In off-year elections such as 2013, it is easy to be distracted by all the demands of daily life and to opt not to vote. While over the past two years Oneonta town residents have been paying attention to the issue of hydrofracking, it has now moved into the backs of our minds, since the state has been silent on the issue for some time. Meanwhile, our federal government has put on quite a sideshow, pushing local politics even further from our minds.
However, just because government has not ruled on hydrofracking does not mean that the threat has gone away, far from it. Although nearly 70 percent of the town of Oneonta has stated that it does not want it, not all of our local politicians share our concern. For example, in March of 2013, Fred Volpe and Brett Holleran, now on the Planning Board, but running for Town Board, voted against a moratorium. Not only does this not square with 70 percent of the town, but also raises questions about their support for home rule.
This spring the moratorium will again expire. In contrast to Volpe and Holleran, candidates Patricia Jacob and Andrew Stammel are both committed to keeping fracking out of our town. The question of how the town feels about hydrofracking has already been settled by the Zogby survey of last year. What has not been determined is whether we can all remain motivated on election day to demand that our Town Board accurately represent our views.