Thursday, March 04, 2010

State of the County . . .

The County Executive's speech was covered by the OD, and by the Sentinel. UDN presents its full text. He had some good things to say:

We need to change, and we need action. ...

Action to commit to partnerships that will weather successes and failures with a vision committed to moving forward.

Regions that grow in the future will not be those divided against themselves to the point of going nowhere. . . .
But inspiring words of united action are no substitute for decision-making based on sound data and sound logic. . . . Data that includes all the relevant facts and not just those that support the County Executive's point of view . . . Logic that is available for and will withstand public scrutiny BEFORE serious decisions are made.

Almost every month, it seems, the county does something that does not make sense. Failure to account for contrary data, and the lack of apparent logic have been fodder for many posts here.

The County Executive raises three issues that he would like to resolve . . . but his approach to all three reveals the same serious flaw:

-> He attempted to negotiate a settlement with the Oneida Indians while leaving out N.Y.S. , the affected municipalities, and his own legislature. It went no where because key players were left out.

-> He 'successfully' negotiated a settlement of the county's sewer violations with the DEC without the participation of the affected Towns and Villages . . . but is now running into problems keeping up his end of the bargain because the Towns and Villages he must depend upon are finding the financial burden of compliance overwhelming.

-> He is currently orchestrating a meeting of so-called "stakeholders" in Hinckley Reservoir while leaving out the Canal Corp., the DEC, most of the persons who actually own water rights, and the municipalities who currently depend on Hinckley for their water supply. Where do you think this is going?

Certain people or groups are invited to dine, while others who are not at the table are expected to pay the tab.

It should be no surprise this region will continue to seem divided against itself with approaches such as this.


Anonymous said...

If one takes a close look at the words, one realizes that they have been mouthed by this and several other county executives. Superficial sound bites do not make for leadership or accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

More boilerplate nonsense in an attempt to placate area voters, taxpayers & all around suckers who are paying for the failures of local politicians. We need "change" all right, in leadership from the top to the bottom. I intend to exercise my personal right to "change" by going to the polls this Nov.

Anonymous said...

Just heard the County Ex on the radio this morning defending the ridiculous move to bring Empire Aero up here.

He said he spent taxpayers money wisely and no mistakes were made. He said we set up training and support to help make it work. He says we brought something new to the area that no one else would have and that's a good thing. But do you want to know why no one else (read that as private investors) would have done these things?? BECAUSE THEY WERE DAMN STUPID that's why.

He was warned ahead of time their finances were shaky and this was a waste of our money, time and effort. Did he listen?? No No NO! Because he knows best and we're idiots.

I agree that we're idiots because look who we have leading us.

Strikeslip said...

I also heard the CE's "no mistakes" remark on WIBX this morning and thought it was breathtaking.

Listening to his explanation, it seemed as though the millions in "investments" at Griffiss and the MVCC Aircraft Maintenance program were intended to make Oneida County some sort of center for aircraft maintenance. In other words, Oneida County was going into the aircraft maintenance business and he was looking for partners to make it happen. This was wrong on three levels:

(1) If I wanted to invest in an aircraft maintenance business, I would do that on my own time with my own money. I do not want the government taking my money through the power of taxation and making my "investment" decisions for me. Even worse, earnings from investing my money go to the EDGE Cabal, not back to me. The whole scheme seems violative of the intent of Article VIII of the NYS Constitution . . . if not the letter of it. (but who's looking?) Simply put, this was not a proper role for the government to take. This is what private businesses should be doing, not government.

(2) If you assume that making "investments" targeted for a particular type of business venture is a proper function of government, then, where was the COUNTY'S business plan? As my father taught me when I once thought of going into business on my own, "You find a need and fill it." Who was the competition? Was there a need for aircraft maintenance that was going unfilled? If there was an unfilled need, was it sufficient to create a sustainable business (ie., income would cover all expenses). My sense was that there never was a County "business plan" backed up by facts and logic. Why would their be? After the decision was made to move the Airport from Oriskany to Rome, the County assembled a committee to figure out what to do with the old airport -- there was no plan.

(3) There was no back-up plan in the event of failure. Another lesson from my father: Don't invest more than you can risk losing. Write off the loss and learn from the lesson. Here, the County cannot do that. It BORROWED. It will be stuck paying for this "lesson" for a generation . . . and if the past is any indication, the County would not have learned anything, either.

Anonymous said...

Strikeslip hits the nail on the head. Picenti speaks as though this was a privately financed venture. It was,in fact, rolling the dice with millions of taxpayers dollars. A requirement should have been that he and the others who voted for it put up a good hunk of theit own money.All would have voted no!