New Common Council Delaying $70,000 For Destination Oneonta

New Common Council

Delaying $70,000 For

Destination Oneonta

Have Promoters Lost Focus?

Asks Drnek At First Meeting

The new Common Council at its first meeting this evening included, clockwise from left, Mark Drnek, John Rafter, Scott Harrington, Len Carson, City Clerk Nancy Powell, Mayor Gary Herzig, City Manager George Korthauer, Kaytee Lipari Shue, Deputy Mayor David Rissberger, Mark Davies and Luke Murphy.  (James Cummings/

By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to

ONEONTA – Common Council voted this evening, 5-3, not to renew a $70,000 contract with Destination Oneonta for 2020, but to table it for further discussion.

Council member Drnek asked if Destination Oneonta is looking beyond its Center City franchise.

“I’m not really certain what the geographic parameters of Destination Oneonta are,” said Council member Mike Drnek, Ward Eight.

Given that membership is expected to rise in the new year, Drnek expressed concern for an increase in members who live outside of city limits and the city having to bear the cost.

“Looking at the projection of 200 members in 2020, clearly the geography is moving outward from the city,” he said. “I think they do a terrific job, but if this becomes more of a Chamber of Commerce, are we still responsible for the $70,000,” he asked.

And other Council members expressed hesitation to renew the contract as well.

“I agree with Mark and I’ve got some concerns as well. Things get more expensive over time and I’m wondering if it’s being watered down,” said Council member David Rissberger, Third Ward.

Council member Shue wondered if D-O can find funding from surrounding towns.

“They do a really nice job of trimming what they can, but if Destination Oneonta is serving a broader base, I would be interested in them being able to acquire more funding from the towns they work with,” said Council member Kaytee Lipari Shue, Fourth Ward.

For now, the future of Destination Oneonta’s budget remains uncertain.

“I have a concern of them being financially viable over time, but I think they are giving the city of Oneonta pretty good bang for the buck, but I think they have a murky future,” said Drnek.

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