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Articles About Oneida CAN DO!

Corn Hill Speaks March 1996 
Hope of the Day: One-id( e)a County by Helena Douglas

 A Vision of one Community, One People, One Economy With One Future.


On March 7, the Partnership for Human Development (PHD) held a dynamic and power-packed conference with recurrent themes of renewed hope, re-connection with the underprivileged and a view of the end of the tunnel. This renewed energy and spirit was delivered by many movers and shakers in our area.

Charles Betterton, a brilliant individual with a multitude of successful accomplishments, expertly facilitated the conference captivating attendees with finesse and fortitude. Betterton's leadership, was evidenced moments after he took the podium, when he asked the audience what the MVCC initials on the podium stood for. When everyone assuredly replied, "Mohawk- Valley Community College", Betterton replied, N0, it does not. It stands for, Maximizing Vision Collaboratively Creates Community. The conference was a  non-stop synergized and dynamic meeting from that moment on.


Following a welcome by Michael Shafer, President of MVCC, Sister Rose Vincent, Chief Executive Officer at St. Elizabeth Hospital opened the conference by reviewing the objectives of the PHD area-wide committee. She promoted the value of the resource and user friendliness of CRIS, the  Community Resource Information System, which is sponsored by the Provider Task Force of the PHD.


Sister Rose Vincent spoke about Vision and how it should be driven by Hope and Goodwill for change. She cited recent news of the the proposed 1997 Federal Budget. it's anticipated shortage of $3 billion,  the impact it will have on services and how can we revitalize urban centers. Sister Vincent ended her remarks by saying that the HOPE of The Day was ONE-ID(E)A County's Vision.


Currently running for State Senate candidacy, Raymond Meier, Oneida County Executive, added a rather subtle humor to his remarks. He applauded the program directives, of CAP (Child Assistance Program). which uitlizes welfare dollars to empower and enable single parents, mostly mothers, to work. He was emphatic about Home· ownership being one of the most basic and sound economic developmental thrusts needed to help those on welfare become part of the ONE-ID(E)A County Vision".


Meier stated that the history of charity has shown a pronounced transformation in that present day charity lacks the personal involvement needed to reconnect the poor with the total picture, (generic charity).  Instead we need to accept and involve the poor as part of the greater vision. Meier also mildly reprimanded agencies and organizations not to stray outside of their organizations' mission statements and  objectives in the face of adversity or in order to compete with shrinking resources. Rather, find a collaborative and co-creative way to compete and cooperate to continue providing needed services.


He reiterated the concept of Utica being strong in local government, that Utica is regional in nature and we should, “share the burden of economic development as well as tax breaks". Meier had much more to say which he sprinkled with the wisdom of humor, but expressed concern regarding our lack of consensus on policies concerning budget cuts, and the need to consolidate government services.


One last issue that was relevant to Meier’s remarks was, that the people that Oneida County serves are customers and these customers should be empowered to make valid decisions about available services being provided, and how they can best benefit their individual lives.


Everything  said was inevitably brought back to illuminate the working concept of the ONE-ID(E)A COUNTY:


Betterton excited the audience into finding working resolutions to the problems such as the lack of shared community vision, the need for more positive attitudes. as well as a need for action, 'Which the group consensually found to be the major obstacles that needed to be overcome. Mr. Betterton, intro­duced  the group to a method of brainstorm called The Three Round Method of Brain-Storming. The results were astounding in that everyone collaborated, and critiqued each others thoughts, opinions and feelings regarding the prob­lems at hand Whenever the group got stalled, Betterton was there to stimulate and tax brain centers to the optimum.  

       Groups eventually arrived at the following consensus on positive steps that could be taken to manifest the Vision for a bet­ter Oneida County.

     (1). Continue to carry out and promote the community visioning and strategic planning process, providing maximum opportunities for residents, elected officials, business and other organiza­tions to enroll in the  Vision and participate in the imple­mentation process.

(2). Follow up and demonstrate significance of the Visioning process through successful, practical application of input, identifying and taking action on specific implementation projects. 

(3). Provide ongoing programs and resources that foster positive attitudes, community unity and cooperation, community pride. appreciation 0f the wealth of our community assets, appreciation of multicultural diversity and personal, organizational and community empowerment.


Mr. Betterton, as one of those exceptional resources, who coined the phrase, ONE-ID(E)A COUNTY: A VISION OF COMMU­NITY, ONE PEOPLE, ONE ECONOMY WITH ONE FUTURE. inspired all who attended to leave the conference with not only Hope For the Day, but Hope For The Future of Oneida County. 






















The CAN DO! Empowerment Resource Center is a joint venture of three affiliated non-profit organizations: Ultimate Destiny University; CENTER SPACE (The Center for Personal, 
Spiritual And Community Empowerment); and the
Center for Conscious Sustainable Living.


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