Mayor Comments on Budgetary Measures, Development Strategies

Mayor Comments on Budgetary Measures, Development Strategies


Oneonta Mayor Mark Drnek discussed new city revenue sources at the Common Council meeting on May 2. Drnek had raised the issue of unsupported spending in a November council meeting; the city could not spend enough to meet its goals without breaching its tax cap or drawing from its general fund.

“The continuing escalation of costs in health-care insurance, fuel, equipment purchases, maintenance, and staffing will require a choice to either cut services or to finance (in the short-term) through our general fund… this is not a sustainable course,” Drnek said in November.

He proposed to return in May with plans for raising an extra $1.2 million.

Drnek said that many of the proposals are still being negotiated and cannot yet be discussed in public. However, he noted that a Health Care Taskforce, led by City Administrator Greg Mattice, is pursuing membership in a health-insurance consortium to lower the cost of employee benefits. He mentioned a Parking Strategies Taskforce that is developing a paid parking system. In addition, Drnek discussed creation of a business improvement district, partnership between the city and Cooperstown All-Star Village, formation of a local development corporation, and ongoing requests for state aid.

“We cannot run the city on that money we currently collect,” Drnek concluded. “We cannot borrow from our General Fund as a practice. It’s not sustainable. And we will not be able to maintain our current level of staffing and of services without an increase in funds collected. This is serious. The status quo is NOT an option.”

Full recordings of Common Council meetings may be found at

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