Wednesday, July 08, 2009

You Can't Depend On Oneida County . . .

... to do what you should be doing for yourself. At least that is the message that you should get from today's OD headline story "Whitestown business park tenants ‘frustrated’." Apparently the infrastructure and other things at the old Oneida County Airport Industrial Park are being neglected.
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.


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.


Anonymous said...

The neglect of the former airport park is a disgrace. EDGE and the county seem to forget that the park hosts some of the most important companies in our region; Met Life, Bank of New York Mellon, Damier Bus and Fiber Instruments just to name a few. Compare this to the Griffiss Park which hosts a public school, a public hospital and a defunct airport. The private sector, tax paying employment in Whitestown drwafs that of Grifiss yet Rome has recieved hundreds of millions of tax dollars. The only sense that makes is that of politics as the blog author points out.This is the result of some pretty dumb greater Utica voters voting for Rome based politicians for decades. It may be rightly termed political suicide.

Anonymous said...

There are a few interesting quotes on this topic in the OD on-line comment sction. One raises the question of cost related to Griffiss. My sense is that hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars has been spent on redevelopment. I would imagine a cost/benefit analysis interms of new job and tax revenue produced for that money would knock our collective socks off. One would think that elected leaders, those in charge of the public purse, would have been demanding such analysis years ago. And, what of the OD? For that paper not to adequately cover and moniter the recipient of virtually all the area's resources since the closing of the Base seems inexcusable!

Anonymous said...

Merge with Utica? Your joking, right?

Utica leadership is a joke. Always has been and always will be. Only a clown would want to associate with that nuthouse.

Then again, New Hartford leadership is full of clowns.

hmmnn ...... you might be on to something - merge Utica with New Hartford and you would have a full blown circus.

Strikeslip said...

A "full blown circus!" -- Now THAT's Funny!

Of course ... I am serious about merger . . . Just think of it this way: Merger will expand the "gene pool" of available leaders.

Anonymous said...

Let's further examine the gene pool theory. Based on extensive analysis of Utica's population, its pool is 60% normal and 40% defective. And, this may be generous to Utica.The New Hartford pool has proven to be 85% normal and 15% defective. Whitestown is 75% normal, 25% defective. The conclussions are two; Utica's defective pool dominates the whole and in total a consolidation raises the defective gene dominiation ratio of both suburbs. Therefore, it makes no sense for either New Hartford or Whitesboro to consolidate with Utica thus raising the defective gene pool ratio. A less scientific analysis would be to just attend a Utica Monday night event at Hanna Park or to try to decifer a public comment of Utica's Mayor. At least Earle Reed explains New Hartford mismanagement in decent english.