During his announcement Tuesday at F.T. Proctor Park, Clemente spoke about various goals for saving the city money, and many ideas had an environmental focus. . . .
“We will think green, live green and save green,” he said.Catchy . . .
While the "think green, live green" motto will make some see "red," Mr. Clemente's appearance is bringing some new ideas into the mix.
One of his main initiatives would be to take over street-lighting from National Grid and build toward medium-scale municipal power generation using methods such as solar panels, he said.Although a Government take-over of private business should raise concern, when one is dealing with a practical monopoly like National Grid, can it be that bad? Monopolies are as inefficient and unresponsive as Big Government. National Grid is answerable only to its shareholders and to the State Public Service Commission. Considering that the former are located world-wide (and could care less about Utica) and the latter seems intent on sending our "cheap" power downstate, moving toward a municipal take-over of the power supply is worth considering. . . At least the voters will have a say. It sounds like Clemente has gone beyond mere talking about muni-power to thinking about how it might be accomplished ...
Although some may dismiss Mr. Clemente as an academic, is that any less a qualification than iceman (Mayor Dulan), cheese maker (Mayor Caruso), undertaker (Mayors Assaro and Roefaro), teacher (Mayor Lapolla), lawyer (Mayor Pawlinga), or entrepreneur (Mayor Hanna)? We know where they got us.
Some of his other goals include listening to the public, bringing pharmacy and food stores to downtown Utica, dealing with sewer and water issues, developing urban forestry and urban agriculture, analyzing whether city services can be delivered in a more efficient way and addressing vacant buildings through deconstruction work and the reuse of materials, he said.These are new subjects for a mayoral candidate to talk about, but they address clear issues that the city faces. Some ideas may be good, other not so, but at least they will be discussed ... and that is the first step to solving Utica's problems.
Mr. Clemente's entry on the scene will hopefully get other candidates to present specific ideas for addressing the issues instead of spouting the usual rhetoric. That would be refreshing.