Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How Bad Can It Get? 5

Oneida County legislators will be voting tonight on a contract to privatize aspects of the Griffiss Airport operation, but, still, nothing has been done to address fears raised by Legislator Hennessy that the county's taxpayers are being exposed (the subject of previous posts 1, 2, 3 and 4). At least now the O-D is telling the story of what happened in Plattsburgh with the same contractor.
Shortly after a contract was signed, Freeman Holdings left Plattsburgh's airport without first telling county officials, said representatives from Clinton County, where Plattsburgh is located.

A contract had been signed, but disagreements arose over whether Clinton County would provide certain services and infrastructure not named in the agreement, the county and company officials said.
Oneida County Executive Picente, desperate to get this contract signed, is in denial.
. . . Picente said he was aware of what happened in Clinton County, but said safeguards were in place to protect Oneida County's interests in case of disagreements.

Items Freeman Holdings needed at Plattsburgh already are in place in Rome or will be soon, said Picente, who hopes the agreement is approved.

“We already have them or are planning to do it,” he said. “It's a totally different operation.”
"... already have them or are planning to do it" ??? This sounds exactly like Plattsburgh to me . . . an "understanding" or a "handshake deal" done at side bar . . . waiting to go wrong.

Legislators, please stop behaving like this is Dogpatch County. Get some professional help and protect our interests as taxpayers.

1 comment:

Greens and Beans said...

This is closed circuit for the Oneida County Legislature: DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

Come on folks, let us not reinvent the wheel. We do NOT have the luxury of having time on our side in terms of entering into a contract that may place Oneida County into even greater financial jeopardy. We cannot afford to lose more dollars than the three million plus dollars that we already lose on Griffiss International each year. Your goal should be to stop the hemorrhaging of tax dollars and not add to it by entering into a potentially risky contract. Perhaps the wise and prudent move here should be to invite the folks from Plattsburg to visit Oneida County to educate us on what they feel went wrong with their dealings with Freeman Holdings. Or, perhaps have a few of our County Legislative leaders should make field trip to Plattsburg to interview their airport officials to get their first hand assessment as to what went awry with their dealings with Freeman Holdings.