Thursday, March 15, 2007

Views on the News . . .

Hanging Around: Looks like Oneida County is going $6.4 million in debt to construct another hangar at the new County Airport in the "hope that revenue from renting out the offices and hangar space will help pay for the new borrowing." Hope? Help? Didn't they do a market study to show it would be self-sustaining? This is just what the county needs: more debt while its population continues to dwindle ... and the hope that things turn out right. Sounds like "a dollar and a dream" doesn't it? Don't expect taxes to go down any time soon.

Herkimer County Corrections: Herkimer County will be constructing a new jail on Route 28 at a cost of $30 million and raise it's sales tax 1/4% to pay for it. This seems rather burdensome for a county that only has 64,000 people (and declining) -- almost $470 per person. Meanwhile, Oneida County has LOST considerably more than the entire population of Herkimer County (i. e., it lost 85,000 people) since 1970 (even more if you exclude the state prisoners from the population count). Why is no one talking "consolidation" here? Oneida County has a nice jail -- Why not let Herkimer County buy into it? More debt and an increased sales tax do nothing to make Herkimer County more attractive to people and jobs. And Oneida County could certainly use some help in the form of more people to share its costs.. . . . Or are county leaders on both sides insistent on "having their own?" When is the taxpayer going to be thought of? When will our leaders get serious about making this region more hospitable?

Newsless in New Hartford: Can't comment very well on the New Hartford News because the paper didn't publish anything today about the Town's "informational" and Town Board meetings last night -- which we understand were quite informative -- but not in the way that Town leaders had planned. Seems that the Town Highway Superintendent may have placed the Town in a bind by leasing certain equipment a few months back without Board approval . . . but then again, with this Town Board's penchant for making decisions in casual conversations rather than open debate at an official meeting, perhaps none was thought necessary? Anyway, New Hartford Online blog has all the details. We can only speculate why this story did not warrant coverage by the O-D, since a reporter was present.


Anonymous said...

The New Herkimer County jail as well as other county jails are being constructed with extra capacity because the state will be closing down state prisons and use that capacity to house locally grown state felons. Think about it, no more high bills to transport families for visitations from the city or transfer in living status to the county to be close to the prisoners and our welfare system. Cheaper phone calls too.

Strikeslip said...

If that is the case, Silence, then why construct anything at all: plenty of capacity would be opening up in Marcy.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there will be room for our local politicans, especially what I am reading about what is happening in the Town of New Hartford.

Who are these elected officials who think they are above the law?

I hope that the town residents rise-up in arms over what appears to be violations of Town law. In fact, where was the town attorney when this was happening?

Anonymous said...

I am somewhat perplexed over the fact that Oneida County is BONDING for $6.4 million dollars. Just recently, Joe Timpano, Comptroller of Oneida County hand-carried a $150,000 check of County residents monies and GAVE it to the Town of New Hartford - NO STRINGS ATTACHED! Why? This was my hard-earned tax dollars. Why should I give the Town of New Hartford monies, a Town that talks about how AFFLUENT it is and how they want a TOP NOTCH police station that represents the WEALTH of the area? Who is b/sing whom?

If the Town of New Hartford is that AFFLUENT; then the Town should return the $150,000 it received and allow these monies to be given to a cause that benefits a greater number of county residents. I wonder who authorized the $150,000 to be given to the Town of New Hartford?

It was learned from those in attendance that the Town Supervisor could not wait to get this check and too, made inquiry of Mr. Timpano as to the whereabouts of the Town's share of the sales tax receipts. Is the Town really that AFFLUENT or are they having money problems?

Also, it was mentioned that the Town of New Hartford is "creating" a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position to be shared with the Town of Whitestown (Matt Shannon, Supervisor). Who is funding this ridiculous venture?

The County needs another position under Joe Timpano like Timpano needs a pay raise. The lunacy being advocated by Joe Timpano, Earle Reed, Matt Shannon and now it has been rumored, Joseph Griffo makes one wonder...:what the heck are these politicians doing in their day job?

Perhaps, we need to ensure that come election time that the above Republican officials be informed that their services are no longer needed and the residents vote for a slate of candidates with common sense.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the idea of having someone who knows something about finance watching over my taxpayer dollars is such a bad idea.

I guess we could keep the politicians in charge, after all they did such a great job in Annsville.

Strikeslip said...

I have to agree with you, Anonymous, that it is not such a bad idea to have someone who knows something about finances watching over our tax dollars.

That said, I disagree with the finance officer proposed to be shared by Hartford/Whitestown because it is IN ADDITION TO the financial employees they already have, rather than to replace them. In a region of declining population, we should be consolidating positions rather than creating new ones.