Dear Naysayers of Greater Utica-Rome,

Enough already! Haven't we witnessed enough negativity to last a lifetime? Isn't it time to join 'we the majority' and move beyond anti-Stewarts, anti-Hospital, anti-Round-a-bout, anti-Marcy-Nano, anti-Oneidas, anti-Arterial and anti-Kelberman? Also, it must be incredibly exhaustive to put so much work into opposing absolutely everything.

Don't get me wrong, I really do respect the value of resistance; after all, it's the American way. Our nation was born out of protest; but, it seems that a certain group of people in our area have taken it all to a new extreme. Even the South faced the realization that they lost the war and eventually worked to rebuild a new post-Civil War America.

So, as we enter the fall season and prepare for the final fourth quarter of the decade, could we all please agree to work together in constructive fashion and create a 'First Night' for our area like we've never seen before. Let's all pledge to step into the new 20's by putting our best foot forward and agree to disagree. The project or projects one might oppose, might actually become better for the area if that person works to improve it, rather than continue an ill-fated effort to defeat it. Just think of what can be accomplished if the resistance put all that hard work into something positive. It might actually be amazing.

In closing, I'm not asking for you to pretend that you love the project you so vehemently opposed. I'm simply asking that you accept reality, accept the final outcome and accept defeat; and, if you can't find it in yourself to join in and make the area better, then please get the hell out of the way. While there's no guarantee that the current efforts are really going to be fruitful and transformative, at least it's a concrete plan to move this region past the dredges of the last 50 years. I can't wait to see what our area looks like in 5 years.

May God bless the Mohawk Valley. We need all the help we can get.

Sincerely,

Bill Keeler