Needs A Sewer System
We've started meeting with local folks who are enthusiastically
working to start an active local chapter of the much-advertised
Tea Party movement, and in doing so have found that many of
their talking points are similar, if not exactly the same, as
those that were pushed by the local property rights movement
that surfaced during the Clinton years of the 1990s. There's
much talk of United Nations conspiracies, the dangers of one
world government, distaste with government and bureaucracy,
and a reluctance to allow for the sorts of changes that are
in the air, here and abroad.
By and large, though, those involved in this movement, at least
locally, seem to have set their eyes higher than local issues,
even though they embrace some overlap with those fighting against
the mandated costs associated with education tax hikes, bonding
for local libraries and similar community efforts, and municipal
Concurrently, though, the current wave of communal angst they've
been riding IS having local results, with substantial push-back
in many of our towns, and counties, against any large projects
that MIGHT have an eventual tax effect. Such as with the wastewater
treatment plant proposal in Phoenicia, which hit the news this
cycle via a terse letter from the state warning the Town of
Shandaken that should it continue to turn down $17 million plus
in city funding, it could likely end up responsible for the
building of a municipal system without outside help. That money
represents an investment of over $60,000 for every property
owner in the hamlet, and if we don't take it from the CIty,
we're going to end up paying it ourselves because the state
and the federal government will soon make it an unfunded mandate.
Back in the 1990s, when similar political winds blew strongly
through the region, one of the key results occurred after local
politicians seeking to negotiate a deal regarding proposed watershed
regulatory changes on New York City's part harnessed such anger,
resulting in the Memorandum of Agreement that created the Catskill
Watershed Corporation and brought the sort of funding to the
region inherent in the City's current offer to Phoenicia, and
ongoing septic project in Boiceville. The process of active
negotiation, it turns out, allowed everyone to realize the strengths
inherent in compromise positions.
How strange that, now, those seeking to buck the line and supposedly
negotiate better deals for the area, their individual towns,
or themselves, have to do so by turning down such large amounts
of funding. It's too risky for the rest of us..
Something seems amiss.
We'll get into the faulty logic some are using, both in current
negotiations with New York City and New York State and the overall
anti-governmental movement, at a later date. As well as the
problems inherent in hiring discredited governmental officials,
and attorneys, to try and bolster one's standing with those
offering funds for infrastructure projects.
For now, let it suffice to say that we think it's high time
Shandaken get off its seat and start working with everyone who
have been offering it aid to start getting a Phoenicia Wastewater
Treatment built. As with our nation's need for health care reform,
and other means of sharing its resources - and challenges -
more fairly, just saying no is no longer sufficient. The world
IS one. We need to operate out of what CAN be done, and not
just avoid all that which frightens some of those among us.
The time for dilly-dallying with negotiating stances is over.