Oneida city votes to purchase Phillipson's for $500K

Councilor Marcia Rafte called it "government at its very finest."

"There is differences in opinion in the audience--and up here and minds are changing."

The three hours of discussion resulted in the common council voting 4-2 to go ahead with the purchase of Herb Phillipson's on Monday night.

The building will be used to house the city administrative offices and the city court. State mandates required that court systems across the state must meet new regulations (see sidebar) that the current city hall can not accommodate. When the courts and offices move, the current city hall will house the police and fire departments, allowing the two departments to expand.

Many of the 30 citizens in attendance didn't agree with Rafte's sentiment that government was at its finest on Monday as about 10 people stormed out as the votes were cast. Chuck Fieldson, who told the council he kept up on the government by reading the paper but had never been to a meeting said passing the resolution without the public's input was "like the fox telling the chickens how to renovate the coop."

Don Moore agreed, citing that most of the talks about the purchase of the building have been in executive session.

"I voted against going into executive session," he said. "I didn't feel it was just and I still disagree with that."

Councilor Mike Murowski, the other vote of 'nay' said that the decision was being made to hastily for him to vote 'yes.'

"It took us eight months to discuss a skateboard ordinance--don't even get me started on the tattoos--but we're going to buy a building in an hour and a half," he said. "I just don't feel right making this expenditure at this time."

Many of those in attendance expressed the same feelings toward the speed at which the decision was being made.

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