Oswego Resident Reaches Out To Governor For Relief

OSWEGO, NY – Dave Berry, a long-time Oswego resident shared a letter at Monday’s Common Council meeting that he has addressed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“I got a letter that I’d like to send to the governor. I’m going to try and get like 200 or 300 signatures,” he told the councilors.

Oswego resident Dave Berry reads his letter to Gov. Cuomo at Monday's council meeting.
Oswego resident Dave Berry reads his letter to Gov. Cuomo at Monday’s council meeting.

He started Monday and got a dozen people to sign, he said.

“I wanted to show my concern because I lived in the city most of my life. I’m proud to live in the city of Oswego,” he said. “I have had my house for so many years and I want to keep it.”

In his letter, he informs Gov. Cuomo of the high taxes and the high water and sewer bills in the Port City.

“Oswego taxes went up 44 percent. They were going to raise them 82 percent. Our water bill … was 91 (dollars) a quarter. Now it is up to $222 a quarter,” he wrote.

Many citizens, the elderly and those on fixed incomes, are finding it difficult to pay for all the increases, he continued.

“I want to know if the governor can give us any help for the people of the city of Oswego so they might not lose their homes due to all the increases at once,” he said. “I feel very strongly about what I said. I thought this letter out very carefully. I didn’t put anybody down. It’s just that I’m proud of the city of Oswego and I want to live here the rest of my life.”

But it is hard right now when you’re living on a fixed income and everything keeps going up, he pointed out.

Following the public session, the council sailed through a relatively light agenda Monday night.

They approved a request to use of public space by Mr. and Mrs. Robert McGrath, proprietors of the Clubhouse Tavern and Spencer’s Ali, 124 and 126 W. Second St.

They plan on hosting the annual United Way Breakfast on July 26.

Councilors also approved a variance of the Noise Ordinance for the McGraths, proprietors of Spencer’s Ali, 124 W. Second St., so they could have live music during the months of May through September.

The hours would be 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 5 to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

The establishment has had a new roof system installed, McGrath said. It will help deaden the sound and prevent much of it from leaving the building, he added.

McGrath has also hired someone monitor the noise levels to ensure they stay within acceptable parameters, First Ward Councilor Fran Enwright said.

A request by the Port City Roller Derby to use the Crisafulli Ice Rink for its 2014 events was also OK’d.

“They have requested five dates for bouts in April through August, DPW Commissioner Mike Smith said. “We certainly have the ability to accommodate them again this year.”

Councilors approved amendments to the Downtown Parking Policy.

Lots D and D1, the Midtown Plaza upper and lower levels, respectively, were removed from the policy.

Section IV, Paragraph B was changed to:

IV. Reserved Permanent Parking Spots
B. Up to fifty (50) additional reserved parking spots in lots A, A1, B, B1, C and C1 can be designated by the Commissioner of Public Works in consultation with the Chief of Police upon request for and subsequent purchase of same. The location of these additional parking spots will be determined by the Commission of Public Works and the Chief of Police.

Section V, Paragraph A was amended to:

V. Guest Parking
A. Nine (9) parking spots along the lower west wall of Lot B will be reserved for overnight parking for guests of downtown residents from Dec. 1 through March 31.

In Section VII, Paragraph A “City Chamberlain’s Office” was replaced by “Department of Public Works.”

VII Terms of Purchase of All Reserved Parking Permits
A.  All winter reserved parking permits will be issued by the Department of Public Works and will be valid from Dec. 1 through March 31. The extended parking permits will be valid at the end of this season beginning April 1 and ending on Nov. 30, before the next season begins.

And, in Section VIII, Paragraph B, the reference to lot D1 was removed.

For further information contact the DPW at 343-5055.

The mayor was authorized to sign an agreement with Software Consulting Associates for municipal based software.

A request from Susan Gentile Deary, city assessor, to attend code enforcement courses, to be held in Clay on various dates from January-July, was approved.

And the council approved listing for sale six foreclosed properties and further authorized the mayor to execute all documents necessary “for listing the properties for sale.”

The properties include 4 Moore St., formerly owned by Patrick Barlow; 85 E. 10th St., formerly owned by Donna Spicer and Bartolo Bianacavilla; and four properties formerly owned by Kenneth Foster – 88 Tallman St., 28 E. Fourth St., 226 Duer St., and 73 E. Ninth St.

All of the properties will be listed with Century 21 Galloway Realty for sale at their fair market value.

Final acceptance of any purchase offers shall be made by the Common Council.


  1. I for certain would love to sign that letter to Gov. Cuomo, not to brag but I knocked down well over $70,000 last year & am flat broke just trying to keep up with all of the rapid increases within Oswego….and we don’t even get garbage removal; Fulton does!

  2. I’am on fixed income I would sign you letter, With all the new taxes increase and water bills it going to be hard to pay .I heard on top of the 39% taxes year the water going up. You bet I would go this letter most of OSWEGO.

  3. We understand your frustration and how you feel about this matter. We would like to sign your letter as well. We are thankful that the tax increase was not approved over 80%. They will just keep increasing the water rates to make up difference. Enough is enough! Were ready to move.

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