Thursday, March 1, 2012

Utica-"Condition Critical."

The City of Utica is on life support.  The patient is slipping away. Our leaders scramble to triage a method of treatment but it's not working. Can flatlining be inevitable?
None of the ideas that I shared in my last post were considered. No efficiency studies, no elimination of unnecessary departments (Civil Service being the most needless of all.) Instead, we have a proposed 18% property tax increase and a smattering of cuts designed to bring about temporary relief. No long term systemic solutions. Quick, temporary fixes. Isn't that what got us to where we are in the first place?
Now, we hear that if we cut police and fire, people will DIE. If we cut DPW, services will evaporate. Once again, the narrative begins. And the elected officials entrusted to protect our finances look for ways to keep the unions happy. It never changes.
In spite of it, we, the citizens of Utica, continue to love our city. We hope and pray for the best. It just never seems to happen.
Campaign promises are made. Campaign promises are broken. All of our resources, once a trickle, are now gushing out of the patient, our beloved Utica.
We need a second opinion.
We need expert advice. We cannot entrust our future to the people in city hall any more. There is clearly not the will, desire or expertise to handle the management of our resources.
We need to demand the total re-structuring of all city departments. In a city that spends 66 million dollars a year, there needs to be accountability.
The same goes for the school district.
There is great hope for our future. Check out the Oneida County Visitors Bureau new "Getaway Catalogue." It features Utica, Rome, Verona and Sylvan beach. It clearly demonstrates the unbelievable resources and attractions that make this region special.
And, in spite of that, we have a city on the ropes. Broke. Destitute. Status quo being maintained at all cost.
We need, as a city, as a community, to unite as never before. To demand real change. We need to use social media to promote our cause. To take back city hall. To finally, irrevocably, require our leaders, our EMPLOYEES, to manage our resources wisely, thoughtfully, expertly. And, stop making "deals."
Otherwise, the patient will quietly slip into a coma. And, then pass away.
We don't have a mortician as mayor anymore, thank god. But, who will be there to bury the body?

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