UTICA - Larry Sharpe, the libertarian candidate for governor, and his running mate for lieutenant governor, Andrew Hollister, we’re both in Utica on Sunday. Both talked about their plan for a new New York, and both weighed in on a big topic of controversy here in Utica, eminent domain.
Sharpe and Hollister were guests of the co-founders of the No Hospital Downtown group in Utica, which as its name states, is opposed to a hospital being built in the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) planned downtown Utica location.
Sharpe and Hollister's appearance event was held at one of the No Hospital Downtown co-founders properties, a row house on on Lafayette St..
That row house at 442 Lafayette St. is one of the 35 properties in the downtown hospital footprint that MVHS must acquire in order to tear them down and build the new hospital.
442 Lafayette is owned by Brett Truett, co-founder of No Hospital Downtown. Truett purchased the property earlier this year with plans to renovate it and has said he will refuse to sell to MVHS and will take his fight to court if it comes to that.
Sharpe started his brief address by immediately addressing the issue of eminent domain which is he says goes against the very principles of the Libertarian Party, "Am I actually against the hospital being here? No, I’m not. Am I against the hospital deciding that they should take people’s private property at a price that they decide and then take government money to build a private entity? Yes, 100%, I am against that."
Sharpe, a businessman born and raised in the Bronx, now lives in Manhattan. On Sunday, he visited Utica for the 3rd time in the past two months.
On this visit, his running mate for lieutenant governor, Andrew Hollister was also on hand.
Hollister is a small business owner who was born and raised in the city of Rochester and still resides there.
Hollister says the New York City and Upstate New York combination that he and Sharpe present to the voters is what's best for the state, having someone familiar with both regions.
Hollister says there are three keys to he and Sharpe's platform, government transparency, local control, which is you the people make the decisions, not somebody in Albany, and the third one is, respecting you, a government to protect your rights, not restrict them."
Both Hollister and Sharpe believe the rights of property owners in the hospital footprint would be taken away if they are forced to sell their property via eminent domain.
So far some of the 35 owners of downtown property in the hospital footprint have signed purchase agreements, the rest of the businesses are either in negotiations with MVHS, or as in Truett's case, are refusing to sell.
Sharpe says he believes voters are tired of the old two party system and says the Libertarian party is about one important thing, "That is allowing people to do what they feel is right for their own lives to have success, professionally, personally whatever the case may be, as long as they’re not hurting other people. The two big old parties have been failing us for decades, you think they’re different, you’re fooling yourself, they’re no different, you’re fooling yourself, make a change, vote third-party, real change."
The other candidates for governor are Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo and actress Cynthia Nixon. Marc Molinaro is the Republican candidate. Cuomo and Molinaro were nominated by their parties last month.