Recently, we were sitting on our front porch enjoying the late summer sunshine when we were greeted by a personable young man carrying campaign literature. He introduced himself as Josh Bailey, a SUNY Oneonta graduate and candidate for city council. He asked if he could sit with us for a few minutes to learn our opinions on how to make life better.

We are SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick graduates, and we’ve lived and worked here for more than 30 years. Our “few minutes” with Josh stretched to 45. We described our views from the perspective of longtime residents. Josh, in turn, described his vision from the vantage point of an intelligent, enthusiastic, imaginative, young person who loves Oneonta.

Josh’s proposals are refreshing and practical, and we made special note of one idea in particular. We had told Josh that we enjoy our student neighbors, but don’t like picking their trash off our lawn after their late-night returns from downtown. Josh replied that he wants Oneonta to install trash receptacles on the neighborhood streets. He’s right: On Oct. 12 we walked the length of our six-block street. Not one trash can. Something so obvious, but we’ve been picking plastic cups and pizza boxes off our lawn for more than 30 years and never made that connection.

Josh has a young person’s ability to see what older people can’t or won’t see, coupled with creativity and drive. Like us, he went to school here, works here, lives here. We believe that Josh’s presence on the city council will bridge the gap between established practices and innovation that Oneonta needs. Josh has the ability to understand city and college residents and would well represent the people he serves. We hope that Oneonta’s Eighth Ward will support Josh Bailey for city council.

Marie and Thomas Hegeman


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