NBT president, Chamber call for consolidation, reductions in county spending

NORWICH – Too big, too slow and too expensive.

Those were the words NBT Bank President Martin Dietrich used to described Chenango County’s government structure as he addressed local business leaders at Commerce Chenango’s Annual Economic Forecast Breakfast.

The event, held Tuesday at Howard Johnson’s, was sponsored by NBT in conjunction with The Evening Sun and Pennysaver.

Dietrich used his time at the podium to issue a call to arms to his fellow business leaders, stressing the need for change at the county level and inviting them to be part of the conversation.

“It is now time that we look at fresh ideas,” he said.

Dietrich gave those in attendance several points to contemplate:

• In Norwich, there are three different highway garages located within one mile of each other.

• It took more than a year for the county to approve the Friends of the Park project, despite the fact that no county resources would be expended.

• During his own brief, daily commute, he passes snowplows from four different departments.

• City Hall was closed during a recent snow storm, even though no state of emergency was declared.

• Municipal employees have better health care and pension benefits than their counterparts in the private sector.

• Supervisors receive health care and pension benefits for a part-time job.

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