Editor’s Note: Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig delivered his sixth annual “State of the City” speech to Common Council Tuesday, Jan. 19. This is the text.
Good evening, Oneonta – We have been tested these past 10 months; however, I can tell you that the state of the City of Oneonta is one of Strength, Resilience, and Caring 2020 was a year that Oneonta will always remember – not only for the unprecedented challenges it brought – but also for the way we came together to overcome them. From the shutdown of the spring, to the SUNY outbreak of the Fall, and now the second wave of the Winter, we have stuck together and we are getting to the other side.
I know that Oneontans are independent-minded folks – never shy about letting you know when they disagree with you – but we come together as one when times are tough. I could not be more proud of your doing so this past year.
ONEONTA – Following the success of the downtown Halloween events, where SUNY and Hartwick students decorated scarecrows and handed out candy to trick-or-treaters, Council Member Mark Drnek, Eighth Ward and chair of the Survive, Then Thrive committee, has invited students to help decorate downtown for Christmas.
“If you or your friends are artistically inclined, we would love it if you would help decorate our windows for Christmas,” he said during the final meeting of the SUNY COVID Control Room this semester. “We think it’s something people would want to see when they’re shopping downtown.”
ONEONTA – The city’s “Survive, Then Thrive” committee has awarded the “Local Government Achievement Award” by the NYS Conference of Mayors for their work in seeking grants, planning events and strengthening partnerships for both the present and the “post-COVID” world.
“In March, I called upon 6 people to form a committee to identify strategies for Oneonta businesses to Survive, then Thrive,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “Fifty more people – you – volunteered to join and give of their time and skills. Both Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta provided support. Thank you to all.”
DRIVE-IN MOVIES – 6 p.m. Come out for a fun outdoor movie experience. This week showing ‘Jurassic Park.’ Movie starts at dusk. Free admission, donations welcome. Foothills Performing Arts Center Parking Lot, Oneonta. 607-353-7143 or visit www.foothillspac.org
ONEONTA – The city’s “Survive, then Thrive” initiative has awarded 35 Reopening and Recovery grants of up to $3,000 to Oneonta businesses to help purchase Personal Protective Equipment and cover their unanticipated capital expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our Survive, then Thrive initiative continues to show how the Oneonta community has come together to overcome this previously unimaginable challenge”, states City of Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, “I applaud our small business owners for their perseverance, can-do attitude, and for the way they have come together in supporting each other.”
DRIVE-IN MOVIES – 8 p.m. Come out for a fun outdoor movie experience. This week showing ‘Mary Poppins.’ Movie starts at dusk. Free admission, donations welcome. Foothills Performing Arts Center Parking Lot, Oneonta. 607-353-7143 or visit www.facebook.com/TheOtsegoCountyChamber/
ONEONTA – You could smell Klasik Irving’s Jamaican jerk chicken all the way down Main Street.
“It’s the first time I’ve had the grill out since the pandemic started,” said Irving, who was grilling his much-loved dish for diners waiting at the tables stationed in front of his Capresso coffee shop. “It smells great, but it tastes even better.”
The city’s Survive, Then Thrive task force held the first of their eight-week outdoor dining event, closing off Main Street for the day to encourage visitors to support local businesses and restaurants and allowing them to place tables and merchandise on the sidewalks and the street.
That’s Mayor Gary Herzig’s mantra and message to a City of Oneonta economic-development task force that he expects will convene for the first time later this week.
In an interview a few minutes ago, he said he’s asked Judy Pangman, the city’s community development director, and Council member Mark Drnek, who has launched www.supportoneonta.com and www.supportotsego.com web sites to help businesses that are open get their messages out.