By CATHY NARDI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – An ordinary citizen risked injury to help the city’s police chief in a dangerous situation, and tonight Common Council said thanks.
Franklin Weideck, Wells Bridge, was attending the Hometown Fourth of July celebration in Neahwa Park when he saw Police Chief Douglas Brenner on the ground struggling to control a violent suspect.
“I was aware of an individual who seemed to have a little bit too much to drink,” Brenner said. “I wandered off of the beaten path to keep an eye on him. I saw people around this guy. He had fallen and he had gotten up and tried to sit on a rail and fell off of that and bloodied his nose.”
He continued, “I went up to him to see if I could assist, and he jumped up and started swinging. He had me down on the ground, and I was struggling to get this person under control.”
He felt a tap on his shoulder. “It was Mr. Weideck saying he was going to help me,” he said. “And he did, he held that person down to where I could get a little more control. In this day and age, that anyone would do that is really wonderful.”
Weideck was called up to the front of Council Chambers to receive a plaque from Mayor Gary Herzig in appreciation of his good citizenship and his willingness to sacrifice his own safety to assist Chief Brenner.
“This city has been good to me,” Wiedeck said. “It is such a nice city, a clean city. I would say to anybody: If you see something, do something about it.”
In other news:
• The city is ordering residents to clean up or fix unsafe, dilapidated buildings, and have ordered several garages demolished.
• The Community Gardens, sponsored by the city, are due for some upgrades, and a fee analysis. According to Council member Melissa Nicosia, Second Ward, there are plans to make the gardens handicapped accessible and to create tabletop vegetable beds. The $50 fee for city residents and $100 fee for non-residents for a plot in the Community Garden is higher than comparable Community Gardens in Vermont and Massachusetts.
• Council member David Rissberger, Third Ward, reported on the new ambulances with automatic lifters to assist in transitioning people in stretchers from the ground into the vehicle.
• Council member Russ Southard, Sixth Ward, said the new buses for Oneonta Public Transportation are part of a cost-sharing plan with SUNY Oneonta. In addition, there were several vacancies at the Waste Water facility, due to retirements. Current personnel were promoted filled those positions. Southard also reported that the Oneonta sales tax income is tracking at 5 percent higher than last year’s numbers.
• Council discussed a new multicultural event slated for Oct. 14 in Neahwa Park. The event, sponsored by Black Eagle Records, will host five bands and information tables about several different cultures thriving in Oneonta.
• Council discussed a problem of lots of small, bright-green cartridges found along the roadways near Chestnut Street. The cartridges are suspected of being inhaled by an individual for a high, and then dropped on the ground.