SYLVAN BEACH, N.Y. -- Residents of Mariner's Landing Mobile Home Park in Sylvan Beach have six months to find a new place to live, after they were given an eviction notice by the Oneida Indian Nation.
Since the notice to those tenants became public, candidates running for the Oneida County executive position are calling attention to the relationship between incumbent Anthony Picente Jr. has with the Oneida Indian Nation.
"It's something that the people of Vernon, Verona and Sherrill know all too well that this county executive and this administration they have an agenda," said Dave Gordon, a former county legislator and Republican candidate. "What that agenda is, is to work alongside Ray Halbritter, the Oneida Indian Nation spokesperson and to continue to promote gambling as forms of economic viability of our community."
According to Oneida Indian Nation spokesperson, Joel Barkin, all of the tenants were on month-to-month leases. The Oneida Nation is also not charging tenants rent for the final month to help with moving costs. The Oneida Nation is providing trash removal services and gave all tenants an assistance packet with information and contacts to assist with the transition.
But Mike Hennessy, a former county legislator and the Democratic candidate for county executive, said something else needs to be done for the residents.
"That's not enough these people live there for decades, they make it their summer homes for many and they put a lot of money into the community," he said. "I feel that to give them proper notification it should get them to into next year and also pay them additional money for resettlement."
But County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. said he has no control over the land, because it's privately owned.
"This is an issue that does not have anything to do with the settlement agreement or anything regarding land of the Oneida's," he said. "It's a private corporation that owns that property for the Oneida's and people pay rent, so it's not a part of any land issue or any settlement issue. As far as I understand the Oneida's are being more than gracious in terms of the process. I feel bad for the residents have to move obviously they have been there, but this comes down to a private landowner that is looking to read about their parcel of land."
Picente mentioned that plans for the site will not involve gaming.
Barkin added that the Oneida Nation even delayed plans at the site to give tenants more time.
"We have a number of different announcements we'll be making about it," he said. "I'll be honest with you that we have not completely finished those plans because we wanted to address this issue first."