The Mohawk Valley's greatest creator of jobs is now a member of the Mohawk Valley's job-creation agency.
Oneida Nation Representative Raymond Halbritter has been elected to the board of Mohawk Valley EDGE.
While critics of the Nation questioned the choice, others said it makes sense to put Halbritter's expertise to work for the greater good of the region.I am not a critic of the Oneida Indian Nation. The Nation has done a lot of good for the region, and I wish them well in their continued success. Unlike the OD, I am not wringing my hands over OIN's using its economic influence over others, because that is simply normal human behavior.
HOWEVER, I am a critic of the way Our Government handles its relations with the OIN. . . and this appointment only makes things worse because it makes OIN part of our problem with EDGE.
"Who controls EDGE? " was a question I asked back in 2005.
It's reasonable to expect that whoever controls EDGE's money can exercise influence over EDGE's actions. . . .
The real issue is whether Oneida County's industrial development policymaking authority has been usurped by a group of private individuals who are, essentially, acting in their own interests.It is one thing to tap the "expertise" among our region's corporate elite. It is quite another to give the elite governmental authority over business competition. Just like the textile mill owners used their influence almost a century ago to keep Ford and other manufacturers out of the region so they could avoid paying higher wages to their employees, our new EDGE elite can use their influence over taxpayer-funded efforts to ensure their own interests are protected and promoted.
Those small local businesses who see OIN enterprises as unfair competition will only perceive this appointment as unnecessarily giving OIN even more of an advantage.
This appointment is only the latest reason to disband EDGE.