Oneidas should cover residents’ moving costs


Recently, I’ve seen reports of the Oneida Nation kicking out some Sylvan Beach residents from waterfront property the Oneidas own. True, anyone who chooses to rent property on a month to month tenancy accepts the risk of eviction at the discretion of the property owner. The Oneidas absolutely have the legal right to tell residents to leave.

I understand some of the residents have mobile homes that will be very expensive to move if not impossible. Again, it is the responsibility of the tenant. However, simply because an action is lawful, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. The Nation has offered to waive tenants’ last month rent but the property must be cleared. In some circumstances, that’s not possible. They also provided renters with contact information on locale mobile home movers and local parks. In effect, they have offered almost nothing to help mitigate expenses and the hardship they have thrust upon their tenants.

Evidently, the Turning Stone enterprise has a new venture in the works. Assumedly they have the capital for the project as well. However, they have made a grievous error in judgment when planning. A portion of the spending plan should have been earmarked for all costs to completely clear the property. For the units that can be moved, give owners an allowance for trailer moving to the site of their choice within a thirty-mile radius. For those unable to be moved, give them fair market value.

No doubt these expenses are beyond what’s required by law. But there is such a thing as being a good neighbor, especially when this neighbor is the largest employer in the region. Turning Stone has a good reputation for community support and should continue to do so. In the long term, poor public opinion could cost far more than assisting these few people.

— Jeff Bedell, Cayuga


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