He Affirms City-Manager Structure, Outlines Vision
By JIM KEVLIN • for allotsego.com
ONEONTA – In a speech interrupted a several points by applause and laughter from 125 supporters, Gary Herzig, the sole candidate who has emerged for mayor of Oneonta, affirmed his support for the city-manager form of government.
On taking office Jan. 1, he will lead the new Common Council in “hiring the right person” and implementing the right “oversight” to ensure professional management, a concept approved by 80 percent of city voters in 2011, will go forward and succeed.
In a “celebration and fundraiser” at the Sixth Ward Athletic Club, Herzig also detailed three “opportunities” that his administration will embrace: One, to redevelop the D&H yards; two, to seek the optimum development for Market Street, which he termed a “blank slate … let’s take that blank slate and do it right”; and three, to move forward $70 million worth in new housing projects about to begin to fruition.
“Some people feel we’ve lost some traction,” he said. “But we can get that back, and we WILL get that back.”
Herzig began his address by praise his four living predecessors, all of whom were present: Sam Nader, for making Oneonta a baseball mecca and ensuring the city was served optimally by I-88; David Brenner, whose sales tax compact helped ensure the city’s financially viability until today; Kim Muller, who led the redevelopment of a dirt lot into today’s Clarion Hotel and Muller Plaza complex; and John Nader, who began what led to the redevelopment of the former Bresee’s Department Store into Class A apartments and retail.
“We owe it to them, and to ourselves, and to our children, to build on their accomplishments,” said Herzig, who is retiring at Opportunities for Otsego COO to assume City Hall responsibilities.