LETTER from ALBERT COLONE
A couple of weeks ago, Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal published my opinion piece, once again trying to promote the idea of consolidating the city and town of Oneonta. I submitted it to try and generate some meaningful debate on the issue. Surprisingly, the only subsequent reference I’ve seen was an unsigned comment in another paper. How can
Whoever submitted that comment, thank you for the notation “will someone gently remind Al Colone” that his longtime advocacy for merging was riding a “dead horse.” The word “gently” has become increasingly important as I’ve aged.
On the importance of consolidation, it was not only something which should have been done 10 years ago as the writer notes; it was seriously discussed some 50 years ago. Too bad, had it happened we would have been a much better Oneonta than what we have now.
The writer suggested the biggest hindrance against merging was in the notion the city has been looking to absorb the town to share the town’s prosperity. What prosperity?
The town’s once proud retail sector is and has been gradually evaporating, starting long before the virus; a prosperous Oneonta would have had Southside water 10 years ago, as well East End sewer; while they both have substandard housing, the towns’ neighborhood deterioration is far worse than that of the city and; the median household income of both are consistent with the poverty levels within Appalachia! What prosperity?
But the main reason for my letter was in trying to urge local leaders to move on consolidation before the state does it for us through a plan to “Re-imagine Upstate” and other issue “re-imagining; like our Upstate Education Systems!” It’s going to happen; neither the state nor federal Governments will be able to financially sustain the current over-kill of local governments.
We’ll likely see more County and regional consolidation. Townships are truly nonessential; they are inefficient! They don’t lead and are virtually obsolete. Upstate governance would function much better without them, positively supporting the quest for real prosperity.
I hope this letter has brought greater clarity to my views on the matter! Good wishes!!
City of Oneon