Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Those Who Presume to be Dictators . . .

Yesterday afternoon I attended the Mohawk Valley Health System's public information session on the new downtown hospital.  If MVHS can be personified, Mr. Perra's presentation came across as "It's all about me."  MVHS gave its criteria to Mohawk Valley EDGE which developed a list of potential sites and, at this point, public input is only wanted on issues such as "will there be a prayer space in the hospital?"

OF COURSE. The hospital is looking out for itself. But who looked out for the public's interest in site selection? 

The slide at the left from the presentation tells us who was responsible -- but the answer to the question is "no one."

One visibly irate observer (per the OD photo it was Mr. Critelli, but the OD never printed his question)  stood up and asked the obvious question on most people's minds "Who in the city approved this site?" Mayor Palmieri got up and took responsibility.

Mayor Palmieri and, indeed, all the officials and agencies named at left have assumed powers they simply do not have.

Utica has a duly enacted Master Plan that calls for a mixed-use walkable neighborhood where MVHS wants to put the Hospital.  The Master Plan is consistent with the "Gateway Historic District" legislation passed below in 2005, a zoning ordinance, that defines the forms of construction permitted on the site.  These documents represent the Will of the People and describe the public's interest. From all that has been revealed about the project thus far, the proposed hospital complies with neither.

Neither Mayor Palmieri, nor the City Planning Department, nor Mr. Picente, nor the County Planning Department, nor MV EDGE, nor Messrs. Griffo and Brindisi have the authority to ignore the Master Plan and the Zoning Ordinance.

Nor do they have the authority to close and sell the blocks of city streets that will be occupied by the hospital.

Nor do they have the authority to offer for sale the properties of the businesses who already occupy the site -- businesses which pay city, county, school and sales taxes and which employ people.

Nor do they have the authority to approve of a particular site from those that are available without the studies and public involvement required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act to ensure that the site selected minimizes environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable.

We either live under the rule of law or we live in a dictatorship. 

Simply put, EDGE had no authority to offer, and the elected officials and public agencies had no authority to approve of, the downtown site.  Their decision is void ab initio.

Shame on them!


Greens and Beans said...

This needed to be said. Thank you for doing so.

Will said...

I am pretty sure amendments to the Utica Master Plan can happen at anytime. Adaptation is a great way of foster creativity. After all a plan is not set in stone. We already see adaptations in the Harbor Point area.

Anonymous said...

There is little point in complaining anymore. Gov Cuomo tours the State handing out government prizes and he doesn't even mention the Mohawk Valley - incredible after what we've been going through. We might as well be on the Moon. Hey Joe G, great job standing up for us, pathetic.

When it comes down to it who will really listen? Obviously not anyone in the County, the State has shown itself to be it's own cesspool and Preet B at the Federal level has his hands full with the larger cities and their crooks.

The local political machine will keep their favorites in place making sure they run unopposed with multiple ballot hurdles so no one can really compete.

In the end these guys know there will be no consequences, if NANO and everything before it will not shake things up, the region will just continue to bleed population and productivity until it is just a vast monument to corruption.

I'm personally counting days to when I can leave - I know for a fact I'm not the only one.

So enjoy your hospital, by the time it's built I hope to be out of here. Since voting with your feet is the last remaining option.

Anonymous said...

The process, or lack thereof, proves beyond a doubt that it is a political, not a medical one. The taxpayer dollars of hundreds of millions are driving the decision which obviously should be driven by medical, not political issues. Much like the Cuomo/EDGE/local political NANO failure, the downtown hospital project is doomed to be carried out as inefficiently, as high cost and as politically as possible. As with the old urban renewal efforts, costs will sky rocket and delays will surface. More taxpayer money will be required. Lawyers, contractors and politicians will get richer while the EDGE has yet another project to play with. Bad politics dominates everything around here and we, the voters, keep electing inept politicians. Sadly, the conclusion of leaving is the only rational one to make. Nothing will change here.

Too Funny said...

Good posts above, all of them.
I think it's well past time to start attacking the local party bosses for corrupting democracy and making sure CNY is saddled with the likes of the taxpayer corporate welfare lovers.