As a journalism minor at SUNY Oneonta, I wrote about issues concerning the small town of Oneonta and the people that reside within it. Coming from Long Island, I found it interesting to learn about different socio-economic cultures.
Links to Articles:
Oneonta Common Council:
David Rissberger Profile
David Rissberger may be on Oneonta’s common council but his devotion to the town is anything but common. He has now served four years as a city council member in the third ward.
Rissberger credits his passion for the city’s well-being on his fortunate upraising. He believes that all the necessary opportunities were provided for him over the years. Rissberger now wants to pay it forward to the community of Oneonta. His plans are to help move the city in a positive direction.
“It’s always good to be part of something that is much bigger than yourself,” says Rissberger. “I believe that being part of City council is something that is much bigger than myself.”
Rissberger’s main job as a council member is to facilitate legislation and develop policies that will improve the city. He helps to create prosperity and encourage population growth within Oneonta. However, Rissberger notes that the most important duty is to create a welcoming atmosphere for new businesses to flourish.
Currently, one of the biggest challenges for Rissberger is Oneonta’s lack of economic development. He feels that jobs are inaccessible, which may discourage people from moving to the city. Although the economy is at a plateau, Rissberger plans to solve the issue.
Rissberger’s main goal within the next few years is to clean out the old rail yard. The city council member plans to get it shovel-ready. This entails adding a sewage system equipped with clean water. Once all the basic amenities are provided, Rissberger thinks that big business will want to buy the property, due to its close proximity to the railroad.
Rissberger also feels it is important to encourage college students to get involved with their surrounding town.
He says, “I think it is the responsibility of each council member that has students in their ward to try to pull the students out of, what I like to refer as, the college bubble.”
He further explains that once students move off campus it is important that they get involved with the community to prevent further segregation between the students and the townspeople.
Rissberger highlights his hard work trying to get sororities and fraternities to join his efforts. On occasion, he reaches out to a Hartwick sorority for local babysitting services and a SUNY Oneonta fraternity for garbage pick-ups around the town. This helps the Greek organizations gain a positive reputation within the community.
Rissberger’s efforts to better college students’ status in town are in response to local complaints about student behavior. He explains that at times, they disrupt the town members by being loud at night and destructive to private properties. These complaints are of major concern and Rissberger encourages the student to help mend their relationship with the community.
Rissberger says that his favorite part of serving on the council is being included in the process to facilitate growth within the town of Oneonta. He likes to meet new people within the ward and help them with any issues that may arise. It is hard not to recognize the devotion that Rissberger has for his town and the people who reside within it.