In response to reports of racially insensitive symbols and materials being seen locally, Oneida County legislators have signed a petition “resolving to build an inclusive county.”
The petition, stating that the Board of Legislators “condemns all bigotry and is resolute in its determination to push back against it,” was signed by all the legislators who were at the board’s meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Among items during the meeting, the board approved a local law to establish a sustainable energy loan program in the county that drew praise from county legislator Brian Mandryck, R-17, Lee. Legislators also approved a resolution extending the board’s sympathy to the family of Rosemary Healy-Adolfi, who passed away July 28 and was the first woman to serve as an Oneida County legislator.
• A copy of the petition that was signed by legislators to condemn bigotry will be forwarded to Gov. Andrew Cuomo plus local state legislators and Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.
The petition was originated by legislator Michael Brown, D-12, Rome, who said it was due to “the fact that these things have been popping up” around the area.
Purported flyers for the Klu Klux Klan were left at homes at Camelot Village in Westmoreland on May 10; on Hilson Drive in the Town of Lee on June 13; and on Glen Road South in Rome’s outer district on Aug. 2. In addition, an Oriskany resident’s recent display of a Confederate flag and black painted skeleton prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday to direct state police to investigate it in addition to ongoing investigation of the local KKK-related materials.
The petition said the reported incidents “are not reflective of this county, its character or its history.” Such views “cannot be ignored and must be roundly and forcefully condemned,” it said. The petition added “we will continue to serve and attract citizens of all races, creeds, genders, sexual orientation and religion. Through their collective contributions we will build a great place to live.”
• The board approved a resolution to implement the “Energize NY Benefit Financing Program.”
The program enables the county to join with the state’s Energy Improvement Corporation to provide special financing options for residential and commercial property owners for installing energy-efficient and renewable energy technology, according to Mandryck. He sent a June 29 letter to legislators board Chairman Gerald Fiorini requesting approval.
Mandryck said at Wednesday’s meeting that the program is “a good benefit for property owners...looking to improve energy efficiency....” He commented “it does work,” adding that he participated in a NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) solar-related program that significantly cut his energy bills.
For the Energize NY program, Mandryck said “I encourage everybody to start looking into this and take advantage of it.”
• The resolution of sympathy to Adolfi’s family was read aloud by Fiorini. It noted Adolfi’s 1983 election as a county legislator and service until 1990. She represented a Rome district.
The resolution said the board extended “their sincere sympathy, their appreciation of the value of her services to all of Oneida County, and their respect for her worth as a woman.”