“It appears that the Canal Corp. has put the interests of the power company ahead of the needs of the people,” Oneida County Board of Legislators Majority Leader David Wood, R- Rome, said.Wrong, Mr. Wood. Weighing interests against needs is something that a county legislator does. The Canal Corp. does not have that authority. Rather, Canal Corp. has obligations. In this case, Canal Corp is obliged to allow the natural flow of the West Canada Creek pass through Hinckley Reservoir (or whatever is called for in its contract with the power company). Asking the Canal Corp. to do anything else is asking it to violate someone's rights.
Does the need for food in Haiti justify looting? Ms. Hudak's statement reeks of a sense of entitlement.
Oneida County Minority Leader Patricia Hudak, D-Rome, said water is in the reservoir, and the outflows just need to be slowed down.
“I think they ought to let us have the water that’s needed instead of playing games,” Hudak said.
It is the O.C. Legislature, County Executive and Water Authority who have been playing the games.
Rather than negotiate a settlement with Canal Corp. when the issue first arose, the Water Authority dragged Canal Corp and the power company into an expensive legal battle. The decision that resulted was the court's attempt to preserve the status quo. At that point, everyone should have learned their lesson and gone home.
But what happened? Rather than recognize the court's decision for what it was, the Water Authority immediately tried to turn it into a "right" to a certain amount of water, and pressed on to extend its system further.
The court did not tell the Canal Corp. that it had to operate its reservoir for the benefit of MVWA, and probably would not have the jurisdiction to do so. Operation of a dam involves administrative expertise, something that a court would defer to.
So Canal Corp. is now operating things in accordance with its own expertise, rather than trying to do favors for some of its neighbors. . . neighbors who have not been very neighborly.