the referendum was filed, the South Nyack Village Board hired CGR, a consulting company, to prepare a report that highlights the impacts of the potential dissolution. The report projects that residents will pay less in property taxes, all village positions will be eliminated, and residents would have a less direct role in town government affairs.

The full dissolution impact report is available at www.cgr.org/southnyack.

Some residents support dissolving the village in order to lower taxes, while others are skeptical about the projected revenue and fear a loss of political autonomy.

The referendum was petitioned after the news broke that Yeshiva Viznitz, of Kaser Village, Ramapo, purchased Nyack College.
Eliminating the village would make the Nyack College property completely subject to Orangetown zoning codes and provide additional legal avenues to block the opening of the school. Multiple South Nyack residents have expressed apprehension that the opening of the Yeshiva would lead to severe overdevelopment on the property.

Some who are advocating for a village dissolution have stated that if residents want to retain the character of their village, they must vote yes in the upcoming referendum. “If not, you’re going to have a massive powerful political group making the calls,” said Pete Bradley, civic activist.

Others have stated they are not concerned that the village will lose its character if the dissolution vote fails.

“These people bought that property for a religious school,” said Yehuda Zorger, of Airmont. “These people are not here to change South Nyack, they’re not here to do any of that.”

South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian previously stated to the Rockland County Times that residents must be informed of the impact of their vote. “Our residents need to be informed before they cast their vote and understand what the consequences and cost will be,” said Christian.

CGR will hold a Q&A workshop on Dec. 10 at 7:30 via zoom to discuss its report with the public.

Residents will cast their votes on Dec. 17 at The Living Christ Church on South Broadway. Dissolving the village government could take up to two years and the process could be reversed by a second vote to overturn the original decision.

Our readers can weigh in!
Do you think that South Nyack Residents should vote to disband the village? Click here to take our poll and let us know. We will surely publish the results, along with your comments.