January 20, 2007

Town and Village

A perceptive reader noticed that I'd missed a key letter to the editor today. I'm afraid that I read the names and locations of readers, and didn't notice a letter about Dryden from Wendy Yager, a Groton resident. Yager, who grew up in the Village of Dryden, writes:

I would like it to be known that all of the terrible things that happen are in the Town of Dryden, not the village. Your paper very rarely distinguishes between the two, and the village takes a lot of garbage because of it.

Yager is completely right that not nearly enough people make the distinction between the Town and Village of Dryden. The Village is around 1832 people in around 1000 acres fairly close to the eastern edge of the Town, which includes 13,000 people in 94 square miles. You can get a sense of the relationship between Town and Village (and of the many other neighborhoods in the Town) on my Introducing Dryden page.

There are times when I really wish the Village had a different name from the Town. People sometimes ask me if I'm going to run against Mayor Taylor, and I have to explain that I live in Dryden, but not in the Village. The Dryden School District includes a majority of the town, but not nearly all of it. Zip codes don't help either.

If the Village of Dryden renamed itself, say, the Village of Paradise, there wouldn't be nearly the same confusion. Or the Town could change its name. I don't think either will happen soon.

The Town does, of course, include the Village of Dryden (and Freeville). Village residents can vote in town races. Town residents can't vote in Village races, however. The Town and Village also share a court, making the distinction even less clear in criminal proceedings. The Village has police - the Town doesn't - though those police also cover the Village of Freeville (by contract).

So Yager is right that it would probably be good to make the distinctions clearer. Unfortunately for the Village, she's definitely not right that "all of the terrible things that happen are in the Town of Dryden, not the village." The recent home invasion was in the Village of Dryden, as was the older daylight robbery of the Song Tao restaurant. The Village police log in the Courier is usually quiet, but it won't always be that way.

It would definitely be a good idea to distinguish between the two more frequently, but Yager overstates her case about the Village, from my perspective at least.

Posted by simon at January 20, 2007 7:13 PM in ,
Note on photos