The smoldering tiff between the Utica Common Council and a committee that recommends federal funding for nonprofits once again puts an accent on the embarrassing parochialism that can threaten growth in our community. . .What's silly is OD's claim that city officials believe that people from outside don't care about what happens in the city. Untrue! The city has long recognized that "outsiders" care and invited them in to help -- e.g. the Utica Master Plan steering committee which had several non-residents among its members.
In this case, the flames are being fanned by the age-old city residency argument. . .
Hopefully the people that might be considering setting up a multi-billion dollar computer chip operation here aren’t watching all this. It’s theater of the absurd. . . .
To believe that someone from outside one set of lines doesn’t care about what happens across those lines is just plain silly.
What is absurd is the OD's position that residency requirements are not relevant. If that is the case, let's get rid of the residency requirement for mayor . . . or how about New Hartford town supervisor? . . . . Yes, those suggestions are ridiculous. Even though someone in Utica "cares" about what happens in New Hartford (because NH's decisions have caused increases to Utica's tax, sewer and water rates) NH would not allow a Utican to run for town supervisor. The laws contemplate that municipal officials have "skin in the game" by being resident within the municipality. If Utica is forming a committee to distribute public funds to city projects, it is Utica's prerogative to limit participants to residents who will live with the consequences of their decisions. "Caring" is not enough.
It is interesting that it is always Utica that is on the receiving end the OD's cries of "parochialism." The "parochial walls" always operate one way, favoring suburban interests.
If the OD is seriously interested in eliminating "parochialism," it would advocate ridding ourselves of multiple municipal boundaries that allow suburban jurisdictions to accumulate wealth at the expense of city residents.
Municipal Boundaries = Parochial Walls