Thursday, March 11, 2010

Need Is Not Entitlement . . .

I was not going to comment on the County Legislators' comments with regard to last night's Hinckley Reservoir resolution but a reader requested that I do so . . . So here goes . . .
“It appears that the Canal Corp. has put the interests of the power company ahead of the needs of the people,” Oneida County Board of Legislators Majority Leader David Wood, R- Rome, said.
Wrong, Mr. Wood. Weighing interests against needs is something that a county legislator does. The Canal Corp. does not have that authority. Rather, Canal Corp. has obligations. In this case, Canal Corp is obliged to allow the natural flow of the West Canada Creek pass through Hinckley Reservoir (or whatever is called for in its contract with the power company). Asking the Canal Corp. to do anything else is asking it to violate someone's rights.

Oneida County Minority Leader Patricia Hudak, D-Rome, said water is in the reservoir, and the outflows just need to be slowed down.

“I think they ought to let us have the water that’s needed instead of playing games,” Hudak said.

Does the need for food in Haiti justify looting? Ms. Hudak's statement reeks of a sense of entitlement.

It is the O.C. Legislature, County Executive and Water Authority who have been playing the games.

Rather than negotiate a settlement with Canal Corp. when the issue first arose, the Water Authority dragged Canal Corp and the power company into an expensive legal battle. The decision that resulted was the court's attempt to preserve the status quo. At that point, everyone should have learned their lesson and gone home.

But what happened? Rather than recognize the court's decision for what it was, the Water Authority immediately tried to turn it into a "right" to a certain amount of water, and pressed on to extend its system further.

The court did not tell the Canal Corp. that it had to operate its reservoir for the benefit of MVWA, and probably would not have the jurisdiction to do so. Operation of a dam involves administrative expertise, something that a court would defer to.

So Canal Corp. is now operating things in accordance with its own expertise, rather than trying to do favors for some of its neighbors. . . neighbors who have not been very neighborly.


Anonymous said...

It's both amazing and disheartening to me to have to ask this regarding the Oneida County legislators: Are they dishonest? stupid? lazy? incurious? all of the above?

It's not like the issue of who has legal authority over the operation of Hinckley just came up yesterday. Everyone in local government has had years to educate themselves on both the legal rights and responsibilities of all the Hinckley players, and the technical water-management protocols in place that support them. What a disservice they do to their constituents by not educating themselves first, instead of marching lock-step to the CE's "the sky is falling" rhetoric. What sheep they are. What contempt they show for the intelligence of the voters who misguidedly elected them.

So here we have a duly-elected body calling for an official state of ignorance and disregard for the legally binding 1921 Agreement that sets the protocol for reservoir storage and release, while they choose to remain happily oblivious to the equally legally binding 1917 Agreement that spelled out the responsibilities of their Water Authority for the privilege of withdrawing the State's water. An agreement, by the way, which was broken by their Water Authority predecessors ever since the day it was signed almost 100 years ago, and continues to be violated even today.

Silence DoGood said...

I think Mr Picente is just trying to look tough just in case the Republicans have a chance to take over the Governers office again.
He can't get Griffo's job so he wants to Lt Governor. It may seem far fetch, but I am sure he is thinking that.

Anonymous said...

Judging from this and other issues, they seem to offer the combination of lack of knowledge and arrogance, a very dangerous mix.

Greens and Beans said...

Well put Strikeslip. The County Legislators, County Executive, and the Mohawk Valley Water Authority appointees all arrogantly believed that they would prevail in bringing a lawsuit against the Canal Corp. and the Erie Boulevard Corp. in an attempt to negate their obvious subordinate position in an effort to purloin the water rights to future Hinckley Reservoir flows.

Anonymous #1 has a good point in terms of the Oneida County Legislators being too lazy to simply educate themselves on the pertinent issues relevant to Hinckley. It is all too apparent that they feel most comfortable following like sheep in lock-step with the ultra-narcissistic County Executive.

Silence DoGood is also correct with the fact that the County Executive will not likely be able to unseat Senator Griffo. After all, the County Executive was a disciple of Senator Meier. This was his ticket to his political “gifts.” Besides, the Mayor of Utica stated on a local radio show that he was asked to run for Senator. What an entertaining political campaign that would be! Just try to imagine the entertainment value for us to witness two Rhodes Scholars going nose- to- nose in the public arena . . . Priceless

Anonymous #2 also brings up a good point in terms of bringing up their arrogance regarding other issues. Their dealings regarding the Griffiss Business Park and International Airport would be laughable if not so expensive to the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

As usual, led by Picente with the legistlators dumbly following along, local politicians manage to prove what a bunch of blundering blowhards that they are. Ill informed, not knowing the facts or just simply ignoring them. And people wonder why the county is in the state that it's in. We need to look no further than the county building. These guys would be lucky to find Hinckley Resevoir on a map, let alone manage it. Considering the county's handling of Empire Aero, & other failures, God help us if they ever get their hands on Hinckley. If they do, they will turn it into a political football, with the averge water users getting screwed, while the local 'ol boys club reaps the benefits. You can rest assured that Picente is not looking out for the average user.