Among the concerns is that the park has received little attention compared to the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome since 2006, when the county airport was moved from Whitestown to Griffiss, said Frank Giotto, chairman of the Oneida County Industrial Park Association. . .Apparently the Whitestown park can't be found on the Mohawk Valley EDGE homepage.
“It’s like they’re deliberately excluding us in any of their plans and development,” Giotto said.Welcome to the club, Mr. Giotto. Herkimer County felt that way some time ago. Utica should feel that way, too, but its leaders seem to be too preoccupied with getting around civil service laws to notice. EDGE will favor whatever municipalities are favored by Oneida County leadership -- which are not necessarily the municipalities of the residents who are paying most of the bill. This is the problem when services become "regionalized" -- the people paying the bills aren't necessarily the ones getting the benefits.
Since Whitestown would get a boost to its tax base from any development at the old airport, shouldn't Whitestown take on this responsibility? Probably not -- Whitestown is likely not big enough to take this on financially.
BUT GREATER UTICA COULD.
Today's story is an example of what Greater Utica gets from Utica and its suburbs continuing to move in their own directions rather than as one. They insist on maintaining separate existences, depending on the County whenever a 'Greater Utica' area solution is required. The County, of course, cannot be depended upon because it answers to interests that are outside Greater Utica.
This is the root of the problem with EDGE, the root of the problem with the Sewer District, and the root of the problem with the Water Authority. If Greater Utica were unified, EDGE would be a 'has been,' and the reason for the existence of the sewer district and water authority would be eliminated.
A consolidated Municipality of Greater Utica could take on a lot of what has been kicked up to the county level: Water, sewer, marketing of industrial sites -- maybe even the airport! Things might even be better managed because there would be less incentive to expand services into new areas (creating too much infrastructure to be supported by a dwindling population).
Mr. Giotto, of course, knows all this because he literally "wrote the book" on consolidation of Greater Utica -- "Medievil Madness." I hope he doesn't mind, but I'm posting it here because his former website is down (fortunately I thought to make a copy). It is an excellent, entertaining read, and proposes a roadmap for consolidation.
Now may be the time for this plan or something similar. . .
The residents of all the little burgs, hamlets and boros that make up Greater Utica should wake up to the fact that they CAN take control of their destiny -- if they only merged.