Sunday, August 03, 2008

$2 Million Per Year . . .

That's what Oneida County taxpayers are losing on the new "Oneida County-Griffiss International Airport" according to the Observer-Dispatch today which asks the question "Is privatization the answer or a huge mistake?" Asking such a question now is like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. . .

The huge mistake was moving the Oneida County Airport to Griffiss to begin with.

By now it is obvious that our County Executives, "rubber-stamp" Board of Legislators, and unnamed co-conspirators failed to give "due diligence":
If you looked at the links, common sense should have told these people what they were getting us into. But common sense is out the window where there is money to be made and political careers to be advanced. It is obvious that some people must have gotten awfully rich with all the new construction. And given the lack of transparency in all the above decisions, it's obvious that people were given their marching orders. (There are lessons to be learned here, but won't be, because the local media fails to examine the who and how behind the decisions.) But where do we go from here?

When you realize that you've dug yourself into a hole, the first thing you should do is to stop digging!

At this point, the County is prepared to dig deeper! Questions are being asked that are not being adequately answered. Again, we have a proposed contract with no escape clause if things do not work out.

Mr. Fiorini pushed for the move to Rome which got us into this mess, and has in the past cut off questioning. That needs to stop. We should have no confidence that the County has researched its options (as claimed by Mr. Picente) based on the County's track record to date.

Privatization can bring to Oneida County the expertise that it obviously lacks. It could also create a convenient scapegoat when things go under (which may be the motivating factor here). Regardless, business-as-usual must end. No more borrowing, no more unanswered questions, and no more contracts without provisions that protect the taxpayers if things don't go as planned.


Anonymous said...

This is a great post. It's rather interesting to see the timeline of events involving this issue. As you know, I'm new to much of the history behind local politics. But I couldn't help thinking much of this after sitting through Mr. Picente's presentation regarding this contract. I thought I was the only one, but at the end I couldn't help but conclude by asking "why did we ever move the airport in the first place?"

It seems that the only thing our "leaders" in Oneida County have ever learned from history is how to repeat it over and over again.


Greens and Beans said...

A corporate entity shields the elected official from any voter backlash should the airport financially fail. I have had felt this from the beginning. By entering into a contract to manage the Oneida County airport, this may serve as a scapegoat in terms of having a non-answerable party responsible if the airport should go under. Who would this move shield? The ones that will need this “shielding” is the County Executive, the County Legislature, Edge, and GLDC. This is truly a bad sign.

And I agree with Anon . . . We here in Oneida County really have perfected the art of “repeating history.” It is sad but true. We seem to always recycle our costly mistakes.