In Guest view: Oneida County Democrats won’t be silent minority County Legislator Frank Tallarino of Rome said:
Consolidation is the most attractive and the best way to save money. But you are preaching to the choir. County government welcomes consolidation; the towns and villages have difficulty relinquishing the power and jobs they have held for decades.
Along with the suburban expansion that has crippled the cities — particularly Utica — there is the financial burden of maintaining town and village governments. Every town has expanded toward its villages or city and the number of government entities exist are an outrage.
In Our view: Redistricting Oneida County worth study, in reference to a parochial mindset the OD editors state :
The Charter Reform Commission’s proposal to extend county districts in the city of Utica into neighboring municipalities could be a key step in reshaping this attitude. Clearly the city of Utica shares commonality with many of the towns it borders, and broadening those districts only makes sense. Contrary to what some might believe, the health and stability of the city of Utica have a direct effect on its suburbs. When the city suffers, it hurts us all.These views should provide the lens through which county policies must be reexamined . . . not with an eye toward further expanding county government to assume traditional city/town/village services (such as 911, sewage, water, and garbage services) , but rather, to discern where the county government has enabled parochial interests to continue to exist by providing such services in place of (and which would be better managed by) an enlarged local government. . . with an eye to eventually withdrawing from them.
In Sewer fees sore point for suburbs we see more "enablement" of parochial interests at the direction of the county. The county intends to collect a fee that will be used to partially defray local sewer repair costs, but hasn't figured out yet just what it will spend the money on. What seems to be happening is more redistribution of costs from one community to another -- with the County acting as arbiter and Utica, because it is the population center, being the ultimate piggybank (loser) as usual.
The County also hasn't figured out what it will do if local communities do not implement the fee, preferring to "cross that bridge" when it gets to it.
All this should have been thought about before the Consent Order was signed -- as pointed out in this blog. Figuring things out along the way, however, is the typical approach around here and ultimately creates more problems down the road, such as those described in today's article.
And why not do it this way? What ever the county legislators decide, half of them are unaffected because their constituents aren't in the sewer district. . . . "Let the other guys decide when they have to do something" seems to be the thought process . . . but by then, the options have become limited.
We (Utica, NH, Whitestown, Marcy, Deerfield, NYMills, Whitesboro, Yorkville, Oriskany, NH Village, Clayville) all share a sewer system largely controlled by outsiders. This makes no sense! We also share a water system. There should be 1 municipality controlling this, allowing everyone in the district to share the costs, the control, and the benefits:
The Municipality of Greater Utica.