All eyes are on the future of Oneida County. Oneida County Anthony Picente brought his latest ideas to the forefront in his 2013 State of the County Address.
Picente says he wants to consolidate services and create partnerships, make government smaller, but provide more services and be more efficient.
The word "partnership" seems to be a common word in the county executive's address.
"I'm here to offer my hand to every partner in this room, every partner in this county and every partner in the state, " said Picente.
The County Executive referred to the consolidation of the county's 911center as an example of a partnership that includes over 50 fire departments and fourteen police departments.
To add to that list, the County Executive says there is a plan to involve the county's mental health department.
"We will ask the caller if they would like to speak to a mental health professional. If they agree, the professional will help guide them and try to get to the heart of what is bothering the person," said Kevin Revere, the Emergency Services Director.
Revere says the force behind the plan was the closing of various units at the Mohawk Valley Psych Center in Utica.
In the next few months, mental health staff will be working at the center 24-7.
The County Executive is also calling for "Project ARGO" which stands for Action to Realign Government Operations.
He is asking the legislature to make funds available for consolidation and collaboration projects with other municipalities.
"Come up with an idea. We want to do this but we need this kind of equipment but we need to consolidate whether it's in public works, public safety or other areas," said Picente.
Another partnership is with the Oneida Indian Nation. Mr. Picente says he tried to start the process four years ago, but it didn't go anywhere. He says it's time to go back to the table.
"I think it's an opportunity, but it's got to be a give and take. We aren't going to get everything we want and they aren't going to get everything they want," said Picente.
He also talked about the Nano Center in Marcy. He says the next step in the project is to prepare the workforce, an initiative he's calling Vision 2020.
The Oneida County Executive also mentioned the change in the county's credit rating in today's address.
He says he's spoken with two of the county's credit rating agencies, Fitch and Standard and Poors.
Mr. Picente says the county has maintained it's A+ rating with both agencies. Also, Fitch has revised the county's negative outlook to a stable one.
The County Executive says this is significant and will save the county money in the long run because it will reduce borrowing costs for future capital projects.