Talk:Administrative divisions of New York (state)

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This page could stand a great deal more wikification. There are many terms used here which have adequate free-standing articles and should be properly cross-referneced. 05:19, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC)

N.Y.C. Community Boards[edit]

These should probably be added. If anyone has knowledge on the subject, please share. Otherwise, I will investigate. (I am a bit embarrassed that as a Brooklynite, I am unfamiliar with the purpose and function of these.)[[User:Nricardo|--Nelson Ricardo >>Talk<<]] 21:41, Sep 25, 2004 (UTC)

I did this not long ago. Nelson Ricardo 04:42, Oct 11, 2004 (UTC)

New York articles[edit]

Even though the article for the state itself is at New York, not New York State (which is a re-direct,) why do several articles relating to it say "New York State" in them?? 00:52, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

New York State makes it clear that the state is being discussed, not New York City. The New York article does not include "State" in the title so that it conforms to the other 49 states. Another state often followed by "State", but whose article title does not do so, is Washington (to differentiate from Washington, D.C.). Nelson Ricardo 01:52, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)
It is not correct to use the term "New York State" and "New York City". The name of the state is New York, the name of the city is New York. Go to the USPS (a part of the federal government remember) and do a search for the zip code of New York City, it will give you the zip codes for the city of New York and say word for word "New York City is not an acceptable, use New York". There is a Kansas City and yet no one goes around saying Kansas State (if you did they would think you were refering to the football team). There is the NYPD, the FDNY, and SUNY and CUNY; but not NYCPD, FDNYC, UNYS, and UNYC. Places like Jersey City, Kansas City, etc have city in their name, but the city of NY does not. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 11:48, 18 November 2008 (UTC).Reply[reply]
Do we need to resurrect a 4-year-old thread? The USPS rules apply only to how we address mail. Even then, they are guidelines, the violation of which do not prevent mail from reaching their destination. Regardless of official names, just saying "New York" is ambiguous. "The State of New York" and "The City of New York" are clunky constructs which do not always flow naturally. And check out and Feel free to write Paterson and Bloomberg to complain. --Nricardo (talk) 11:59, 18 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The comparison to Kansas City and Jersey City is all very well, but the city of New York dominates the state of New York in ways unknown in Kansas or New Jersey (see Upstate New York); that is why New York City and New York State are in common usage, and Wikipedia respects common usage, preferring it in its naming conventions, for example, over technically "correct" names. -- Mwanner | Talk 12:10, 18 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The phrasing "The definitions of the political subdivisions of New York State differ from those in most other states" seems a little strong to me. To be honest, I see very little in this article that is dramatically different from most other states. olderwiser 03:01, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)

Most states do not have the term "hamlet". "Villages" in other states tend to be unincorporated, as are "towns" (though "townships", a term not found in NY, are incorporated) (see town and village). In most states, there are large areas administered directy by counties, where there in no lower level of local government. All areas of NY have govt. below the county level. I'm not saying all states vary, but enough do that some clarification is useful (not to mention for residents of other countries). Also, my rewrite was a rewording without changing the essential meaning of the intro. since the article was created. If you feel there is better wording, please be bold. Nelson Ricardo 03:27, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)
True enough about hamlets, although all states have the equivalent sort of small unincorporated communities. There are quite a few states that do have incorporated villages. NY Towns are the direct equivalent of Townships in other states (although not all the states that have townships utilize them for governmental purposes) and there are other states with Towns in the same sense as NY. I still think the phrasing is misleading in implying that NY political subdivisions "differ from those in most other states". I think that is simply untrue. There are some minor variations, which are to be expected, but overall the basic scheme is quite recognizable as more similar than different to that of many other states. olderwiser 12:49, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)
I know I'm late to the game, but both of the other two states in which I've lived, Iowa and North Carolina, have unincorporated land in the counties. NYS does not, from "Every citizen in New York State that does not live in a city lives in both a town and a county." NYS hamlets are always part of an incorporated local government, usually a town. The old introduction may not be too strong, if correct, a survey of states may be needed. User:JohnMc May 2, 2017 —Preceding undated comment added 21:02, 2 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Contradictory phrasing?[edit]

I think a recent addition makes for contradictory phrasing: The term "hamlet" actually has no meaning under New York law, and is often used in the state's statutes merely to refer to well-known developed areas that are not separately incorporated as villages. If the term is used in state statutes, then how can it be without meaning under New York law. I suspect that what is meant is simply that "hamlets" are not defined as a type of municipality. olderwiser 12:29, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

That's why I was thinking of reverting the addition to the text by an anom user. See (page 101). Nelson Ricardo 18:28, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
However, it is true that the term "hamlet" appears numerous times in the Laws of New York [1] and even appears in the state constitution. I'd say that the phrasing in the handbook is perhaps somewhat imprecise: While many people refer to such places as "hamlets", the term "hamlet" actually has no meaning under New York law. (Chapter VIII, pg 101). It might be more precise to say something like the term "hamlet" has no meaning as a form of local government under New York law. olderwiser 19:00, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
I've rephrased the section, but feel free to edit if you can make it sound better. Thanks! Nelson Ricardo 20:22, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

Rename this article?[edit]

Using the "What links here" link, I see that there are dozens of links on Wikipedia to Political subdivisions of New York State, which is a redirect to this page, and only one or two directly to this page. I suggest it would make more sense to rename this page than to redo the dozens of links. Unless anyone objects, I'll make this change in a day or two. RussBlau 15:21, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Good idea. I did not agree with the pedantic move in the first place. (You may need an admin to do the move correctly, since the target page already exists.) Nelson Ricardo 17:31, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

City of Sherrill[edit]

For source on the City of Sherrill not being independent of the town government, see the city charter, which is linked to from the Sherrill, New York article. RussBlau 19:15, Apr 17, 2005 (UTC)

I see that now. Why the f--- would they do something like that? Our govt. is more screwed up than I ever thought possible. Sherrill has no business being a "city". Nelson Ricardo 01:49, Apr 18, 2005 (UTC)

School districts[edit]

The article identifies the various types of school districts by name only and does not specify why there are various types of school districts or how they differ. That part of the article is not very helpful, especially to people who live in different states, where school organization can be radically different. Clarification is respectfully requested. Doctor Whom 02:47, 12 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, expansion would be useful, but see the State of N.Y., Local Govt. Handbook, 5th ed., Jan. 2000 (chapter 9) for now. Nelson Ricardo 10:53, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

Largest and least populous towns[edit]

Those were both wrong. I have corrected them (although the former does have a qualifier, duly noted).Daniel Case 05:06, 28 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Particular" vs. "Peculiar"[edit]

I recently changed a section heading from "...particular to New York..." to "...peculiar to New York...". The change was reverted, with a comment that the original "makes more sense". That's subjective, so I've re-applied the edit. If you are considering reverting again, I would ask that you first consult a dictionary: (for example, and If the change is reverted again, I won't reapply it, since I'm not looking for trouble ;-) uFu 01:01, 4 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I read. Particular makes more sense. Peculiar is used more in the sense of odd or weird. Nelson Ricardo 02:05, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. Merriam-Webster has the "distinctive" sense listed first, then the "odd" sense. I'm gonna try "unique" as a compromise, and see if it sticks. This'll be my last attempt at this (promise), since I'm sure we both have more valuable contributions we could be making. uFu 23:51, 4 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ooh. That's the best one so far. I concur. (You can't always trust the dictionary for the most common sense. Some order based on oldest usage. Look up "gay" on M-W, for example.) Nelson Ricardo 05:21, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

Disambiguated divisions[edit]

For lack of a better place to put it: /Disambiguated divisions --SPUI (T - C) 00:43, 23 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And a proposal: Wikipedia:Political subdivisions of New York --SPUI (T - C) 01:44, 23 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The proposed bill recently cited in the Hamlet section will likely not pass on two counts: 1) it is poorly written and uses unofficial terms such as "unincorporated village" (if it's a village, it's incorporated) and 2) hamlets do not have defined borders, so it would be impossible to develop statistics for them. --Nelson Ricardo 06:50, 29 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And where is Hamlet "officially" defined in NY State law? --- Skapur 15:40, 29 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not. Hamlets have no "official" existence under N.Y. state law. --Nelson Ricardo 16:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not to be elitist or anything (yes, I am), but perhaps the terminology issues relate to the bill's sponsor not being a college graduate. --Nelson Ricardo 07:08, 29 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fortunately, Wikipedia's is designed for the masses, not the elites and should incorporate common usage. On Long Island, the common usage is village for unincorporated communities as reflected in the name of a myriad publications and the names of a lot of localities. Examples: Old Bethpage village, Three Villages area, etc. --- Skapur 15:40, 29 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia is here to educate and inform, not to perpetuate popular misconceptions. If a hamlet is popularly called a village, this can be noted, but we must also note that it is not a village in the legal sense of the word. --Nelson Ricardo 16:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Villages are Villages on Long Island. Long Islanders incorrectly call Hamlets, TOWNS (only a non-Long Islander would say Village). Not too many people say their from the Town of Hempstead. Example: "What Town are you from?", People would just say their from Levittown, Merrick or Uniondale, etc. (talk) 16:24, 16 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think its not only on Long Island. Every citizen of New York call the "places" same as any other American - name of the place is not dependent on the status of the city, but on the size of the place. For example, instead of "village", most people say "town", instead of "hamlet", people say "small town" or "village". The main problem is with people who search for the places in New York State, find the place and see "xyz is the TOWN in xyz county..." - people think its normal town - place which is larger than village but smaller than city. But in fact, "town" in New York is only civil township or district or divison. This is very confusing not only for non-New Yorkers, but for all the people. --Novis-M (talk) 19:31, 17 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I do not understand why this page should not be in the Geography of New York category. There are two basic types of geography: natural and political. This article definitely falls under political geography. --Nelson Ricardo 17:51, 14 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Boroughs vs. counties[edit]

This article says "Each of the five boroughs of New York City is coextensive with one of its five counties." This is generally thought to be true, and it is, but with an exception that makes it not be true: Theres a small piece of what is geographically in the Bronx, Marble Hill, which is actually part of New York County, and used to be part of Manhattan. When the Harlem River was re-routed in the early 20th century, this piece of land (less than a square mile) was attached to the Bronx by filling in a canal, but is still part of its old borough. Capek 21:39, 19 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Marble Hill belongs to the borough of Manhattan and the county of New York, so I do not understand how that makes the statement incorrect. The fact that the land is physically attached to the Bronx does not change its legal status. --Nélson Ricardo 21:50, 19 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Marble Hill belongs to the borough of the Bronx, but the county of New York. My understanding is that this is only of consequence to those who commit a crime in this area: apprehension would be by police of a precinct in the Bronx, but prosecution would be by the District Attorney's office in New York County. Capek (talk) 03:06, 10 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Marble Hill does not belong to the borough of the Bronx, it is in both the county of New York and the borough of Manhattan. Police precincts in the city of New York do not have to conform to county or borough lines that is why there is overlap. Marble Hill became "attached" to the mainland next to the Bronx due to manmade intervention by moving the river. Read the article Marble Hill, Manhattan for more info on how it came to be. Camelbinky (talk) 05:58, 1 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Can someone please clarify something for me? The article says that cities are mostly autonomous. Does that mean that they are not under the jurisdiction of the county? What I mean is, is a city in New York like an independent city in Virginia, or does the county still have some involvement in operations (like sheriffs and courts)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jzcrandall (talkcontribs) 06:42, 3 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

NYC aside, cities are part of a county, but are not subordinate to it. There are no "independent" cities, as in Va. Counties provide certain services and levy taxes across all municipalities. (Again, NYC aside, I believe cities can straddle county lines. I'm not sure if any actually do. Villages do; towns can't.) —Nricardo 11:00, 3 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You may want to read for greater insight. —Nricardo 11:04, 3 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does anyone know of any instance in which an incorporated village actually does straddle a county line? I know some like Ballston Spa and Nassau straddle town lines but I've never heard of a village straddling a county line. Also are there any cities other than New York that straddle more than one county or take up an entire county?Camelbinky (talk) 04:53, 30 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See the 4th paragraph of the "Village" section. --Nricardo (talk) 11:00, 30 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, search for " and " at List_of_villages_in_New_York. --Nricardo (talk) 11:05, 30 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The village of Saranac Lake, New York is part of 3 towns and 2 counties. To my knowledge, the only city to cross a county border is New York City --JBC3 (talk) 15:33, 30 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looks like the city of Geneva, New York is in more than one county. --JBC3 (talk) 16:20, 26 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Updated handbook[edit] has been updated. I'll try to see whether there is any new material of interest. It may take me a while to turn my attention to this, so if anyone else has an interest, go for it! --Nricardo (talk) 12:07, 18 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some counties missing?[edit]

A few sentences from the "County" section don't add up:

  • "There are sixty-two counties in the state."
  • "Five of the counties are boroughs of New York City and do not have functioning county governments."
  • "Twenty-seven counties of the State operate under the general provisions of the County Law."
  • "Twenty counties have County Charters."

If my math is right, that only accounts for 52 counties. How are the other ten governed? --Jfruh (talk) 21:27, 26 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your math is correct, sir/madam. These remaining counties are technically governed by ME, actually. I am officially the "Head N_____ In Charge" as well as the County Executive of the ten remaining counties. Each one contains several towns, villages, cities, a few hamlets, and several omelets -- the number varies based on the way I'm feeling at any particular moment. If and when anyone causes any problems/breaks any rules (which are determined by me), the penalty is a major beat-down. Also, marijuana is legal. And peyote. The charters for these counties are written on the back of a Chinese take-out menu that hangs on my fridge. I am getting in framed one of these days. If anyone would like, I will scan it and post it. Any questions, please contact me. (talk) 17:27, 13 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Similarity to New England towns[edit]

This subsection (Similarity to New England towns) seems as though it doesn't quite fit in with this article. Even so, the information therein could be folded into the Towns section in some way if it were relevant, I would think... --JBC3 (talk) 23:25, 29 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree and it has simply wrong information or at least outdated. It implies that there are boroughs inside towns in NY but not NE. To the best of my knowledge there are no longer any boroughs in NY except for the five that make up New York city. Often these boroughs were the genesis of future counties from larger countiesThere used to be boroughs within counties (though to my knowledge never INSIDE of a town) such Schenectady was originally a borough of Albany County, then Schenectady County was formed and then the city was formed. In the past there wasnt the rigid structure of towns taking up all the land in a county (except for cities and Indian Reservations or the PC term for them today) and there were "districts" (the town of Watervliet was once a district, today it is the town of Colonie) and "boroughs" and even the Rensselaerswyck patroonship for quite some time had a legal status under the state of New York even though it existed within Albany County (the patroonship even had separate representation to the state convention that chose the representatives for NY to the Constitutional Convention). It also implies that incorporated villages are independent of the town, that is true to an extant and it should be clarified that residents of villages do still pay town taxes (cut by a certain percentage, not the full amount they would if outside the village), villagers often still receive town services depending on arrangements, and town police (if that particular town has a police force) can still patrol issue tickets and respond to calls within the village even if the village has its own police force. Town halls are even sometimes located within an incorporated village.Camelbinky (talk) 05:56, 31 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article mentions several times that towns are similar to civil townships in other states but after having read that article I see no similarity in political structure as towns in NY are incorporated municipalities with many more functions than townships in other states, a better analogy would be to compare NY towns with Michigan's charter townships if towns are going to compared to any other state's townships. I will be changing the article to reflect this.Camelbinky (talk) 14:40, 2 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What section would I put this info in?[edit]

Three cities in NY have inner and outer districts, Saratoga Springs, Rome, and Oneida. The outer districts have lesser services and are taxed at a lesser rate accordingly. page 3 section heading- Dual Property Tax Zones This is often attributed to those three cities being "consolidated city/town governments" (though I cant find citation of it on the web right now, so am going to check actual books next).Camelbinky (talk) 01:47, 1 April 2009 (UTC) That website by the way is an official NY state government site and report so is reliable. the home page is and is the site for the New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness and has lots of info on the current wave of consolidation talk coming from AG Andrew Cuomo and Gov. David Paterso. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Camelbinky (talkcontribs) Reply[reply]

I don't feel that the information belongs in this article. Special taxing districts exist in several municipalities, not just cities. These districts seem to have more to do with taxing than they do with administration, since both districts are administered by the same government entities and in the same fashion. The only difference, it would seem, is the level of government services each district receives from the administrating governmental entity. This information may be of interest, however, in the articles of the respective cities. --JBC3 (talk) 00:03, 2 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Rethinking this a little, if I were to put it anywhere in the article, I'd put it under Special Purpose Units of Government. --JBC3 (talk) 00:19, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, Ill check those three cities to make sure they have that info. I just thought it might fit in this article since those are the ONLY three cities in the state to have separate districts for their property taxes, they arent special taxing districts. Also, if my info is correct, they are city-town consolidated governments, the only three in the state, if I can find citation for that fact I do believe that part should be mentioned, since village-town consolidated govts ARE mentioned (Green Island and at least two others).Camelbinky (talk) 14:34, 2 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, if you can find a citation, put it in and see how others receive it. Chances are if it's cited it will be left alone anyway. And I'm not totally opposed to the addition of the separate districts mention if you think it's relevant to the topic. I just didn't think it fit in really. Anyway, let me know what you turn up for a source, and I'll give it another thought then. --JBC3 (talk) 03:08, 3 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with your assement that the 3 cities having separate tax districts probably doesnt fit in. I dont want you to think I'm arguing with you or being stubborn about wanting it in, I was just curious as to other people's feelings on the info, if I had been certain that it warranted being in the article I wouldve put it in first. I really dont want to alienate someone I have enjoyed working with. I'll definitely keep looking for sources on the town-city consolidation, I know I read it in one of my text books as an undergrad but I cant seem to find either the original book nor any current undergrad book with the same info (I probably returned the book for money, I was a poor freshman and needed beer probably!). If I were to email an old professor and could I cite his/her statement or would I have to ask for the professor to give me a proper published citation to that statement of his/hers? Would it be a COI for the professor to give me a citation of a book he/she published? I just want to cover all bases now instead of getting in trouble with any "citation police" down the line. You know me, wiki-rules to the letter. :-)Camelbinky (talk) 03:21, 3 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I know you aren't trying to argue or be stubborn. As far as the professor as a source, I don't know that that's passable... not because it would be a COI, but because it's not a verifiable source? But since you brought him up, maybe Hippo43 could give you some insight as to whether it would be acceptable, and if not what alternatives you could pursue. He does seem to be quite knowledgeable about WikiPolicy. --JBC3 (talk) 04:16, 3 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'll ask wadester or an admin, I have a serious problem with Hippo being "knowledgeable" about wikipolicy, I is a strict constructionist and sees only black and white and that is not how wikipedia is supposed to be run, there's a reason all wikipolicy pages say at the top that they are not hard-fast rules and commonsense should be used in applying or disregarding, there are always exceptions to the rule. That's a discussion that doesnt belong here though. I know e-mails from people in authority have been used before (emails from people at DOT have been used for road articles). I'm a big believer in "common law" wikipedia rules, if something is commonly accepted in the community and it isnt following the strict letter of policy then it is still ok. I might not be in the right on that, but that's my opinion. I wasnt even thinking of hippo when I said citation police but strange that you would assume that! I think it says something about hippo when people automatically associate him with that term. No single person, esp a non-admin, should take it upon themselves to pass judgement on other editors contributions, concensus should always be reached first, it alienates and discourages established editors and can be considered "biting" newbies and scare them away as well.Camelbinky (talk) 16:51, 3 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This might be of interest[edit]

New York Law 1886 1:748f is the law that divided the state into towns. (talk) 03:05, 8 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Moving sections around[edit]

I decided to be bold and switch sections around to improve the article. Figured I ought to explain why I did it though.
(1) Because Census-designated places and hamlets are not administrative divisions but are still important to discussion about New York State divisions and placenames, I felt it appropriate to keep them and move them into the Town section as subsections. Towns exercise the local administrative powers within CDPs and hamlets.
(2) Counties are the major division of New York, towns are the major divisions of counties. It makes sense to put towns right after counties. Villages are formed from and are part of towns, so it makes sense for them to come next. Cities are the exception in New York government, so it made sense for them to come after the others.
--JBC3 (talk) 00:15, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would suggest moving city above town since cities have more home rule powers and responsibilities than towns (cities are responsible for state and us highway routes whereas in towns the it is the state's responisibility, cities can change speedlimits at will on their roads, towns cant change any speedlimits without state dot approval first). Having cities mentioned after villages seems a bit backwards since villages are the lowest level. (talk) 02:08, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you think the Home Rule section should come right after the intro, then? --JBC3 (talk) 02:30, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Most definitely since that section could be expanded to have more history on when the state started assigning town/village/city to places and on the laws that regulate municipalities in general. Also suggest looking into the classification of towns and cities by ranks, I found in research on the town of Colonie that towns are classified in NY law by classes (based on population) with more home rule for higher classes. (talk) 02:36, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's true, towns and cities do have classes. Hopefully I can add something about that soon (if someone doesn't beat me to it). I'll move the Home Rule section unless someone objects, and see if I can add to that too. --JBC3 (talk) 02:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I understand wanting to place cities before towns because cities have more home rule and responsibilities. But would you also suggest moving cities above counties, since cities have more home rule powers and responsibilities than counties? --JBC3 (talk) 20:28, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Probably not because cities, even though they have more responisbilities than counties and have some independence from them are still within counties, my reasoning on being above towns was that towns and cities are both within counties and so are kinda both on the same level below counties but with cities more important and therefore should get placed first. I dont know if that makes any sense, that was my reasoning in my head though. I would assume for smaller cities especially counties probably take care of quite a bit, but I'm just guessing. (talk) 20:43, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Towns and cities are parts of different axes of organizing local government. Towns are explicit sub-divisions of a county, created by the state and/or county for the purposes of administering county/state authority. While cities may in some senses still be part of a county, historically they have a different origin. Cities were incorporated based on petitions by residents to provide for a greater level of municipal services than could be provided for by the town. That is cities were historically a way for residents to achieve greater home rule than with the general law provisions of town and county governments. olderwiser 20:52, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

From the article-Whether a municipality is a city, town or village is not dependent on population or area, but on the form of government selected by the residents and approved by the state legislature. New York considers counties, cities, towns and villages to be "municipal corporations" and "general purpose" units of local government.

Also, for the record towns are not created by counties, they are created by the state, and the law that divided all the state into towns is posted in another section above, all towns since have been created through the division of existing towns by state statute. Cities (except Albany and New York) were created through state general law and not through specific legislation. The current way for a town or city to be formed has been bureacratized and not dependent on specific legislation anymore and towns and counties provide the same services (senior living is done at the county level, towns and counties do sewer and water districts, etc). Distinctions between them are minor as the sentence in the article says. Personally its a stupid argument and I defer to JBC3 on how he wishes to organize this article as he has been the lead editor/organizer of an article that had been pretty much abandoned for quite some time. Also, I dont understand how they have a different origin, only NY, Albany, (and maybe Hudson) were cities prior to the state creating the original 12 NY counties and therefore all subsequent cities are within counties and all cities are subservient to counties in a multiple number of services/responsibilities (nursing homes are county, county sheriffs and courts are still paramount within city jurisdictions, murder is not tried in a city court, its a county/supreme court jurisdiction). (talk) 22:59, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whatever the current status of governmental status, historically, towns were explicitly administrative subdivisions of counties. Cities were created through a separate process as municipal corporations to provide services apart from town and county administration. Whatever the current status, it would be disingenuous to ignore historical reality. olderwiser 01:06, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, not to be patronizing, but no your view on the history of towns is wrong. Please do some searching on New York Municipal Code, come up with reliable verifiable sources and come back to this discussion. You are mistaken as to the historical functions of towns, what you are describing are townships as they are defined in other states and you may have read other sources that got the distinction between NY towns and other state's townships mistaken. Most cities in New York were created straight from whole towns or villages, not from sections of towns so they could get more administrative powers, such as the city of Watervliet being formed from the village of West Troy which was coterminous with the town of Watervliet. Plus this article is about the administrative divisions of New York as they are today, it is not an article on the History of administrative divisions of New York, which I would love to work with you on if you want to start that article as there would be a place for "districts" which New York used to have before the 1788 law that divided the entire state into towns and therefore no longer exist as a municipality and therefore have no place in this article. Cities are not created through a separate process from towns or villages, all are regulated and created (or destroyed) by the same "New York Home Rule Municipal Law", the New York state assembly website is a good place to start for current and former laws in the state of New York. As far as I'm concerned I'm not having this discussion with you until you can cite legislation to back up your claims, until then I wont respond. As far as I'm concerned the final decision is JBC3's as to the organizing and wording of this article, you may bring it up with him if you want something changed. (talk) 02:25, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Erm, well I did just read over the local government handbook. I'll concede it is not exactly as I described it, but neither is it quite as you describe it either. While towns have an ancient history, since early constitutional times, towns were subdivisions of counties. Cities were always something else, other than county subdivisions and with greater autonomy than towns. olderwiser 02:38, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For what it's worth, I don't feel like I own this page or have final say so over anything. I'm trying to build concensus on the order of sections so as to best present the article to readers, which is what this section of the talk page is supposed to be about. --JBC3 (talk) 02:44, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I could care less about this stupid argument, cities are county subdivisions by definition just as towns are, towns can cross county lines so how are they for the adminstration of county powers or whatever. I'm done, when someone starts calling something that has been around for 221 years "ancient" I'm too busy laughing to argue. The city of Albany is over 150 years older than any town in NY, if towns have an "ancient" history what is Albany's history? (talk) 06:45, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Towns by definition cannot cross county lines as counties were constituted as specific groupings of towns. Also, towns did exist to some degree even during Dutch administration, especially on Long Island. By the time New York received a royal charter, it had already been subdivided into towns (at least the areas of Long Island and the lower and mid-Hudson valley). Counties were initially created for judicial administration as well as for representation of the towns in state government, much like the New England states. However, counties grew stronger over the years in terms of authority in New York, whereas counties grew weaker in New England. --Polaron | Talk 15:47, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Conversation conclusion[edit]
Discussion on section order got off topic and unneccessarily heated and was therefor unproductive.

Main arguments:

JBC3 felt the order of sections should be county, town, village, city; he made the change and posted his reasons for doing so. Upon receiving suggestions for alternative orders, an off-topic discussion ensued regarding the differences between municipalities and the differences in personal understandings of what said municipalities are/were. This was done largely without discussing the ideal section order and without contributing significantly to the article. --JBC3 (talk) 07:26, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For what it's worth, I like the current section order (county, town, village, city, NYC), which is also used in the book by Moyer (Chap. 7) that I added in the Further reading section. This has the benefit of being hierarchial for areas outside cities, with cities being an exception to the general hierarchy and NYC being an exception to cities. --Polaron | Talk 15:47, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, I dont care if the above discussion is "closed" about the order of the article, I've always said it was JBC3's call. But as to the new discussion about town vs. city and which is older, Polaron, you are plain wrong about towns in New Netherland. There is a New Netherland project we can get someone from there to give us history on it. The towns on Long Island you refer to are what were established by New England settlers back when New England colonies, especially CT claimed LI against the Dutch. As for the state of New York, check NY law, it was in 1788 that the entire state was divided into towns, towns did not exist prior to the original 12 counties, only districts and boroughs and cities and villages, there may have been exceptions of there being TOWNSHIPS in NE influenced areas on Long Island I will concede that, but those arent towns as NY established them in 1788. There is plenty of places to find this information on the internet, look it up. Its not that counties grew stronger in NY and counties grew weaker in NE, you dont know history obviously, research the history of Albany, or any other of the 12 original counties, research the history of counties in NE they were ALWAYS weak because yes in NE counties were later and towns were first, but NOT in NY. Patroonships were first before any city, town, village or anything, we dont list them in this article because they dont exist anymore, the Rensselaerswyck patroonship used to even have its own representative to the NY legislature and its own "county" court system even though it was included within the borders of Albany County (and prior to any towns whatsever existing) and Albany County had a duplicate sheriff/county court system. You dont have to believe me, fine, I'm not going to continue to argue with you, you have shown you are pulling NY history out your butt. I'm done discussing this with you, respond if you must I'm not watching this page anymore. Go ahead and continue to make wikipedia the laughingstock of encyclopedia's and reinforce why no one thinks of this as a reliable website; all because of people not deferring to those who know better. (talk) 20:39, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well at least you are consistent both in being wrong as well as arrogant. From the Handbook of Local Government: "Immediately after they established British sovereignty in New York in 1664, the English began to more fully develop the patterns of local government. Issued in 1665, the Code of Laws, known as the “Duke’s Laws,” confirmed the boundaries of 17 existing towns and provided for basic organization of the town governments. These laws gave freeholders the right to vote and provided for a town meeting system resembling that still used in New England." olderwiser 20:50, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There was a 1640 law in New Netherland that allowed for the establishment of local government. Examples of early towns (i.e. settlements with a municipal charter) include Wiltwyk and Breuckelen. This was merely modified to the English-style by the Duke's Laws of 1665. When counties were established in 1683, they listed the towns that constituted the counties. You should read the text establishing the 12 original counties. The 1788 law you refer to established towns in previously unincorporated areas and grandfathered the by then 100 or so existing towns into the new system. This new law merely formalized the town as subdivision of the State of New York. Counties were first established for judicial administration and now have home rule in New York. Is that not a case of a county government acquiring more authority? In New England, counties are nothing more than judicial districts and some have been abolished. Is that not a case of county government becoming weaker? Villages as a municipality did not also exist until then end of the 18th century. --Polaron | Talk 22:49, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is not quite the whole story but in the interest of making this discussion less "arrogant" and more informative I apologize as you are technically correct that towns do not cross county borders, but you are incorrect in implying that they somehow function as administrative districts OF counties instead of as incorporated municipal corporations of their own right with home rule status and the ability to pass and regulate laws of their own, that is what I am so upset about, I apologize for coming off as arrogant, I simply disagreed with your implication that somehow towns are just subdivisions of counties.

A little history on the Duke's Laws- the Duke's Laws (regardless of what the state handbook says, in this instance of history it is not a reliable source as the writters are not concerned with being technical on historical accuracy, they had more to worry about) were first established and THEN at the Governor Nichols (though he may have been technically lt. gov. as you could not be a native new yorker and have the title of Governor, will have to look into if he was native or not) as representative of the Duke of York informed the governor of CT that LI was now NY's instead of CT's due to the royal charter by the Duke's brother (the King), prior to this CT and England did not recognize New Netherland control. At the Hempstead Convention the New England towns on LI were brought to Hempstead to show Nichols clear title to their land and charter to their existence and were forced to accept the Duke's Laws. The current NYC five boroughs, along with the rest of LI, and Westchester county were then included in "Yorkshire" New York at that time being divided into shires, with shires being subdivided into ridings (in which these few towns existed). The charters these NE style towns received were styled as "Nichols Patents", and were reaffirmed by Governor Dongan later on (famous for giving the first city charters in NY, to NYC and a few days later to Albany). As you can see I'm well versed in NY history and municipal government history. If you dont believe anything, I encourage you to look it up. I also suggest you verify what you read instead of taking everything at face value when it fits your view, as I have shown your source of the government handbook to be a bit skimpy on the facts and details as to the beginnings of towns in NY. I hope you found this informative and not condescending. (talk) 23:21, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Home rule is a 19th century development. The towns created prior to 1788 were indeed more like municipalities while those created in 1788 to subdivide counties were more like civil townships. I was not implying that modern towns are merely county subdivisions. They are more than that but that doesn't mean they are not. What the local government handbook says about early towns is verified by the books I linked to in the Further reading section. --Polaron | Talk 00:14, 11 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Part of the misunderstanding going on is the definition of town, Polaron and Bkonrad dont see the difference between the "towns" that are mentioned in things like the ones mentioned in the establishment of the original 12 counties and the towns created in 1788. The ones in 1788 are the ones that are the predecessors to our towns and had very much the same functions. 1788 was the total overhaul of municipal government. The towns, districts, boroughs, etc that were before it were scrapped and every scrap of territory in NY was divided into towns whereas previously it was a mismatch and there were gaps of territory in counties that werent a part of any lower government territory. As for NE counties never were much more than they are now, they havent lost any power, they just never had any real power to begin with so the dissolution of some (though not really because the county still exists but not the government, state level courts at the county geographic boundaries still exist today in Mass, I'm not as well versed in other NE states). (talk) 23:28, 10 April 2009 (UTC) As stated before- this article is about the CURRENT status of the admistrative divisions of New York, even IF everything you say is correct about the former status and historicity of towns, it doesnt matter! This is not the article for ranking towns and cities based on their FORMER HISTORICAL functions. As the lead section correctly points out, the difference between a city and a town is NOT population (or anything else) it is only the type of government that the people of the town or city choose to have. To put cities below villages implies something that is not true. I now formally protest against JBC3's organization and say that it should be county, city, town, village; that is the correct ranking on ability of home rule and hierarchy. Cities are subservient to counties and are not independent of their jurisdiction in any aspect of anything the county wishes to have its hand in (just as the state has "pre-emption" rights in any topic it wants to pass a law on, so do counties over their cities, a city can not ignore a county law or fail to enforce it). Again- if you disagree bring sources to the table, dont just give me your opinion. (talk) 23:40, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While your at it Polaron show me this 1640 law you have as the only one I can find is regarding patroonships, and those arent the same as towns. Early settlements with charters were villages, only called towns in the common-folk term; the Dutch term was dorpe, which is village, not town. There is a legal distinction. As I said, this is all a misidentification of terminology. Albany was legally a village, but when Dongan gave it a charter as a city it was referred to as a "town" but was never a town in the legal sense. There is a distinction between legal meaning and common meaning. I have contacted User:Djflem and asked him to give us a lesson on New Netherland municipal government and history as he is the most active participant in N.N. related articles and templates related to them; as his information should be considered the most reliable of any editor here. (talk) 23:49, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The text of the law establishing the 12 original counties explicitly says town. It also mentions other settlements and villages that are not towns. So clearly there was already a distinction in 1683. The year 1788 is significant in that it was the time New York became a state so they did overhaul the municipal system but they grandfathered existing municipalities into the new system. I think the user you invited should indeed be able to enlighten all of us on the existence of towns prior to 1788. --Polaron | Talk 00:20, 11 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First, Polaron about that the Dutch had towns and you mentioned two of them- Wiltwyk and Breuckelen= Breuckelen would be Brooklyn, New York and as that article says, it was chartered as a village. I dont know about wiltwyk but I'm guessing again you are confusing town with village. Again, you arent getting your historical facts all the way correct- on July 9, 1776 the New York Provincial Congress met at White Plains, officially changing the name from "Province of New York" to the "State of New York", which by the way was attended to by delegates from counties plus a delegate that represented the Manor of Rensselaerswyck, not representatives from towns. 1788 is not when NY became a state, you are confusing the adoption of the US Constitution (1787) with NY becoming a state (1776), the USA existed as a nation from either the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1776) (which is what most people go by) or by the adoption of our first form of "permanent" government the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (ironic I know) in 1781. The adoption of the Constitution was a good 10 years after we were a nation. I see no relevance to your assertion that 1788 was because NY became a state. You cant win an argument when you keep mistating facts from your butt, please do research this time before you say anything. When I am typing these facts, I am going to other websites and checking them first, some reading these facts may think I'm just BSing, but I'm not, I double check the facts in my head with facts on the web (multiple sources). Existing municipalities were not "grandfathered" in exept to the point that their boundaries (and sometimes names) would be used, but not their system of government which is what this article is about, its not about historical towns or districts, the Western District of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck in 1788 was changed to the town of Watervliet (town), New York, kept same boundaries and everything, but it was a different type of government. This article is about the system of government for municipalities we have had SINCE 1788, not before, otherwise I can now add districts, the old-style boroughs, patroonships/manors, and anything else I want from history because I'll have plenty of reliable verifiable sources so the info cant be challenged and deleted. Is that how you want this article to evolve? I have taken several of your "facts" and blown holes in them, do the same to me. (talk) 03:37, 11 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, I know what the two towns I mentioned are now -- the other one is Kingston. Brooklyn was chartered for judicial administration purposes among other things, i.e. it had a court. I've seen both "town" and "village" used to refer to these early settlements in various documents but since it had a court, it is more closely related to the modern town. The year 1788 was when the Assembly of New York State first convened and able to enact legislation. There are a good number of books on local government that all say that towns predated counties in New York. Our disagreement seems to be that you are assuming that the governments of the existing towns were dissolved and an unrelated government was established in 1788. In 1691, county boards of supervisors were established with each town having a reprentative. How would that be possible if towns didn't exist? Are you saying the modern town of Hempsted is unrelated to the 17th century town that is in the same location with the same name? I think addition of historic administrative divisions would greatly improve the article as it would show the historical development of municipal forms. Most of the books on the political history of New York do discuss historical development and I don't see why we should exclude it. If you have readily-available sources for it, I think your energy will be better spent improving the article that way. --Polaron | Talk 04:50, 11 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The first NYS Assembly meeting was in 1777, go to Speaker of the New York State Assembly for a list of every session How often are you going to make these claims without researching first? Everytime you write something I can refute it. Brooklyn and Kingston were never towns, ask anyone who knows the local history! Having a court does not make something a town, it was a village. Villages back then and villages today have courts! Yes, sources will say "town" as in the common-man way of saying a built-up urbanized area is a town, not a legal definition. All villages in New Netherland had a court, having a court is not a "town" thing, Albany was never a town, only a village and it had a court, and in its original charter as a village it was referred to "being an ancient town" as in it has existed as a settlement for a long time, it didnt have a govt prior to becoming a village so dont go back and say "that proves it was a town". It would be stupid to add former administrative divisions to this article as it would quickly get too big and reach the file maximum size for articles, its already pretty long as it is. Articles are supposed to be concise and stick to topic, I told you before I would be happy to work with you on a History of administrative divisions in New York, that would be a great place for all this information.

If you agree that cities have more power and home rule than towns, what is the problem with having county, then city, then town, and village; I cant imagine you are claiming cities are not within counties, counties have more homerule than cities, counties have jurisdiction over cities, cities are subservient to counties, so lets rank them in order, counties are larger, then things within counties ranked on powers, therefore cities first then towns, then since villages are within towns put those last. What is so illogical about that? Don't you see how weird it is to have towns and villages then cities after them? Why would the strongest of the three be last? I dont see your logic. (talk) 16:53, 11 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since Michigan is the most similar in municipal structure (take my word for it!) by their charter townships being similar (but not quite) like our towns and having villages inside their townships I suggest we contact someone on their page and ask why they decided to go "county, city, village, township" as opposed to any other order. Another states that could be contact would be Wisconsin. I would not suggest New England states as towns there are not the same as towns here and have a different historical background (with the exception of some of our LI towns which I've explained were formed by NE'ers not respecting the Dutch claim). (talk) 20:41, 11 April 2009 (UTC) Copy/pasted from the history page of the official town of Sand Lake website-Reply[reply]

"The first assembly of the Province of New York was held on October 17, 1683. To make the government more manageable, the province was divided into 12 countries. The County of Albany was on of the twelve, and was a very large area"
"The Colony of New York was further divided in 1691 when a law was passed to separate the province and dependencies into shires and counties."
"The Constitution of the State of New York was adopted in Kingston in 1777. This Constitution recognized the cities of New York and Albany and the 14 countries of the State. It also provided that the State Legislature would have the power to divide the same in to such other and further counties and districts as it may appear necessary."
" Each of these districts was to appoint one freeholder as a supervisor, between three and nine freeholders’ assessors, two freeholders to be collectors, two overseers of the poor, four fence viewers and one clerk. "
"In 1788, the State Legislature reorganized New York State. Three Acts were debated and passed on the same day, March 7. The first, divvied the state into sixteen counties, one of which was Albany County. Albany County was reduced in size but still extended on both sides of the Hudson River. The second divided the counties into towns: thus the Districts of Rensselaerswyck and Stephentown became the Towns of Rensselaerswyck and Stephentown, with the same border. The third act, provided for the defraying the public and necessary expenses of each county."
"In 1788, the State Legislature reorganized New York State. Three Acts were debated and passed on the same day, March 7. The first, divvied the state into sixteen counties, one of which was Albany County. Albany County was reduced in size but still extended on both sides of the Hudson River. The second divided the counties into towns:"

I have independently verified to a large degree what is said on that website. Argue if you will, but districts were the municipality of choice back then, not towns. Towns only existed as a common way to refer to an establishment, irregardless of actual municipal government, as the village and later city of Albany was often referred to as the "Town of Albany" when no such municipal form ever existed. Have you never said "I'm going into town" to someone and the place you were going was not literally a "town"?! (talk) 20:58, 11 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm changing it to County, City, Town, Village. Every time Polaron states an opinion as "fact" I have shown it to be false and misleading. I have set forth my case, I have backed it up with references and facts, I'm the only one who has. It is not the number of people who agree with you, its the strength of the case. Polaron's statements have been proven wrong over and over again. I'm not going through this anymore. This order reflects the correct hierarchy of power. (talk) 22:59, 11 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Camelbinky: Sure, if you ignore the books on local government that describe the early municipalities as towns. As I said, there is nothing substantially contradictory with what you are I are saying. The difference is that you are saying that the old municipalities were villages and not towns. It's unclear what the difference in the two forms would be anyway as this is just a matter of definition. Did both a village and town government exist at the same time with any functional difference in the 17th century? If you're following the Michigan format, you should move villages ahead of towns. If you order it county, city, village, town, special purpose districts, then that would be in line with the U.S. Census Bureau hierarchy of local governments. You can also look at the sequence used by the books linked to in Further reading. One of them starts with the school district :) Regarding the 1788 date, I was mistaken on when the Assembly was established. What the book I got the information from did state was that the the subdivision of counties into towns was one of the first acts of the Assembly after they ratified the U.S. Constitution. I think you should definitely work on that historical development of political subdivisions article if you have ready sources. That would be a productive way to expend your energy. If you think a separate article is warranted, I don't see why that would be a problem. Good luck. --Polaron | Talk 23:20, 11 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I dont know if you are responding to me or not in that as you headed it with something else. Anyways, I havent read the references you gave, so I cant respond to much of what you are saying. I dont know what kind of books these "books on local government" say therefore yes I am ignoring them and I dont know what Camelbinky has said to you. So, if you think Michigan's format is best, go ahead and change it. (talk) 05:17, 12 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let's stop pretending you're a different person, ok? You also did that on the Loudonville talk page. --Polaron | Talk 05:31, 12 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Uh, ok...suuure. And you must be Wadester16 then? (talk) 05:51, 12 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You're only digging yourself deeper. There's nothing wrong with editing while not logged in. However, if you're going to try and pretend the logged in and not logged in accounts are two (or three) different people, that's sockpuppetry. --Polaron | Talk 06:01, 12 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, believe what you want, dont know what sockpuppetry is but I use multiple computers so yea sometimes my IP address is different when I sign with the four tildes if thats what you are talking about. You want to believe I'm Camelbinky ok, fine. But I just checked his/her user page, it doesnt exist, so I guess I can sign up for wikipedia and take that name if you want me to be that person. This talk page is supposed to be about the topic of the article ONLY, so...since our discussion about that is OVER, I have nothing more to say to you. Have fun. Buh-bye.Camelbinky (talk) 06:10, 12 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

:-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:11, 12 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Any unnamed hamlets?[edit]

Can anyone identify (by location if not by name) a hamlet that does NOT have a name? The article says "Many hamlets have their own name[20]" - but the source does NOT say that. Source says: "Many places in the state having large numbers of people living in close proximity are neither villages nor cities. Many have names, some have post offices. Some, like Levittown on Long Island, have thousands of residents."

It seems to me that in the text below, the term is presented AS IF it has some formal definition.

In New York State, a hamlet is a community (outside of villages and cities) wherein a relatively large number of people reside within close proximity to one another, but are not incorporated as a village.

-- the number of people does not matter (as long as its not zero), nor does the density - all that matters is that people refer to it by name, somebody lives there, but it is not incorporated.Instead:

In New York State, a hamlet is a named, populated community inside a town which has not incorporated as a village (nor as a city, which is not part of a town anyway)

Doesn't every place in NY where people live have a name of some kind? --JimWae (talk) 04:45, 16 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am NOT suggesting EVERY unincorporated named place is a separate hamlet (e.g. Manetto Hill) - just that ALL of them do have a name--JimWae (talk) 04:49, 16 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agree. Every hamlet obviously has a name. --hippo43 (talk) 04:55, 16 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jim, I agree not every unincorporated named place is a separate hamlet and I agree that every hamlet by definition must have a name, however this source could be used as saying otherwise though I say since it uses the word "neighborhood" instead of hamlet it cant be used to say that there are hamlets with no-names. Camelbinky (talk) 06:27, 16 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

JimWae, you didn't read far enough into the source. "Many places in the state having large numbers of people living in close proximity are neither villages nor cities. Many have names, some have post offices. Some, like Levittown on Long Island, have thousands of residents. If the people in such communities have not incorporated pursuant to the Village law, they do not constitute a village. While many people refer to such places as “hamlets”, the term “hamlet” actually has no meaning under New York law." So, many people refer to such places as hamlets, such places being such communities that have not incorporated, such communities being places in the state with a high population density outside of villages and cities, many of which have names. Seems like it's all right there in the source. --JBC3 (talk) 21:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have a problem with defining it a hamlet as "a community with a high population density" as many hamlets in upstate NY dont have a high pop. density and many of them have wikipedia articles, Dunsbach Ferry, New York and Crescent Station, New York are two, which because they dont have defined borders its hard to tell what their pop.s are but probably less than 200 for DF and less than 100 for CS. Some hamlets in upstate NY are hard to even find anyone who identifies with living there, such as Clums Corners (not sure on the sp. ask Wadester16 and for info of if anyone really does "live" there or not, I know there's a gas station) in the town of Brunswick, New York, or Bethlehem Center in the town of Bethlehem, New York has lots and lots of shopping plazas but I've never seen a house or apartment building, but these and others are hamlets because DOT puts up signs (at the request of the individual towns) to let people know you've entered them, so the state and the town recognizes them (and of course locals).Camelbinky (talk) 23:06, 16 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We can have any kind of personal quandry with the facts that we want, but when a statement is supported by the facts as presented by a source, we need to provide other reliable sources in order to disprove the first. Just because it doesn't make sense to someone doesn't mean the statement and supporting source aren't valid. --JBC3 (talk) 00:53, 17 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Source says many highly populated areas have a name for that area - and SOME of them are incorporated. It does not say there are unnamed areas. ALL places have names. Some unincorporated areas within towns have several names. These names often coincide with the names of post-offices &/or school districts. Some towns specifically list names of these "hamlets", some might not. Town of Oyster Bay website lists Plainview, but does does not list Manetto-Hill (a community in the "hamlet" of Plainview). It also lists Old Bthpage, which shares a school, fire, & library district with Plainview, but which has its own post office (since 1960s). Population density does not matter, only that somebody lives there & that the place has a name - there are no unnamed hamlets. Everybody is in some school, fire, library, and postal district. Because these can have different boundaies, people may sometimes have difficulty stating the name of the place where they live - not because it has no name, but because it has several.--JimWae (talk) 23:54, 16 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
JBC3, the passage you quoted can be read more than one way. For me the "such places" of "many people refer to such places as “hamlets”" refers to the third and fourth sentences of the passage you quoted, not the first and second. It just doesn't make sense that people refer to places as hamlets if the places don't have names.
Camelbinky, as far as I can tell, the presence of DOT signs does not confirm that a place is a 'hamlet', the source cited just talks about 'communities'. --hippo43 (talk) 23:59, 16 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hippo43, all of the sentences are from the same paragraph. They should all be about the same subject then, assuming it was written properly. That's why I felt it reasonable to draw from that paragraph that it was entirely about hamlets. Perhaps I will come across another source that can clarify this. Until then the way you reworded it is fine. --JBC3 (talk) 00:38, 17 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's a cluster of people living around 40°54'32.61N and 73°04'28.13W. That specific cluster has houses and stores - it might have a name, it might not - let's presume it does not have a name any different from the larger surrounding area. So it's a place "in the state having large numbers of people living in close proximity", but the people in the community "have not incorporated pursuant to the Village law, they do not constitute a village", nor a city. . So here we have a place without a name distinct from the larger area - so it is not a hamlet either (the hamlet is larger than this) because (for one reason) it does not have a name of its own. When the source says "some have names", it is not saying "some hamlets have names" (tho it should be much clearer on this), it is saying that some population clusters have names. When it says "While many people refer to such places as “hamlets”", it ought to say "While many people refer to SOME such places as “hamlets”" (for nobody calls this particular place a hamlet). The residents could conceivable someday form a village of their own - but they would not be seceding from the larger hamlet. Many hamlets lose territory by having sections of it incorporate. The Village of Cove Neck has 300 people & 90 people per km2. It used to be part of the hamlet of Oyster Bay. There are undoubtedly less densely populated villages. Population density has nothing to do with being a village or a hamlet. There could conceivable be hamlets with a cluster of just 2 or 3 houses and a general store at the crossroads - which raises the point that a hamlet usually is not just residential but also commercial. Villages can be entirely residential.--JimWae (talk) 01:41, 17 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anything not true in the article, sourced or otherwise, can and will be removed. Jimwae I agree with you that hamlets can be extremely small and underpopulated, the "decider" of a place being a hamlet or not are the residents and local people in the area, most town or county websites list the hamlets in their community. The problem here is that hamlet is defined differently by locals in different areas and we cant allow what a hamlet is defined as in LI to apply to upstate NY, if a town website says a place is a hamlet, its a hamlet. The two places I mentioned in my talk ARE hamlets according to the town, and those green signs by DOT are ONLY placed at hamlets by DOT on the request of towns. Whoever changed that the APA recognizes hamlets to "uses them as land use classifications" is wrong, the APA actually does RECOGNIZE hamlets, because beyond the Blue Line hamlets DO have "government", though not considered incorporated municipalities. Beyond the Blue Line the APA is GOD, not the state handbook on municipal government, the APA has given hamlets bodies of representation, though little law-making ability as we think of municipalities as having, because they arent municipalities, more like neighborhood associations that are created by the APA.Camelbinky (talk) 02:33, 17 April 2009 (UTC) The Blue Line (New York State) is the boundary of the Adirondack Park btw for non-NY'ers because, well, thats the color the line is on maps, the official color for hamlets on APA maps is brown btw.Camelbinky (talk) 02:42, 17 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Camelbinky, do you know of any other sources on the subject of these DOT signs? The one cited in the article doesn't mention, as far as I can tell, that these signs are only used for hamlets.
If there is anything you believe is untrue, but sourced, currently in the article, could you point it out?
Also, the "decider", in the context of Wikipedia, for whether a place in NY is a hamlet is surely if relevant reliable sources say it is? --hippo43 (talk) 04:38, 17 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anton Nelessen[edit]

Anton Nelessen is not a relevant source for a definition of a hamlet. He is not writing for NY, but in very general terms for the entire USA. The fact that one town chose to use his paper to present a boosterish description (not really a definition) of a hamlet does not make his paper any more relevant. The source may be intersteting, but it is used too prominently for a non-authoritative source --JimWae (talk) 05:19, 17 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agree. We should bin it. --hippo43 (talk) 06:02, 17 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other named places[edit]

Anyone have a problem with removing the Other named places section? Seems rather common sense that places can have names but not be a municipality or hamlet. Thoughts? --JBC3 (talk) 16:17, 26 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I haven't gotten any feedback on this, so I'm going to go for it. If anyone wants it back, feel free to restore it and we can talk about it here. --JBC3 (talk) 10:46, 4 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What is the reason for villages?[edit]

I don't see why there are villages, what purpose do they serve? I think that'd be worthwhile -- why people want to form them. --AW (talk) 20:24, 9 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Presumably some local governmental responsibilities which are held by the towns in unincorporated areas are delegated to villages where they exist. It would be useful to note which ones, though. john k (talk) 21:42, 9 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Towns can not do certain functions that a village can. Towns can not make their own speed limits without approval from the state DOT, for instance. A "town court" is actually a state court at the town level, town court is not a part of the town government; a village or city court are separate from the New York State Unified Court System and are part of the village or city government. A village also allows those who form it to have their own zoning and land use regulations and gives them more protection in case of an annexation attempt by a neighboring city (see Menands, New York to read about the incorporation of that village because they were concerned about annexation). In the case of East Nassau, New York it formed because the town was going to allow more open-pit mining and so the people of the three hamlets in that section of town voted and approved the formation of a village to keep from always being outvoted and ignored by the rest of the town. When a village is formed an agreement must be reached with the town on what services will be provided by which municipality, and the percentage of the town tax rate village residents will pay because they still have to pay town taxes but at a discounted rate than individuals in the rest of the town. There is no clear cut "this is what a village does and this is what a town does for the village", it is a case by case decision by the village, the town, and the state which ultimately decides everything. Villagers can and do still vote in town elections and hold town offices.Camelbinky (talk) 22:05, 9 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This all sounds like excellent material to explain in the article! john k (talk) 02:08, 10 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Within the Town of Oyster Bay, for example, there are 18 villages and 18 hamlets. The U.S. Post Office has organized these 36 places into 30 different 5-digit ZIP codes. Obviously the boundaries of hamlets and ZIP codes cannot be the same. CDPs boundaries can and do change from one census to the next. There should be no expectation at all of any commonality between boundaries of hamlets, CDPs and ZIP codes -- nor school districts or fire districts. Villages are another matter, as the census bureau seems to attempt to observe their boundaries. Unfortunately, because statistics are readily available for the CDPs [and not so much for hamlets & school districts & ZIP codes], wikipedians have chosen to make the articles about the short-lived CDPs. --JimWae (talk) 18:19, 24 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you, I have been trying to say this for a long time and no one wants to listen. Hopefully people listen to you. Amen brother, spread the good word!Camelbinky (talk) 01:42, 25 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, for some, Census data seems to have become a fetish of sorts, reasoning that because the Census Bureau has deemed a place important enough to designate a CDP, therefore there must be an actual place and that the CDP defines what that place is, regardless of whether the CDP is merely a statistical abstraction or an aggregation of nearby urbanized areas. olderwiser 03:25, 25 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are we clear that the CDPs do not reflect hamlet borders? My understanding is that the census works with state and local governments to determine CDP boundaries. I assume there's some CDP's that are multiple hamlets combined together, but do they actually have different borders from the hamlets proper? john k (talk) 04:48, 25 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In so far as hamlets do not have any legally defined borders, the CDP boundaries are at best an approximation. They are, at least partly, based on population density (the guidelines for defining CDPs will be different for 2010, so there will undoubtedly be many changes from 2000). olderwiser 11:21, 25 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We of course also have another problem- within the Blue Line of the Adirondack Park the APA does have official boundaries for the hamlets and even rudimentary "governments" for those hamlets. They have no functions you wouldnt already find in, say a neighborhood association in a city or a town, they kind of act as coordinators for the APA on what the people want/need in the more "urban" environoments of the hamlets as opposed to the rest of the park where the APA can pretty much do anything it wants since the density is so low not many will complain. As far as CDP's in the rest of the state I dont think they should be used as a reason to create an article nor should a hamlet that lends its name to a CDP have its article hijacked by the CDP. CDP's boundaries change constantly and its not even guarenteed that they will stay from one census to another (Latham and Loudonville are two CDP's just in the one town of Colonie that were around in 1990, but not in 2000). A CDP's boundaries may cover two or more hamlets (Hadley-Luzerne covers two hamlets in two different counties). Many of our hamlets are hijacked by information about the ZIP code of the same name which you can get population statistics on the ZIP code, and then some are by the CDP, and others by both, which each category will have different boundaries. Hamlets dont "have" ZIP codes, post offices, fire departments, emergency services, or elementary schools any more than they happen to have a McDonalds, Subway, or gas station. To make the boundaries of those things even as "unofficial" boundaries of the hamlets is the same exact thing as saying "the franchise boundaries that Subway puts up to keep two different franchisees from building too close to each other are good for setting boundaries of neighborhoods or hamlets". Replace Subway with McDonalds or any other franchise, they all sell exclusive geographic areas to their franchisees. Think of ZIP Codes and post office branches as no different (though they arent franchised), CDP's are no more than a convenient statistical geographic/demographic area for the Federal govt, no different than ZIP codes are convenient for the USPS in delivering mail. Have you ever heard someone say "I live in the CDP of x"? How many outside of Wikipedia even know the acronym "CDP" or have heard of a Census Designated Place? It would make a great "Jaywalking" question for Leno.Camelbinky (talk) 22:07, 25 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To a certain extent I agree with you. Although I think you somewhat underestimate the role of a post office in defining an identify for a community. Writing/entering a post office name when completing the various forms one has to fill out in the course of ordinary life contributes to at least some marginal identification with that post office name. There are certainly other factors that can complicate matters, but post offices (and the corollary ZIP codes and delivery areas) shouldn't be summarily dismissed as a contributing factor for community identity. Of course, similar to CDPs, this can be handled clumsily in articles by naively asserting some simplistic identity between an actual community and the sometimes arbitrary markers such as post offices and CDPs. As you put it, sometimes articles for the communities do get hijacked by information about these arbitrary entities. But in appropriate context, this information is still of significance. olderwiser 03:12, 26 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I agree that certain information about the CDP or ZIP code in the correct context can be useful for an article. I guess it is a matter of being vigilant about what information is useful and what may be overreaching. It should, however, be remembered that not all VIP Codes have just one name allowed by the USPS, some like the hamlet of Loudonville, New York though the name is on the post office itself a search at the USPS website will show you that the official name of that ZIP code is in fact Albany, New York with Loudonville listed as an "acceptable alternative". The town of Malta, New York recently got the ok to be an alternative name for three different ZIP codes since that town itself does not have post office but is covered under its neighbors. The village of Menands, New York is covered by an Albany PO and does not even have its name as an alternative by the USPS, same with the town of Halfmoon, New York being covered by the town of Clifton Park, New York PO without being an alternative name. So think of the number of hamlets included in these various towns (and many many many more across the state) that are in post offices that arent even in the same town as they are, or of a neighboring hamlet. It gets confusing. Which brings me to this question that I hope you can answer- why do we have information on CDPs and ZIP codes on this article?! Administrative divisions of New York- they arent "administrative" and they arent divisions "of" NY they are divisions of the USPS (ZIP codes) or of the Census Bureau (CDPs). Should they really be covered in this article at all? At least there could be some argument for including all that information on fire, emergency, and special districts and such (though in my opinion I'd love to see that thrown out too and this article to just be about municipal governance, eg- counties, cities, towns, villages only).Camelbinky (talk) 18:31, 26 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're quite right that ZIP codes and CDPs are not in any way administrative divisions of New York. olderwiser 23:43, 26 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Would you support a bold approach to eliminating CDP's and any other non-administrative divisions from this article? How bold an approach would you recommend?Camelbinky (talk) 01:51, 27 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You could say that ZIP code areas and CDPs are administrative divisions of various agencies of the federal government (one for postal delivery and another for statistical data tabulation) that happen to cover New York. A discussion of their relationship to state administrative divisions is still useful in my opinion. --Polaron | Talk 02:35, 27 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What exactly does a ZIP Code "administer" for the Federal Government or for the USPS? What exactly does a CDP administer for the Federal government or Census Bureau? A CDP does not get any type of bureaucracy, not a single individual works for a CDP or is assigned to a CDP. The USPS delivers mail, it does not create laws nor enforce them, many ZIP codes actually are within another ZIP code or two if they are no longer delivery ZIPs and only for PO boxes at a physical location (such as Newtonville which covers parts of Latham and Loudonville; and Sand Lake which covers much of Averill Park and the physical address of the Sand Lake PO is actually an Averill Park address as is the Cumberland Farms gas station which it is attached to). Do you know of a "relationship to state administrative divisions" that I dont know about? because I cant think of a single one seeing as how ZIPs and CDPs cross town and county borders and dont administer anything and arent taken into consideration by towns in administering anything other than that towns like Halfmoon are constantly trying to get their own PO so their name can be on the businesses within their borders instead of having neighboring towns names on them.Camelbinky (talk) 03:48, 27 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My only point was these divisions were put in place to facilitate whatever it is the relevant agency is doing. Because statistical reports rely a lot on CDP boundaries, I think it is relevant to explain how CDPs are different from actual administrative divisions. Because many people usually think of their postal address as the place they live in, it is also relevant to state that the actual location is not necessarily the same as their address. Everything you have said points to the need to explain the relationship (or more specifically the non-relationship) of CDPs and postal addresses to the actual administrative divisions. The article should after all educate people. Omitting any mention of them and the fact that there is no direct relation in many cases is a disservice. --Polaron | Talk 05:26, 27 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I dont know, it seems kinda weird logic to me at least, to say that we need to state in this article a non-administrative thing like a zip code and cdp in order to show their non-direct relation to the actual article topic. This article's topic is the name of the article, cdp's and zip codes arent part of the topic. Just because people may think of their zip codes as where they live it has no bearing on the state's administration of its people. Bkonrad do you have an opinion on this minor dispute?Camelbinky (talk) 16:21, 27 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since it is a common point of confusion, at least in Wikiworld, and as a result in numerous articles about places, it does seem worth explaining the situation. olderwiser 16:29, 27 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, hamlets are not administrative divisions either, the town administers the areas that are not villages. But it is still worth mentioning hamlets in the article. It is also worth mentioning that school, ZIP, fire, library, water, CDP boundaries can be independent of town boundaries - some even cross counties. I wonder if we can find a clear source that says village boundaries are observed by CDPs, even if only "mostly observed". --JimWae (talk) 23:40, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since villages (like cities) are recognized as legitimate places by the census they are not included as CDPs so that question is moot. Water districts, other than ones set up by the county and not the town, stay within towns though they may have arrangements to sell water to a neighboring town, as water authority the city of Albany has does for several of its neighboring towns (such as Bethlehem) but the water authority does not itself cross the border; there may of course be exceptions I dont know about. Some library districts do cross town borders but as with schools they are creations not of the towns themselves but of the state, few fire districts cross borders, unless they are private volunteer ones and not municipal. But again we are getting into things that do not administer anything at all. This article is first-and-foremost about municipalities, places that administer and represent and legislate and are created and destroyed by the state of NY. Fire districts, school districts etc do not represent or legislate or administer anything. ZIP codes and CDPs dont do any of those things either, plus are not created or destroyed by the state of NY. Lets add FBI regional headquarters and their regional boundaries, appelate court boundaries of the state and federal government, Federal trade zones, port of entry boundaries, McDonald's franchise boundaries, area code boundaries (might as well, we have ZIP codes), oh and the state government even officially has divided the state into "downstate" and "upstate" for it's economic definitions and departmenet (btw- if you live in Albany, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, or Hudson you are "downstate", but if you live in Schenectady or Glens Falls, you are "upstate" according to the state of NY). I know all that sounds silly, but I'm not being silly, the fact is I dont see a clear cut line being drawn that is intuitive and results from common sense and an intrinsic difference between what should be included and what is not being included. So I leave with this question- Where do you draw the line and how is it clear cut with an intrinsic difference between the "silly" things I mentioned and the things you want to keep? I'm not really fighting to remove the stuff from the article, well in a way I do want to remove them, but really what I want is real definition of why we are leaving them in and not opening the door to everything. I dont see emergency ambulatory, fire, or water districts as either a- notable, or b- relevant to the topic of this article. And yes, I feel the same way about hamlets as well.Camelbinky (talk) 00:45, 3 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
1>I'm not sure what you said about hamlets above. 2>Yes, I did not mean to connect villages & CDPs. What I am looking for is a clear ref for statement that the Census Bureau uses village boundaries 3a>Farmingdale school district (& probably many others) crosses county boundaries. School districts do administer, they are (at least) IN New York, and perhaps "OF" NY, and 3b>Unless they live in a village or city, people seem to identify WHERE they live mostly by ZIP code & school district
I think we need to identify other divisions at least briefly.
Many articles exist about hamlets, and how they fit in has bearing on the entire project --JimWae (talk) 01:44, 3 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I guess I'm not understanding what you are wanting a clear ref for...the Census Bureaus does not make villages into CDPs because villages are already recognized as a legitimate incorporated municipality and towns are not (recognized by the Census as such, though they are by the state of NY). Yes school districts cross county boundaries are in NY, and OF NY, but no they dont administer anything, they are constructs of the state of ny not of any town city or village, cities that are allowed to have control over their city school district (such as NYC, and Buffalo may be the only other city in NY allowed to do so, I know Albany and Syracuse do not have combined city government with the school district though the boundaries may be the same) they are not allowed to change school boundaries, that is a state ability only. It doesnt matter if the majority of people identify as living on the particular block that they live in, that doesnt make it notable or relevant to this project. I still need to know where the line is that "this" makes it in, but "that" does not, because all the "silly things" I mentioned can be added to this article with the same exact justification that is given for adding ZIP codes, CDPs, and hamlets. BTW- no one has ever in my experienced identified where they live by giving their CDP unless it happened to also be the name of the community as well, in which case they werent talking about the CDP anyways. In my experience people dont use their ZIP code to identify where they live anyways, mostly its by the nearest hamlet or the actual town. When I was in high school I lived in the town of Northumberland, my ZIP code was Saratoga Springs (which was a neighboring city), but I went to Schuylerville High (which was named for the village it was in which was in a different town than I), and my first three digits of my phone number were associated with the town of Saratoga, so where did I live? I lived in the town of Northumberland. People in the town of Halfmoon, the town of Malta, and the village of Menands all do not have a ZIP code of their own, they do not say they live in the town of Clifton Park or Waterford or the city of Mechanicville (for Halfmoon); the town of Ballston or Stillwater or Clifton Park (for Malta); or the city of Albany (for Menands); they say where they live. People arent stupid, they know what town, village, or city the live in. This of course may be different in different parts of the state, but Upstate at least what I describe is the norm. I have never met someone who described where they live by their ZIP Code or school district if the school district was a different town, and especially in a different county; unless specifically clarifying "I live in Clifton Park but go to Niskayuna high school", in which case we are probably talking about kids and not adults in which case I dont care where kids identify themselves as living, because they dont matter, this is an encyclopedia, not myspace; adults dont describe themselves as living in a school district. My previous question from last post still stands. Give me a "rule" as to what is intrinsicly different about what can be kept and what cant.Camelbinky (talk) 03:19, 3 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a very long reply. I do not think it would help the reader to eliminate hamlets from the article, though I am still not sure if you are advocating that. The lede says "Administrative divisions of New York refers to the various units of government of New York that provide local government services." Refresh my memory (I really am not completely sure of this. I really have been away from NY a long time, so I am genuinely asking.): Are school board members elected on Election Day with other government people? The school boards are chartered by which level of gov't? (School districts do furnish government services. CDP's are a different matter - they do not provide any services locally.)--JimWae (talk) 05:01, 3 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is a very good question, it is my understanding that most school districts do not have their school boards elected on the November election date for the specific reason of not wanting to get involved with the partisan politics going on. As for the question of what level charters school districts, they are chartered by and regulated by the state, not the local govt, though NYC has been granted by the state mayoral control over the school district, and as the US Supreme Court has declared "what a state giveth a state can taketh away, what a state creates a state can destroy" local governments have no inherent constitutional right to exist or have any certain rights that a state govt cant take away, including destroying the local govt without the people's consent (in fact I believe it was a case concerning NY that led to that decision). The ultimate authority of what a school does, what it is allowed to build, its boundaries, its internal elementary school boundaries, what it teaches, its curriculum all must go through the SUNY trustees and/or the state Board of Regents (same goes with the charter schools which are public schools run by private companies). I see your point regarding schools meeting the criteria of the lead paragraph, so I can now agree with you that schools have a right to be in the article, along with fire districts and other places that provide services. Now all we seem to disagree on is why ZIP codes, CDPs, and hamlets are allowed a place in the article. Though one can argue that district courts, appelate courts (both state and federal) have boundaries and provide services and therefore should be allowed in the article as well, so I'm still looking for a definition of what should be in/out that shows intrinsic differences between things in and things out of the article.Camelbinky (talk) 17:32, 3 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One of the best school district articles on a NY school district is Brunswick Central School District, it is one of the school districts that do not elect board members in November. Yet Shenendehowa Central School District does. Dont know why, though if he's not busy you may want to ask user:UpstateNYer, he may know why school districts have different election dates and how prevelant it is that they are not in November.Camelbinky (talk) 21:36, 3 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I read this line in the article, and it got me thinking:

Under the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, a borough results when the towns, villages and cities in a county merge with the county itself.

So, theoretically, all of the towns, villages, and incorporated cities of any county could consolidate with the county government and technically become a borough? BTW, great page, guys. My state's (Michigan) devolved government is directly based on New York states' with a few changes. When the Erie Canal opened, New Yorkers came to dominate my state's politics and culture. --Criticalthinker (talk) 07:40, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is very interesting about Michigan's municipalities being based on NY's! I always knew that of all the states that had "towns", "townships", and "civil townships" those of Michigan are closest in function to what, in NY, we simply call "towns", now I know why. As for the definition in the GML (for lack of a shorter name) quote you provided... its complicated since that may very well be the definition of what a borough in the state of NY is defined as TODAY, it was not always defined as such. Schenectady was once a borough in Albany County, prior to being a city; why that designation? I dont know. What was the difference? Probably nothing other than Albany probably being pissed off at having a rival with the designation of city. I am not aware of any other municipalities being boroughs in NY history until the 1898 consolidation of the city of New York, though there may have been some, or even alot. NY, prior to 1788, flirted with different municipal types in different counties, Albany and Tryon had districts, Charlotte had townships, and Ulster had precincts, there were land patents granted that had municipal rights, sometimes overlapping or within other municipalities, there were "towns" in Long Island set up by the state of CT when that island was claimed by that state that were recognized as having municipal rights by NY; and in 1788 the state decided there would be cities and there would be towns and everything in the state would be in one or the other and nothing else (later Indian Reservations would become the only exception). The city of Schenectady has in the past 10-15 years attempted to consolidate its operations with the county of Schenectady, but to my knowledge these proposals have never included the towns, and have always been shot down partly due to the towns' influence in the county. See Timeline of town creation in New York's Capital District for relevant citations and more information regarding all I've said about past municipal types.

Thats the long answer; the short answer is- theoretically yes any county could consolidate and become that definition of a borough, in practice it probably would never happen and if it did it probably would be labelled a city (or consolidated city-county as Indiana and other states refer to them) and not a borough.Camelbinky (talk) 21:07, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you, Camelbinky. That's all I was wanting to know. lol --Criticalthinker (talk) 01:21, 5 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As far as I can tell, the definition given regarding New York municipal law is erroneous and unsourced. The boroughs were specifically set up to be sub-divisions of New York City. In fact, when the boroughs were first created, Queens County contained the Borough of Queens as well as several towns that did not join the city. Also, the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx were part of the same county until 1914. So no, a borough is not 'the merger of all towns within a county.' A borough is a unique entity set up only for the city of New York.

Home rule[edit]

I'm not going to edit war but I don't care if it's right, there's no sources. WP:V is clear: verifiability, not truth. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 20:36, 4 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are you challenging something in particular about that section? Or are you simply dissatisfied that the references are not presented in a convenient-to-use manner? I'm reasonably sure that supporting citations can be found in the extensive list of resources under external links or in the already cited works. All that is needed is someone to do the grunt work (which is what the tag is supposed to help with). If in fact there is nothing incorrect about the information, then deleting it helps absolutely no one. olderwiser 21:57, 4 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree completely with Bkonrad, just because something isnt cited that doesnt mean it should be removed. If Ricky wants to help and improve the article then he should find a source for it or find a source that shows it to be untrue and then remove it. If all he wants is to remove information that has no sources and has no interest in this topic then he should find an article he has an interest in improving and allow editors like Bkonrad who has had a long interest in improving this article to continue to do their work. And since Ricky is an admin I'm a bit disappointed he did not adhere to WP:V himself for it say "Any material lacking a reliable source may be removed, but how quickly this should happen depends on the material in question and the overall state of the article. Editors might object if you remove material without giving them enough time to provide references, especially in an underdeveloped article. It has always been good practice to make reasonable efforts to find sources oneself that support such material, and cite them." So I wonder why he did not take 5 mins out of his time to find a source first, as Bkonrad was able to very easily. The information was true and it was not harmful to the article, removing truthful information simply makes it harder for people to know what needs a citation. This article is a work in progress, some of us are actually trying to clean it up. Others are trying to tear it down before we get a chance to.Camelbinky (talk) 23:04, 4 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a new "warning" template being constructed right now concerning actions similar to what Ricky did. Once it is polished I'll pass it on to any interested. It is a very polite informative template to put on someone's talk page informing and enlightening that incorporates much of what Bkonrad stated here in this thread. Hopefully use of this template on editor's talk pages will enlighten them that deleting information for the reason that it does not have a clear citation is not helpful and can in fact be more detrimental to articles than having uncited material, and hopefully we'll see less and less editors going around and removing information without a specific challenge and without doing the grunt work themselves, as is preferred and encouraged by our policies, guidelines, and wiki-etiquette.Camelbinky (talk) 02:30, 6 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The passage that Ricky removed had been tagged as unreferenced for five months. As the policy you cited points out, unreferenced material can be removed. Your preference for how and when this is done is not shared by everyone, or laid down in policy. Why are you berating Ricky, who clearly wanted to improve the article, when no other editor here had been able or willing to supply a source for several months? Placing patronising "warnings" on editors' talk pages informing them of your preference for leaving uncited material in articles will not help improve the enyclopedia or win many friends. --hippo43 (talk) 05:49, 6 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not the one that is creating this new warning template and it has received quite a bit of good reviews. The editor creating it has the utmost integrity and respectability in Wikipedia and so are many of the supporters of this new warning template. The fact of the matter is that it is not good practice to go around finding articles with citation needed templates and removing the information without doing the legwork on finding a citation yourself or removing information without the context of knowing anything about the article in the first place. If it is necessary to start putting warning templates on editor's talk pages to get that point across then so be it, and to also stop editors from going to articles without any intent to add information or help the article then so be it, but instead only with the intent of removing information that may or maynot have a citation (not all articles use inline citation, as Bkonrad pointed out there is a "other sources" section to this article, which was an older type of citation that Wikipedia frowns upon today, but does not mean wholesale removal of info since it is a grandfather method). I would encourage you in the future to refrain from making this seem like these are the ideas or preferences of just me, since there have been plenty of complaints on your own talk page regarding your methods, plus the support I have found from those who similarly are now working on methods to discourage those types of editors who would remove first and ask questions later (or never in your case). I will not engage you in conversation again, please stop being disruptive and starting things, I see how you write your posts in a manner to rile me up so I make myself look bad. I'm sorry your position is in the minority, but your insistance of me being a "lone gunman" out against the majority is reminescent of the Bolsheviks labelling themselves as such (it means "majority") and their opponents as the minority (in Russian) even when it was the other way around. Propoganda will not work here.Camelbinky (talk) 21:08, 6 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Camelbinky, I understand you may not reply, but I'll reply to a few of your points, and point out where I think you have made some false assumptions:
Nowhere did I say that you are alone in this view, or that you created this template.
I don't think anyone involved here has been "going around finding articles with citation needed templates..." That kind of talk does not encourage collaboration.
Equally it is not good practice to leave uncited, tagged material in an article for several months. Whether this point was covered in one of the "other sources" listed is irrelevant - it was contested, tagged as unreferenced and had not been verified for months.
Whether you agree with this approach or not, removing uncited material is permissible according to WP:V. Rocky did not remove just any uncited material - he removed material that had been tagged for months. This suggests that tagging material in the hope that interested editors with more time or resources will find sources is not an effective approach.
You have no idea if Ricky looked for a source or not, or what his motivation was, and you have no idea if he knows about this subject or not.
I do not try to rile you up - I have better things to do. I try to improve articles, as you do, but at times we disagree on how to do that.
I do not intend to make you look bad, or encourage you to make yourself look bad. Tangential ramblings, such as your stuff about propaganda and Bolsheviks and lone gunmen, are not prompted by me. --hippo43 (talk) 14:32, 7 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Back to actual gruntwork, no drama please! This is serious question-[edit]

The sentence in the lead (or lede as some would type) has me scratching my head for an answer, I hope someone can clarify it- "Each such government is granted varying home rule powers as provided by the Federal and State Constitutions." Can someone point to where in the US Constitution home rule powers for municipal governments are "provided" for? The US Supreme Court has been clear in its ruling that municipal governments do not have any inherent right to exist or any inherent rights, "what a state creates a state may destroy" is the quote I learned waaaaaaay back in ps210 State and Local Government (which at the University at Albany the semester after I took it as a first semester freshman it became a 300 level course open only to juniors because of something I did...long story). Am I, and the esteemed justices of the highest court in the land, missing something that the editor of the NYS Municipal Law Handbook knows about the Constitution? As a source it really sucks to tell you the truth, you are always better off looking up the specific laws creating certain aspects of local governance than using the "handbook".Camelbinky (talk) 03:39, 7 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The purpose of this map?[edit]

What is the purpose of this map, and why the town section?

We cant find or create a proper map of the towns of the state? Though towns are quite small and that might not be informative. Pictures of different types of towns through the section, perhaps some that are unique, like a photo of the combined village/town hall of one of the five towns that are coterminous with their village. Towns are classified by rank, perhaps a photo of a town from each rank. Perhaps a photo of a rural town setting, a suburban town, and an urban town. But please remember downstate is not representative of the entire state, whatever replaces the map should give equal time to the more than 50% of us that dont live in the city of New YorkCamelbinky (talk) 01:59, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

County government in the United States[edit]

Hello, New York! To defuse the edit war that has started at Category:County government in the United States, I'd appreciate some additional input on the topic of whether U.S. counties are (1) a level of local government or (2) an arm of state government. Discussion thus far is on my User talk page at User_talk:Orlady#County_government, but we could move it to a content-oriented talk page if desired. --Orlady (talk) 00:18, 18 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello NY. I am the other side of the edit war. My claim is that although county officials may be elected or appointed locally (i.e. not statewide), the actual county government itself is an arm of the state government. This is consistent with the powers they exercise (elections, law enforcement, etc.). If we could have some academically informed input, I would appreciate it, because the general impression and intuition that people have is that county government is "local government," but to those who actually study political science formally, the difference is known. The compromise that I propose is the persons should be categorized under "local politicians" while the offices should be categorized under "state government." Greg Bard (talk) 00:33, 18 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have posted this issue to WikiProject United States, and WikiProject Politics. Please take your input to one or the other so I don't have to have 50 discussions. Greg Bard (talk) 01:30, 18 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

User:Gregbard started discussion of this matter at User_talk:Orlady#County_government. Please don't start a whole new discussion at some WikiProject page. If there is a desire to move the discussion, let's copy the pre-existing discussion to the new location. --Orlady (talk) 02:31, 18 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unhelpful Image[edit]

There is an image in the "Town" section showing a road in Crown Point vs a road in Newburgh. This image caption claims "Towns can vary greatly in many characteristics, as shown here." except this image does absolutely nothing to show how towns can vary in many characteristics, rather it shows the differences in traffic on two roads at the time the images were taken. For all I know Newburgh could actually be a very small town with almost no traffic but was busy one day as there was a quilting convention in town, and Crown point is actually a very busy town that happened to be having a slow day (everyone was at the quilting convention). I don't believe this image adds anything at all to the article and suggest it be removed. Potatoj316 (talk) 17:50, 9 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Concur. An image of a very built up commercial strip versus a rural farm landscape perhaps? If any town in New York had tall buildings as a pretty cityscape such as Albany, New York, Buffalo, New York, or of course New York City then we could use one of those, but alas, towns in NY suck when it comes to a pretty skyline of tall urbanity.Camelbinky (talk) 19:07, 9 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"City (New York)" redirect notice[edit]

I don't consider it to have been bold to add {{redirect|City (New York)|the most populous city in the state of New York|New York City}} to the top of this article, and I don't see how this is a serious enough addition to warrant the use of the BRD guidelines, but I'll be a good Wikicitizen and have a discussion about it. It is easy to get City (New York) confused with New York City, perhaps by way of City of New York. I don't see the harm (especially given the existing problems with the rest of the article) in including this redirect message at the beginning. Gordon P. Hemsley 20:43, 30 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've never seen a redirect template quite worded that way with such an explanation "most populous city in the state of New York" (it's also the most populous in the United States, twice as large as Los Angeles and larger than LA and Chicago combined). I don't see it being realistic that someone would type City and then in parenthesis New York and actually be looking for the city of New York. It is not realistic. I'd have to see actual proof this is happening.Camelbinky (talk) 04:32, 1 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A hatnote is a navigational aid, used to quickly clarify for the reader whether they are where they would like to be, and, if not, help them get there. In this case, the difference between "City (New York)" and "New York City" (or "City of New York") is subtle. It would not be difficult to confuse the two—and it need not be by typing directly. I don't know how I could provide statistics about how many people have already been affected by this, but I also don't see why I should have to. It's a simple hatnote that does no harm and could potentially do good. Furthermore, I note that your response began with a criticism of the specific text I used to disambiguate between "City (New York)" and "New York City", and not of the existence of the hatnote itself. So I wonder if you might have a suggestion on how to improve the description of the specific city known as New York in contrast to a generic city in the state of New York, and whether that is your true objection. Gordon P. Hemsley 17:21, 1 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see the good it does. For the hatnote to have any good purpose it would have to be because someone typed City (New York) and expected to get an article about the city of New York which is at the article name of New York City; that person shows up at this article and says "What?! Why am I here? Oh, there's a hatnote, that explains where I should go!". Now... why did that person put City (New York), who would type that? If there is no one typing that and ending up at this page when they expected to go to New York City, then there is no use for the hatnote. That is the only situation in which this hatnote would be needed. That is my rationale for objecting. The hatnote does not serve any purpose other than for that situation, which I maintain has never happened ever. Prove me wrong and I'll drop my objection. Until then, over my dead body.Camelbinky (talk) 02:26, 2 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm glad that Camelbinky removed the hatnote. I support his views on this matter. --Orlady (talk) 15:38, 2 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I mentioned earlier, I don't agree that (mis)typing is the only way to get here by accident. And your response has not really included any more information than your initial objection—you've merely restated your opinion. But since you care so much about this as to put your life on the line, I'm going to drop the issue, as I don't think it's something worth dying for. Gordon P. Hemsley 02:33, 4 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not putting my "life on the line"... I'm simply stating what Wikipedia standards are for doing hatnotes. This is about policy, not about anything I'm passionate about. You keep saying that there is more than one way to get to this article by accident... I don't think you understand how Wikipedia and hatnotes works then... I tried explaining to you that the particular hatnote you want is for only that situation I described. We don't put that type of hatnote unless someone is specifically looking for New York City and typing City (New York) thinking they will get there and accidentally get here instead. We don't simply let people for no reason know "Hey, City (New York) redirects here by the way, just for your information". We don't do that. Ever. A bit wiki-history- the original plan was for City (New York) to become a stand alone article in time as this article became too large and informative and spin-off articles were needed, that's why the redirect was made in the first place so that articles could have the link directly to City (New York) so when it was ready the links direct to the page would exist. Until that day City (New York) links to a subsection of this article. My position is you're wrong from a policy stand point.Camelbinky (talk) 03:25, 4 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps you haven't read what you've written, but you very clearly stated "over my dead body". That seems pretty serious to me. And you never once stated any reference to a "policy" that "we at Wikipedia" use. You stated it as your opinion; you never once couched it in terms of an official policy. Also, I don't see how the "wiki-history" is relevant here. The article title format of "<municipality type> (<state>)" is not unique to this article, and has really nothing to do with the point. Gordon P. Hemsley 14:05, 4 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Gordon, see WP:Hatnote. The hatnote that you added is an example of a hatnote to disambiguate an article name that is not ambiguous. You added it in good faith. It's been discussed here. Both Camelbinky and I find it to be unnecessary, largely because it is highly unlikely that anyone looking for New York City will come to this article from City (New York). Furthermore, the wording of your hatnote ("the most populous city in the state of New York") was contrary to the philosophy that a "hatnote should not overload the user with extraneous information and the content should be imparted quickly and accurately." Furthermore, since the redirect points to a section within the article, a person who comes here because of the redirect would not see the hatnote.
It's time for you to stop beating this dead horse. --Orlady (talk) 17:08, 4 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Census-designated place and Hamlet[edit]

  • Census-designated place: "... comprising a densely settled concentration of population ... that is not part of a city or a village ... but is locally identified by a name."
  • Hamlet "a community within a town that is not incorporated as a village but is identified by a name."

So, are differences that a Census-designated place has to be in a densely settled concentration of population, and that a Hamlet has to be with a town (just one town)? -- (talk) 22:26, 1 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    • Census-designated place is a designation decided upon by the Federal govt (census bureau) with local community input. A hamlet is unofficially made by community consensus basically. A hamlet can cross town borders since there are no official borders, it really just matters what the locals consider the community to encompass.Camelbinky (talk) 19:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Electoral districts[edit]

I think there should be a section on electoral districts. Statewide there are congressional districts, state senate districts, assembly districts, judicial districts, and election districts (the basic electoral administrative division). It would also be nice to know how these interact with each other and with other administrative divisions (such as counties and NYC, the administrative divisions around which the boards of elections are organized). In New York City there also appears to be Civil Court election districts. Over time I'm sure more will come up. Int21h (talk) 04:52, 20 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Misleading Statement in "Towns" Section.[edit]

The first paragraph under the "Towns" section states that "[u]nlike most Northeastern states, every square foot of New York is incorporated; all residents who do not live in a city or on an Indian reservation live in a town." (Emphasis mine)

If we are defining the Northeast as the six New England states plus New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, as is almost always the case, then this statement is false. In addition to New York, every square foot of land in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island is incorporated as well. These account for five out of a total of nine states in the Northeast. I am going to go ahead and change the sentence to reflect this, but I wanted to be clear about my rationale for doing so in case there is a reason for the current wording that I have overlooked. --WhyteCypress 00:46, 19 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Proposed merges[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was merge for the second article: the first article was dealt with in a separate discussion. Apocheir (talk) 19:21, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

-Apocheir (talk) 15:56, 17 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding Social Services District (New York), I note that following the above proposal there was an AFD leading to a redirect (to another target; see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Social Services District (New York)). So, that seems to have been resolved. For Town supervisor, I support the proposal to merge to Administrative divisions of New York (state) for the reason given. Klbrain (talk) 15:09, 2 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.