UPDATE: Prioritizing Oneonta Businesses
This petition made change with 171 supporters!
In correspondence with Mayor Herzig today (Friday, July 20) he has stated his commitment to a local use of Downtown Revitalization Funds.
While his assertion of the dollars spent out-of-the-area could be challenged, his larger point is that the funds should be spent with an Oneonta-centric strategy.
That is welcome news.
However, those good intentions need to be backed up with a legal mandate.
Therefore, we are again calling for a BINDING RESOLUTION to hold the City of Oneonta to that ideal.
It is our contention that the City gained the DRI award on the strength of the community's current vitality as much as its potential.
Therefore, it would seem logical that the LOCAL business community should be the priority for the award of contracts, big and small, as the Downtown Revitalization funds are allocated.
In other words...
Is there a Downtown business that can do the job?
If not, is there a City business?
Then, is there a business in the Town that can handle the assignment?
Then the County?
Only having exhausted those options,
should distant contractors be considered.
It would seem obvious that
local businesses should get first consideration,
whether by the City, or its proxies and contractors.
It is arguable whether or not that has not been the City's priority.
But, that needs to change!
Construction, carpentry, paving, electric, plumbing,
excavation, landscaping, painting, flooring, decor, printing, sign making,
and dozens - if not hundreds - of jobs can,
and should be done by LOCALS.
Purchases can be made at local retailers,
professional services can be contracted
and local businesses supported.
(We won't even talk about design and promotion.)
It's the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
Support of Downtown and local businesses needs to be the priority!
To that end, we are seeking the implementation of a BINDING RESOLUTION, prohibiting the further assignment of DRI contracts to non-local businesses; and that downtown, city, town and county businesses are prioritized as options for those contracts (in that order.)
We don't accept that the parceling out of small grants should provide cover for the City's expenditures of the far greater percentage to businesses in distant communities.
Today's correspondence would indicate that the Mayor is sway-able on the subject.
But we need to keep up the pressure, and we need to make our voices heard!
Otherwise, we risk this becoming Urban Renewal 2.0, where the City picks the winners and losers, and - at best - we'll be no better off than we were.
If you agree, and want to see these funds be used within the community as the FIRST option, please share your voice by signing this petition.
After Signing the Petition, If Asked, PLEASE DON'T DONATE.
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