Oswego May Change Street’s Name

OSWEGO, NY – The Common Council sailed through a brief agenda Monday night.

Before the council began considering the slate of resolutions, they observed a moment of silence for Lt. Nathan Williams. The son of city attorney Gay Williams died last week in a jet crash during a Navy training exercise.

Mayor Randy Bateman expressed the city’s “deepest sympathy” to Lt. Williams’ family and friends.

During the public session, Mike Goldych said he’d like to connect some of Oswego’s streets – historically.

Mike Goldych explains his proposal to the Common Council.
Mike Goldych explains his proposal to the Common Council.

On the east side, Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca bear homage to four of the five members of the Iroquois Nation that once claimed most of Central New York as their home.

They go from the south to the north toward the lake, “just as the Iroquois Nation was arranged from east to west across the state,” he told the councilors.

In the center was the Onondagas; connecting the Mohawks and Oneidas with the Cayugas and Senecas, he pointed out.

“We don’t have an Onondaga Street. I have spoken to some people and heard different speculations as to why that is the case. I really can’t give a definitive answer,” he said.

At one time, ‘Onondaga’ was considered as the name for Bridge Street, he said, adding that popular belief is that it got its name to make travel easier – “it’s the street with the bridge on it.”

The street behind Simeon-DeWitt Apartments and the Education Center all the way over to behind the Captain’s Quarters has no street name on it, Goldych said.

“There are two streets that intersect with it, East Oneida and East Cayuga,” he said.

According to some old maps he researched, the street name is something like Canal View Drive, he added.

“I propose that we change that name to Onondaga Street,” he said. “That will fill this heritage void that we have in our streets. It links, just as the Onondaga Nation did, the other members of the Iroquois by being in the center.”

The idea makes sense, Council President Ron Kaplewicz said.

“I think it’s a good idea. It’s a tribute to our heritage,” he said. “It’s a simple idea and yet it makes a lot of sense. The beauty of it is we wouldn’t have any mailing address to change. It would be like putting the period at the end of the sentence”

A request to use the Crisafulli Ice Rink as a venue for a wrestling event was tabled Monday night.

Josh Jeanneret, owner of Squared Circle Wrestling, wants to use of the city rink on Sept. 16 for a show.

“There is some discussion about the fact that overtime (for city workers) isn’t addressed in the proposal and there is also some considered for this one and for future commercial use of the venues as opposed to public use of the venues,” Councilor Kaplewicz said. “Aldermen want to look at the rate structure; if somebody’s going to be in there commercially and try to make a buck, maybe the city ought to be charging a little bit more.”

Councilors did OK a request from the school district to use city property.

David Crisafulli, superintendent of buildings and grounds for the Oswego City School District, requested use of the Cullinan Skating Rink from June 1 through Aug. 31 for storage of school district property during the renovation project at Kingsford Park School.

This will be an in-kind service provided to the school district.

The aldermen granted a noise variance for the ABATE motorcycle charity bike run May 21 for the Salvation Army.

“It will basically be the same as the past two years – just the earlier date. The last two years, we did this in August,” said Gail Goebricher, event chair. “August has turned out to be one of those months where there is 92 events on the same day. This will be the third time that we’ve done this. We haven’t had any problems in the past.”

They will also have a police car escort out Seneca Street at noon. They will be gone about an hour and a half – to Sterling and back.

“The Salvation Army is desperate; the demand for their services is increasing. So any help we can do for them will be very much appreciated,” Goebricher said.

Three requests for travel were also approved.

Mike Dehm, police chief, requested permission to send two officers to an Advanced Narcotics Leadership Seminar in Long Beach, NY, May 3-5.

He also requested permission to send one officer to a five-day police training at Syracuse University that pertains to the Physical Fitness Instructor Course. It runs from May 16 – 20.

Jeff McCrobie, fire chief, requested permission for First Assistant Chief Don Dowd and himself to attend the International Association of Firefighters’ Annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial Ceremony in Colorado Springs Sept. 16-18.

The mayor was authorized to retain outside counsel to represent the city with regard to the tax certiorari case between the city and Oswego Harbor Power – NRG.