(Utica, NY – Jan. 3, 2013) Utica Councilman Joe Marino (D,4) is proposing the formal formation of a Regional Shared Services Committee to be made up of local and regional elected representatives and other area officials.
Councilman Marino stated ‘Municipalities and school districts in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York have more in common than just geographic location. We all share in the burden of unfunded mandates, an aging infrastructure, a decreasing tax base, and a strong desire, despite all of that, to not only keep the quality of life we currently enjoy, but to actually enhance it.”
“Utica is not unique at all in its financial hardships and tough economic times, which is why now, more than ever, we need to come together and devise a plan to cut duplicated costs and look to share services with each other in an attempt to better the lives of the people we represent. We have some great minds in leadership roles in our community and it is time to formally organize a committee that can sit in the same room and discuss the possibilities of saving each other money, hence lessening the burden of heavy taxes on our citizens.”
With federal and state funds become less and less, municipalities have no choice but to find alternative ways, beyond taxes or fees, to fill that void and protect the tax payer.
This concept of shared services is nothing new, but it has now become necessary and we’ve seen it working locally with New Hartford and Utica coming together on the public works side of operations. Also, there is strong cooperation being nurtured and growing between Utica and its school district. The need to capitalize on that relationship and build a stronger relationship with neighboring towns is a logical first step to rebuilding ourselves from within.
Marino concluded, “I brought this idea to many of our local, county and state leaders personally and all have embraced the possibility, while some have even stated publicly their desire for such a coalition and I firmly believe that Utica is the hub and epicenter of economic activity and development for our region so we should all be weary of its downfall, but with that said, I am certain that if we let any one of the communities in this beautiful area falter than we will have failed in our responsibility to provide the people with the wonderful place to live that this are once was and could be again. So I ask all area leaders to join forces to revitalize the place we all so badly we want to protect, our homes and our future”