Thursday, December 22, 2005

Let's look at regionalizing recreation

"Let's look at regionalizing recreation" suggests the OD editorial board in yesterday's paper. Yes, lets do that. But instead of looking forward to regionalizing ice rinks in Clinton, New Hartford and Whitestown, lets look back at other recreational facilities or programs that have already been regionalized: the Utica Aud and the Youth Bureau.

I don't believe anyone can say that things have improved at the Aud since a regional authority took it over. And the County dropped the ball with the Youth Bureau to the point that Utica is taking back those functions.

If memory serves me correctly, the Aud and the Youth Bureau deals were part of the deal to regionalize the Water system. Utica gave up its water asset to be relieved of the burden of the Aud and youth programs. Now that the suburban areas have taken the water and "grown" using Utica water, they've turned their backs on the other two responsibilities they took on.

What's the lesson for today's proposal for a "regional sports authority?" Uticans had better hold onto their wallets. The proposal is nothing more than a thinly veiled plan to get Uticans to pay the expenses for suburban ice facilities -- facilities they will not use because they are too poor to pay for the ride out to them.

Regionalization in Oneida County has never been and will never be anything more than taking from Utica (the poor) and giving to the suburbs (the rich).

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