To the City of Oneida voters:
In 2007 I ran for mayor because I thought "we can do better." This year I run for re-election because I think "we can continue to do better."
A lot has changed for the better in city government since I took office as mayor. The Common Council has worked hard in carrying out its duties as the governing and legislative body of our City. It does its work in front of the public in the Common Council chambers, with a full discussion of the issues and the opportunity for participation by the public on every agenda item. Our budget has been cleaned up to more accurately show what money is being used for. For example, the true amount budgeted for utilities at the Civic Center and the Recreation Center are disclosed, rather than broken up and hidden in other parts of the budget.
We have honestly discussed the city's finances. For many years the city has spent more than it was bringing in as revenue. These deficits have been filled by taking money out of the city's General Fund Balance, the city's savings account. The city had no plan for what to do when the savings account was emptied. We have started the discussion that will lead to a plan.
After years of inaction, the former high school building on Elizabeth Street has been torn down, eliminating a major safety hazard and eyesore.
There is still a lot that needs to be done. A water supply issue that has existed for many years needs more attention. I am still not happy with the level of crime in our city, particularly quality of life issues. The Great Recession that started in 2007 has hurt our economic development, and we need to be ready to participate in the economic recovery that we all hope will start soon. I believe that an opportunity exists to address the many issues involving Native Americans; some of which will be resolved by litigation and legislation, while others can only be addressed by negotiation.