Defeat of Lansingburgh Annexation (May 18, 1869)
Gov. Hoffman yesterday returned to the office of Secretary of State, the bill annexing Lansingburgh to Troy, and filed his objections thereto. We publish the Governor’s objections below.
The law was doubtless defective in its failure to provide for the proper disposition of the school property of Lansingburgh, and it is difficult to see how the Governor’s objections in this regard can be met. The reasoning of the Executive in other respects will be differently estimated by different persons.
Gov. Hoffman evidently supposes that Troy has been pushing the annexation measures, while the effort of Lansingburgh has been to retain her position. There could be no greater mistake. The measure originated in Lansingburgh, and all the effective support it had came from citizens of that village. It has been a Lansingburgh and not a Troy fight. We do not know a half dozen men in Troy who have been at all active in the matter, and ninety-nine hundredths of our people have been entirely indifferent as to the fate of the measure. And this, because all have felt that the inevitable must come, and “Troy could wait.”
AN ACT to unite the village of Lansingburgh to the city of Troy.
NOT APPROVED: I am satisfied that the annexation of Lansingburgh to Troy will ultimately take place. I am, however, equally satisfied that a large majority of the people of Lansingburgh are opposed to it at present. If the notice required to be given by the general law concerning the erection and alteration of cities, villages, &c., had been published, and, after such publication, the Legislature had decided, notwithstanding the opposition from Lansingburgh, to pass the act, the case would have been different. Such notice was not given, and the people of Lansingburgh (such as were opposed to annexation,) had no hearing upon the merits of this bill until after it had passed the Assembly. It is no answer to this objection to say they were fully heard before the Senate committee.
It is not wise to force annexation against the will of a large number of the inhabitants and tax payers of Lansingburgh; especially when there is no public necessity for hasty action.
The bill is defective in the clause relating to the transfer of school property, in respect to which point I have taken the opinion of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The school property of Lansingburgh is, by the bill, to be transferred to the city of Troy; whereas, by the provisions of the general school law, the title to all the school property in Lansingburgh is now held not in the village, but in School District No. 1. By this bill, Lansingburgh would cease to be a part of such School District, and the property, which is of great value, and chiefly in Lansingburgh, would pass to the other portion of the District.
Nor do I approve of the provision relating to the special Justice, who is to be elected if the bill becomes a law.
After patient investigation, and a full hearing of the parties, I have come to the conclusion that the question of annexation had better be postponed for another year, when a more perfect bill can be prepared, and the subject be more deliberately discussed.
This course will do away with much bitterness of feeling and dissatisfaction among the people of Lansingburgh, while Troy need be in no haste to have annexed what must sooner or later be hers. Troy can wait without serious inconvenience or injury.
JOHN T. HOFFMAN.
Troy Daily Whig. May 18, 1869: 3 col 2.