Once again, as we embark on yet another “hot issue”, it is important to make the standard disclaimer. These comments are not about being negative or showing anybody up. There are about doing what we can to improve proposals already on the table and thereby maximize tax revenue by lowering rates.
It should be known that I attend Better Utica Downtown meetings whenever I can. If you wonder why I as a hospital supporter would attend such meetings, the answer is simple. Just because a potential constituent or business owner disagrees with me on a policy matter, that does not mean I should freeze them out. I should be there to answer questions, provide direction on procedural matters, and make my relationships available to whomever needs them. Even if we do not disagree this time, I hope we can the next time.
- I think we can save a few buildings
The more I talk to urban architects, the more I think the plan can be minimalist in footprint but still able to do the job. Out of the 48 businesses in the area, only 12 really want to stay. We should be able to accommodate a couple of those and in just a little bit, I will propose how to handle the rest.
- Our friends at the hospital need to include a stabilization unit in their design for both mental illness and addiction
Whether a person is suffering from psychosis or is an addict/alcoholic seeking recovery, the hospital should be able to put them “on ice” for 9 days while we seek appropriate treatment for them. That would include detox in the case of drug and alcohol abuse.
- Let’s steal an idea from Utica School Board Member Chris Salatino and reimagine it
Mr. Salatino had requested during the School Board race that the hospital look at providing a shelter payment to cover the Utica School District during and after construction. Once again, we can probably accomplish this by adjusting the sales tax share and letting the free market take care of it.
Even been to Brick Market in Newport?? It’s not necessary that everybody move if we put together a couple of blocks east of the hospital property. Instead of being “paid” businesses would move into bespoke offices and facilities that would be run like a condo association. Your “appraisal” would determine your ownership share and square footage. This would also allow for collective purchasing and the “Ownership Board” to rent out space to necessary 3rd party vendors.
- They Buy, You Win
I do not know what technology is available in MVHS badges but there should be some way to get said badges to trigger special pricing and tax rates if they shop in Utica. The more of that sales tax revenue we can keep at home, the better off we all are.
I promise if elected as the Legislator from the 22nd Legislative District that I will work not only to enact a smooth transition for the hospital, but I will do everything I can to entice hospital employees to shop local.