So finally I'm getting to why I have decided to run for County Legislator representing the 16th district in Oneida County. D-16, for those of you not familiar with Oneida County, is the bottom of New Hartford south of Chapman and Kellogg Roads and all of the towns of Paris and Bridgewater. (Kindly view the map of D-16 on the right side of the page for a more graphical description.)
First, a little background about me: I had the high honor and pleasure of representing the 1st Ward (the southern part of New Hartford) for 3 terms/12 years. I worked hard to keep services going at the lowest cost I could. I voted (repeatedly) against tax increases and I voted (repeatedly) for tax decreases. I deplore waste in government and worked hard to make sure New Hartford taxpayers got a fair return for their tax dollars. During my tenure, every town-owned bridge in the 1st Ward was replaced, along with many large box culverts. Storm water projects, both large and small were engineered and constructed during my watch. Working with the Town Board, many good things happened. We built another town park (Oneida St, Washington Mills). We solved a problem with our Police department not having enough space by converting the old Kellogg Road Community Center for their internal use. Roads were paved on a schedule and after I even managed to shame Oneida County into re-engineering and rebuilding Chapman Road complete with curbs, storm water collectors and a sidewalk. This happened only after I gathered the residents together along with county and state leaders (many times) so they could hear first-hand how bad it was and could no longer ignore the situation.
When Brian Miller was elected to the Assembly, the seat opened up. Many expressed interest in the position and I held back to watch. After it was clear nobody else wanted the job, I expressed interest. Lo and behold, about 1 week before the screening, Mrs. Pratt jumped in desiring to be appointed. Unsurprisingly, (after some high-power phone calls were made), she ended up being appointed to the position by the County Executive. He, of course, got what he wanted: Somebody with heavy political debt in the position. When the chips are down, those markers are going to be called in and the end loser will be you and I when the tax bill comes due.
In the short few months Mrs. Pratt has been appointed, she has already voted to take more money out of your pocket. (Read the newspapers for further details, or ask me when I knock on your door this campaign season.)
I refuse to put myself in a situation where the County Executive can tell me how to vote by cashing his political capital. Ideas such as an Indian-run Casino downtown and taking back sales tax revenue from the towns and villages are but 2 examples of of Mr. Picente's flawed vision for Oneida County.
So here it is: I am in the race. I am, along with others, collecting signatures to enable me to get on the ballot. So is Mrs. Pratt.
As registered Republicans or Conservatives, you will have an opportunity to choose at the ballot box whom you wish to represent you this year ... First, on Tuesday September 12 (a week and a day after Labor Day) and then in the general election in November.
I respectfully ask for your vote in both the Primary and General election.
Thank you for you consideration.
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