Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Their Piece of the Pie . . .

A couple months ago Oneida County Executive Picente complained about a proposed casino in Tyre, Seneca County, and announced a coalition to fight it. Seneca County Chairman Hayssen shot back
“Picente and Halbritter know we have the best model for our casino in our zone, and it will rival theirs someday,” he said. “They just don’t want it to happen.”
But Mr. Picente said
that the placement of a casino in Tyre goes against the intent of the Oneidas’ exclusivity agreement with the state, even though Tyre is just outside the Nation’s exclusivity zone.
The agreement is the agreement. If Tyre is outside the Oneida Nation exclusivity zone, then it is a legal location. Is Mr. Picente afraid of a little competition?

Now these same top officials in two counties battle over Turning Stone's planned luxury retail center.

Is Mr. Hayssen afraid of a little competition?

You have to love the spectacle of Government types (both Hayssen and Picente) battling over "their" piece of the "pie." 

But the problem is neither Turning Stone nor Tyre. Rather, the problem is with how Government (State, Federal and Local) allows certain entities (such as Turning Stone) to operate free from the rules that everyone else has to live by.

It is cronyism that WE THE PEOPLE wind up paying for  . . . sometimes in subtle ways  . . . like Utica area sewer users funding sewers for uncommitted nanotech companies . . . and Utica area water users funding a pipeline to Verona for Turning Stone.

WE THE PEOPLE need to put a stop to cronyism by getting rid of the government officials who engage in it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Oneida County Is Coming for Your Wallets!!!

"Sewer rates could increase 10% in Oneida County."  This headline is misleading. The sewer rates are not increasing for everyone in Oneida County -- just for those users of the Oneida County Part County Sewer District . . . which is centered on Utica.
About $442,000 of the money generated will go to pay debt service on the $11.6 million project to accommodate increased sewer use expected from nanotechnology enterprises in Marcy.
The population of the sewer district is down.  The current users do not need to "accommodate increased sewer use." 

Leave it to the Oneida County Legislature and the County Executive to find a way to tap Utica-area citizens for County-sponsored development.  We should all be so lucky to find a way to pass the costs of our pet projects on to someone else!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gotta Hand It To These Guys !!!

 Turning Stone Resort Casino announces $100 million luxury retail outlet, entertainment complex . While MV EDGE is running around like a bunch of losers spending Oneida County taxpayers' money trying to stifle potential competition for Turning Stone from Seneca County,  Turning Stone has moved on to beat any potential competition.

Love 'em or hate 'em, you have to admire Turning Stone's entrepreneurial spirit playing their fair or unfair advantages for all their worth.

Let's face it.  There is no way the Utica/Syracuse market alone could support such an outlet center. Now the well-heeled of the region won't have to travel to Manhattan for luxury items.

This is a PLUS for US.  

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Should Upstate Split from NYC?

This was a question someone posted on Topix, generating the "we can get along without them" vs "we need them" type of discussion.  One person posted that both regions need each other.  I agree with the last view.  (I remember in the 1970s when NYC was in an incredible amount of debt, but the Upstate economy was fine and kept things afloat for all).

The problem now is that the needs of these different regions are no longer reflected in state policies. The Downstate majority runs everything to its favor. The Upstate perspective is inadequately represented.

Before the NYS Senate was reapportioned in the late 1960s to reflect a "one man one vote" US Supreme Court interpretation of the "equal protection" clause of the US Constitution, State policies had to be good for both Upstate and Downstate to get past the NYS Senate. A bit like the US Constitution's giving each state 2 senators regardless of population, the NYS Constitution gave Upstate regions more representatives to ensure that differing regional perspectives had a voice in policy making. The result was state policy that was good for the entire state. Compared to now, Upstate was booming back then.

This balance was done away with by the US Supreme Court. You can point to that event as marking the beginning of Upstate's descent both financially and in population, and the entire state's loss of representatives and importance in Washington. Now it is the "tyrrany of the majority" found in a pure democracy that rules us ... something that the framers of both the US and NYS Constitutions sought to avoid.

Restoring the Balance would resolve the issue, but how to get there is a big question. Getting the US Supreme Court to revisit and reverse its past decision -- and then NYS restoring the old Senate representation formula -- would be one approach. Splitting the state administratively into Upstate and Downstate regions with laws having to be approved by the representatives of both regions to become effective might be another approach.

But if the balance cannot be restored, then the only hope for Upstate survival is to break away and make its own policies.