14 August 2017
Community Affairs Specialist Gene A. Allen
City of Utica Urban Renewal Agency
1 Kennedy Plaza
Utica, NY 13502
Dear Mr. Allen:
I would like to public thank you for the leadership you have shown regarding the “extension of terms” petitioning effort. Many people talk a good game but you have gone out into the community showing everyone exactly where you stand and why they should follow you. That takes energy and courage.
I also thank you as a Madisonian. That would be Madison the Founder, who was a genius, as opposed to Madison the President, who was in over his head. Term limits have never solved any problem that they purport to resolve. Since we limited the terms for Presidents of the United States, every Presidency except for President Barack Obama’s has encountered a major scandal in the second tem – i.e. the term limits term.
Please allow me to be clear. This is not an endorsement of anyone currently in office who is about to hit the current statuary limit. It is an endorsement that the voter must have the ultimate choice and should be able to choose the most qualified applicant. Imagine if we applied this standard to accountants or mechanics or, perish the thought, doctors?? Do you want the most experienced surgeon in the room or some newbie??
In fact, if you initiated a poll right now, most Americans would choose the 3rd term of Barack Obama over another day of Donald Trump. That leads to a disturbing trend that has started to develop in our community.
There is a strain of citizens, connected to money, who want to take basic services away from our citizens. It is not a surprise that those behind term limits, a tool of the untalented and socially conservative, are also the people who cheered on the Republican Party when they tried to take Obamacare away. The same people who cheered at the thought of those with pre-existing conditions more than likely dying are the same people who want to deny out citizens from having a modern hospital. Not surprisingly at all, they are all devotees of Donald Trump and should be treated as such: without civility.
In “grab them by the anatomy fashion”, James Zecca apparently thinks that women cannot think for themselves. Recently, not only did he criticize public employees, but he also criticized women just for carrying petitions. In Mr. Zecca’s mind, Susan and Debra cannot be Susan and Debra. Instead they must always be Mrs. Palmieri and Mrs. Moorehouse. It is as if their entire persona is defined by who they married instead of being respected as individuals. Of course, as a Trump supporter, women are just objects instead of functional human beings capable of showing the same kind of leadership and courage you have. We could ask him to apologize but Trump supporters cannot even condemn Mr. Trump for putting 3 actual Nazi’s in the Whitehouse and a installing a KKK member as Attorney General so I would not expect much.
Someone needs to tell the term limits crowd that public employees do not give up their right to free speech or political action just because they became public employees. I would be more concerned if public employees were trying to to further limit terms. I would be more concerned if public employees were afraid to express their true opinions in public.
This letter is also not an indictment of the folks who limited terms back in ’92. Back then, they did not think they had another answer. Now, with $1 billion dollars of investment on the way and the Compare Politics Model dying out, we are a different city. We do not live in ’92 anymore.
Unfortunately, for the Jim Zeccas of the world, it will always be around then or worse. They want term limits just like they want patients to suffer needless infections. They want term limits just like they want patients to die while being transported to get to the operating room. They want everything to be held in the past just like they do not want modern robotic techniques to be used in our new hospital.
What is most laughable is when a Brett Truett or Jim Brock or Jim Zecca talks about transparency. We already know that term limits have nothing to do with transparency. We also know that as Trump supporters, they worship the most secretive President, as well as the most often on vacation, in our times. As Congressmen Tenney supporters, they offer comfort to someone who cannot even appear for a public townhall. In short, when you hear those names expect hypocrisy to follow.
When I go door to door here in the 22nd Legislative District, I never use my opponents experience against her. Instead, I focus on the different set of skillsets, more suited to a modern age, which I bring to the table. Mr. Zecca would do well to stop worrying about why someone with experience has to leave and instead focus on a message that somehow rises above “not in my backyard” which is all he ever has to offer.
Now there is one uncomfortable thing we have to discuss. While you were out petitioning, the charge has been leveled that you may have accidentally used your “City owned” cellphone or email by accident. When you represent our city as well and as often, even when you are “off the clock” you are “on for Utica”, that can happen.
Please run what I am about to suggest by the Corporation Counsel. He may wish to follow this path or slightly alter it. Kindly go back and look through your emails and texts. If you did, please keep a tally of how many months it happened in. Multiply the months by 50. That is the number of dollars that needs to be reimbursed to the city. Again, you are not the first dedicated city employee this has happened to in the United States.
You can reimburse the amount through personal funds, self-reporting, but ideally the petitioning campaign should for purposes of transparency as they would have to report. If no formal campaign was set up, feel free to use one of my PACs, my 501-c-4, or my campaign account, all which must report, as a go between. Thank you again for your great service. You make Utica a better place for everybody to live in.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this matter.
Robert T. Oliveira
763 Mary Street
Utica, NY 13501