Editor’s Note: This is the text of a letter Fair Street resident Mike Manno sent to the Village Board prior to its October meeting at 6:30 p.m. on the 27th at 22 Main.
Eliminating tour buses from our quaint historic neighborhood and streets is my purpose in this letter and my ultimate goal.
Tourism is a good thing as long as it stays within acceptable boundaries and everyone is served!
If Cooperstown is going to live up to this notion of being “America’s Most Perfect Village,” it will have to roll up its sleeves and get to work on serving the whole community equally through consistent, practical and forward-looking policy changes.
I speak from experience and have seen first-hand the biased, discriminating laws that clearly favor tourists at the detriment of others and for no justifiable reason. The tourist buses are a case in point!
The village should lead by example, fulfill its obligation for the “Common Good” and reassert the commitment to the preservation of the Historic District.
In the future, when we view our street through those historically correct windows (forced on us) they will be void of intrusive tour buses no one ever wanted (also imposed on us). This is a contradiction of standards.
If you would think about the village as a house that has rooms of attractions and districts, all different and yet special in their own way – the lake, Doubleday Field, Hall of Fame, Historic District, Bassett, commercial districts, Main Street merchants, residential neighborhoods, etc. – then all the rooms are deserving of equal consideration, appreciation, protection and support.
No one entity should rise above and be given special privileges, rights or laws over the rest. All should help fund the cost and live by the same rules, especially in such a small town!
No free rides mean an easier pull for everyone else!
My suggestion is simple!
The cost is low!
The return is huge!
- Buses drop tourists off at the Doubleday lot.
The recent discussion about a green apron from Main Street to Doubleday Field can be part of a bigger plan whereby the Doubleday Lot becomes “Tourist Central,” a great place to show off all the beauty the area has to offer, where buses load and unload. Tourists can walk or catch a trolley to any of the wonderful attractions.
With the information center already close, the convenience factor could not be better. Where tickets for all the attractions in the area can be purchased.
With some imagination and ingenuity the parking solution and money to support the village can come from this Tourist Central concept.
- Merchants will gain traffic and exposure (better sales to pay rent/taxes, fund growth, increase inventory)
- Historic District gains ambience and quaintness while reducing noise, pollution and congestion. “Quiet Enjoyment is Our Entitlement” for our financial support of the village.
- The Village saves on wear and tear of the roads, improving budget pressure.
- More tourists will have an expanded Cooperstown Experience (a really good thing) and more variety of Items to buy.
- The millions of tax dollars spent on the Main Street are to the greater benefit of all, including the locals. Everyone will be saying, “Now I understand why we did it; it all ties together.”
- The Tourist/Local relationship is less stressed with tour buses gone from our unfit streets.
- By taking charge, the village will start the process of gaining back control and respect. To pursue the potential of a “different way,” to plot its future, and set a course that the community will embrace, is a essential step for future growth.
Above all else, fix the “double standards culture” that’s been a fundamental flaw of the village for years. It not only splits the community into factions that tug in different directions creating so many conflicts, it also discourages new business startups, diversity and risk taking, all of which we need so desperately. Serving the whole gets everyone pulling together to make Cooperstown a better place!
It is a community improvement opportunity where everyone wins!