When County Executive Anthony Picente first took office he laid out a vision. Picente says he wanted to build a region of innovation. One area that has continued to innovate is Griffiss and the threat of federal cuts means the county has to put up a fight to stop another BRAC.
"We have to be a leader in this, this is in our community, this is a large employer. It's really much more significant than some people will look at and having gone through this before I know what we're up against so it's really a matter of trying to get as much resources as we can and stave off the poaching if you will."
Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri commended the County Executive for addressing a number of issues the City is facing. "It is balance, what we're looking for is balance and service is paramount the only thing we have to off, whether it be the City of Utica or the City of Rome or Oneida County its services to the end user which is the taxpayer."
Cities like Rome and Utica face similar problems and both mayors' say they look forward to working with the county executive to address their concerns. "We have to retool we have to restructure government, we have to make it smaller, but yet we still have a commitment to our constituency to provide certain services and that's really what the challenge is because that's really the only thing that's going to drive the cost down and solve some of the economic issues we have now."
Picente offered many new ideas such as a property tax law and creating a medical examiner's office to replace the county coroner's. And one area Picente says is crucial is agriculture. "In terms of Agriculture it's still the number one industry in Oneida County. We have so many farms, we have more than some of the other counties that surround us. It's an important aspect of this and I want to update our agricultural plan and see what else we're going to do and we're going to do that later this month so agriculture is key."