Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where is OC Planning?

Another development in New Hartford! This time further out on Seneca Turnpike. This is pretty close to the edge of the urbanized area, pushing sprawl further out. While town officials think this is a good thing, town residents already know otherwise based on some of the comments to the OD article.

One has to ask, where is Oneida County Planning in all this? If anyone, those professionls Should understand the harm that sprawl causes the entire region... that the entire region is becoming unsustainable because there are too few of us to afford to pay for and maintain the additionl infrastructure needed to support it ... But they seem to rubber stamp anything a politically connected developer wants to do.

OC Planning rubber-stamped all the new suburban developments that plugged sanitary sewage
lines into a combined sewer overflow which led to our expensive Consent Order that we pay for in our sewer bills. OC Planning ignored its own planning documents when the County pushed to send Utica water to Verona. OC Planning sat idly by while a nice-sized airport was traded in for something our population cannot possibly justify.

Read Will Greater Cleveland squander its chance for sustainability planning. They could be talking about Greater Utica.

Why do we pay for a county planning department that misses the forest for the trees?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Challenge Federal Jurisdiction . . .

This nonsense has really gone on long enough: Officials wait for decision on need for permit for nano site.
But the Army Corps doesn’t want the site’s wetlands to be touched until a buyer is found.

The theory for federal control and the need for federal permission to develop the site is that the "wetlands" on the site are somehow connected to the navigible waters of the United States. But the federal government has really been pushing the envelope on this to the point where people cannot even develop their own homesites because a drainage ditch runs across their premises.

First, whatever is done to the Marcy site, there is no impact on interstate commerce whatsoever -- meaning that the federal government has no jurisdiction.

Second, there are no "waters of the United States" that could be potentially affected. Unlike non-colonial states that were carved out of federal territory which would have federal waters, New York State was an original colony. It was sovereign after Independence was declared. The waters belong to the state and not the federal government.

No one wants to challenge federal jurisdiction because of the potential loss of federal funds -- the strings holding our puppets. But this needs to be done, otherwise more and more decisions are going to be made by a far off bureaucracy that is unresponsive to local needs . . . unresponsive like King George was unresponsive to the colonies.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Assault on Private Business, Taxpayers, Insurance Buyers

Three recent stories in the OD:
Utica’s ambulance controversy becomes state issue
Utica fire officials urge state lawmakers on ambulance law
Proposed state law could end fight over Utica ambulance service

Changing the law to exempt municipalities from having to show a public need to run an ambulance service is a terrible idea.

First, it opens the doors in many places to government competing directly with existing private businesses in many communities.  Do we really want to encourage expansion of the roll of government?

Second, since government is almost never as efficiently run as private businesses, undoubtedly the taxpayers are going to wind up paying for some of this.  In the case of Utica, we have yet to see a complete accounting for what the ambulance service is costing taxpayers, particularly in the areas of overtime and increased cost to cover increased pensions generated by more overtime. Of course the fire department will support this!

Third, at least in the case of Utica according to news reports, charges to insurance companies for ambulance services have been significantly higher than what is being charged by the private ambulance service.  This will result in increased health insurance rates for the region.

The proposed law is anti-business and will wind up costing taxpayers and health insurance buyers more money.