One community, many pieces
The Utica Observer-Dispatch has published a wide-ranging interview with influential pollster John Zogby about upstate New York's bleary vision and its strengths. Some of the topics he brings up have to do a lot with how we think about the shared spaces of the Solvay-Geddes and Fairmount areas. Zogby says:
We really have an outmoded system of government. If you look closely at the maps of Upstate New York or really the Northeast you can see the horse and buggy lines, where they were drawn 150 to 200 years ago. I love to tell this story: My mom — I grew up in East, way East Utica, near Proctor Park — from her driveway to Route 5, to the sign that says 'Welcome to Little Falls', is 18 miles on the nose. You've just passed through six school districts and seven police departments in 18 miles. How do you create a vision?
The Solvay, Geddes and Fairmount areas seem like a historical, economic and demographic unit, and writing and thinking about them in tandem seems natural. However, just within this small area, we're dealing with at least three municipal governments -- four, if you wander too far up Onondaga Road! We take little notice of these borders as we cross over them multiple times daily to work, shop and play, but although they're invisible, they're there and they affect all development decisions that are made. How can area residents, local businesses and developers best work with these governments and each other to create an overall vision for Syracuse's mature western suburbs?