I woke up this morning to hear on WIBX that the Utica Common Council voted 8-0 last night to send a resolution to Governor Cuomo, asking him to halt the State's plans for the North South Arterial.
I thought I was dreaming!
To anyone sitting through the UED meeting Tuesday night where the resolution was discussed, it seemed like the resolution would go down in flames when put to the whole Council for a vote. I don't know what happened between Tuesday night and Wednesday night to sway votes. Was it concern for next week's elections and how a "no" vote could be spun? Was it the influence of the "Occupy Utica" protesters who were present? Does it really matter?
For once Utica's Common Council did the right thing for Utica's residents and small businesses.
Now that the Common Council has articulated City Policy, it is incumbent on the Mayor, the Urban and Economic Development Department, and all other segment's of the City's executive branch to support it -- to find ways to make it work in cooperation with the State, so that State's need to move traffic safely through Utica can be met while also meeting Utica's needs for maintaining existing street connections, stronger visual connections between both sides of the Arterial Replacement, a walkable neighborhood, maintenance of properties on the tax rolls, and more places for entrepreneurs to set up shop. Candidates for Mayor should be asked how they intend to carry out the Council's wishes. It also is incumbent on the City Council to monitor what becomes of its resolution and not to let it languish. This story is just beginning . . .
And then there is the OTHER story . . .
... the almost complete blackout of news coverage on the vote. Fortunately WIBX reported this -- but only on the air today and temporarily on line (the link to the audio coverage was replaced this afternoon). None of the other local news outlets have this story.
This is especially curious with regard to the OD. As previously noted, the OD edictorial board was so upset over Mr. Zecca's penning the proposal that it ran an editorial against it before the ink on the proposal was even dry. One has to wonder about the lack of interest now . . . or if there is a purpose behind it.
Perhaps it will be covered tomorrow . . . or in another editorial this weekend.