from JAMES R. DEAN
To the Editor:
Regarding the ongoing New York Times articles about people moving up to the Hudson Valley and the Catskills: It cannot not come soon enough for me.
I have driven back and forth through those areas for 50 years and I have seen the decline and loss of people and interest.
It has gone from not being able to pass cars on the road in the 1970s, to being the only car on the road today.
There are not enough people on the roads of Upstate New York, in many places, to keep a coffee shop open.
It will be while before they get up our way, but I support every effort to encourage them to come.
These new people are critical to bring money, ideas, contacts, children and life back to Upstate New York.
Our fields are turning back to forests, our residents are getting older, historic old homes are collapsing, schools are being closed, the economy is hollowing out.
Upstate New York has some of our country’s best land, fresh air and clean water.
For many reasons, I believe that Upstate New York will rise again. The second home buyers are an important part of that process as they hopefully will transition to full time homeowners.
We should be very thankful for all of the assets that we have in Otsego County that will allow us to be a major player in the rebirth of Upstate New York.
We need to make a concerted effort to promote the entire, understandable, package of Otsego County (not unrelated bits and pieces) to the New York metropolitan area.
That is where the young people, the ambition, the entrepreneurs, the existing small businesses, the money, the contacts, and the need for of a life of one’s own, is located.
JAMES R. DEAN
Jim Dean is on the Cooperstown Village Board
Editor’s Note: After Homer Simpson’s criticisms (see editorial), Mr. Dean sent this addendum:
OK, so the Upstate New York sell just got harder.
Is it an honest cartoon or is it a political hit job?
Either way, we still need to turn our fortunes around by repackaging what we have to offer and sell it, in an organized and sustained way, to the outside world.
There is no alternative.
We either, collectively, take the reality of our situation very seriously, and invest collectively to create a demand for Otsego County, or we can just turn out the lights and keep replaying the cartoon.
“You cannot save the world, so save yourself” – Ram Dass