Oneonta Is Really Not That Bad
Happy Friday dear readers and citizens of Oneonta and beyond!
Reading the 100 plus comments on my recent story's Facebook post concerning the things that we love about Oneonta gave me pause. I was certainly not surprised that the conversation devolved into one that mentioned certain aspects of modern life in Oneonta ad nauseam including the unhoused, drug users, and parking issues. The surprise was the stream of negativity without solutions or critical thinking, especially on a piece that was meant to be light and positive.
Problems Are Not New Or Unique To Oneonta
Towns and cities across the county have their issues. The issues that we face in Oneonta are not unique. Towns and cities are struggling to cope with unhoused populations and addiction/mental health issues across the strata post pandemic. Locales in red states, blue states, purple states, all have these issues. They're not unique to Oneonta. We just happen to be a small city, and under a microscope, things happen to look a lot larger.
Do you remember?
Oneonta has seen it's share of issues under the strata of assorted leadership over the years. I remember the early 2000s when college students behaving badly was the gripe du jour. I worked at a Water Street establishment during the end of the street's nightlife heyday. Local law enforcement was constantly tied up dealing with brawling fraternities and the five bars that Water Street once housed. These days, the clustered bars are all but gone, and things seem to have calmed - somewhat. College students will behave badly, and there will be fights, but it isn't the warzone we saw 20 plus years ago. I've told Gen Z folks tales of those days, and they look at me like I have three heads.
What's Your Point?
I'm glad you asked! Time and solutions aid problems. Negative comments on Facebook do not. A common suggestion is to attend common council meetings. This is a great way to meet the people who make decisions, and suggest your ideas. Mayor Drnek regularly posts his contact information and encourages residents to reach out with their suggestions.
The Bottom Line
Instead of furthering the negative downward spiral, perhaps we as a community can come together to lead with positivity and effective solutioning. At least you'll be heard and understood, rather than scrolled through.