from ART RORICK
To the Editor:
I find your editorial of March 12-13, “Herzig: Act Today, Look To Tomorrow”, troubling.
In my opinion, Mayor Herzig and the Common Council have not been transparent about the whole railyard development. From my standpoint as a Fifth Ward resident, this administration has done minimum communication for this development.
The city has a 2014 document that the Greater Oneonta Economic Development Council worked on. GO-EDC enlisted the support of Cornell University’s student graduate program (Design Connect Cornell). They spent a year and a half developing a railyard redevelopment project.
Why wasn’t the work submitted by GO-EDC given a chance?
Thousands in taxpayer money now has been spent on a flawed generic environmental impact statement (GEIS), not to mention the deal that allowed the County of Otsego IDA (aka Otsego Now) to use $250,000 in taxpayer money for an 80+ acre parcel within the railyards.
Originally owned by the Oneonta River Corp., the property paid in taxes (county, city, library and school). Now, unless the property is developed (minus any IDA tax break deals), no taxes will be paid.
Where is the social justice and shared sacrifice?
Herzig says some of us who have submitted comments and concerns “are economically secure, by comparison, telling those who need jobs they can’t have them.”
Is being retired and living on fixed income economically secure?
The mayor is politicizing the situation, failing to engage with the residents about key issues that would impact our neighborhoods. Jobs and tax relief are what we need, not more of our tax money being wasted on studies and taking more property off the tax rolls.
Oneonta residents deserve better. We deserve our area to be kept clean, safe and protected, just like folks up Cooperstown way.
Resident, Fifth Ward