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January 14, 2011 - 8:38am

Today's Poll: Should the city hire an economic development coordinator?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Bea McManis
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Govenor Cuomo said in his State of the State speech: "We are going to establish economic regional councils. Ten economic regional councils all across the State. They are going to be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy. These will be public private sector partnerships the focus of which is to create jobs, jobs, jobs in those regions. It starts with the premise that there is no top down template to create jobs. You have different regions in this State with different assets and different abilities and these plans are going to have to come from the bottom up and let's empower the local communities to plan their future and help themselves. These councils will have two main functions. First they will coordinate all the existing economic development money that goes into that region, primarily through ESDC. But second, they will be able to come up with job development plans and then compete against the other councils - to compete for up to $200 million in funding. Competition works. Let them come up with their best plans, compete against the other regions and we will fund the most creative plans." If we are going to compete for economic development money then we need someone who will act in our best interest to get it. It has to be someone who will show results.
Bob Harker
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Simply create an environment that is favorable to businesses/employers, and they will come. Cut spending. Cut taxes. Those two concepts have been *talked* about for years. Nothing of substance has been accomplished on ANY level of government. Creating another level of bureaucracy is NOT the answer. Instead, start REALLY holding politicians accountable. Find a way to rid Albany of Sheldon Silver. Get involved in demanding budget and spending reform. A good start: http://www.governor.ny.gov/medicaidredesign
Dave Olsen
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So............., if the Governor is going to set up regional economic councils, why would the city then want to create yet another layer of bureaucracy? Isn't too much government the problem?
Peter O'Brien
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While we are at it I think the city should hire the following: -A media publicist to spin the councils decisions. -An IT guy to sit there and tell you to reboot your computer. -A fire hydrant cleaner to wipe the dog urine off of them. An official light bulb changer for the coming incandescent ban. -A school ridiculer to eventually convince the people to allow the council to control the schools. -A council to determine if we need to reduce 98 and 63 to one way roads and 5 to single lane in each direction with a go kart lane. -A drug officer separate from the police to ensure that CVS and Rite Aid are operating in standards set by the c ouncil to ensure that Alberty drugs will eventually run them out of town. -A media analyst to determine which news company in town should be closed because the readers don't agree with the councils decisions. -A new office of home improvement to ensure that home owners don't make DIY repairs to their own house and that they must hire their new city approved people. -A new officer of Ellicott St to determine if the city should take all the empty street front shops and turn them into housing for LGBT individuals who claim discrimination is stopping them from finding jobs teaching children about the morality of not having a gender. This city is F'ed
Julie A Pappalardo
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NO, we should not. We can't afford it. Let the private sector take care of it for once. The gov't is already too BIG! We need to shrink the gov't, not grow it. Didn't Cuomo and them take pay cuts/no raises....Hiring freezes etc? /sarcasm font Maybe our local politicos could jump on that bandwagon and save us the pain of the new tax increase they are proposing??? /end font I have had the same tenants for YEARS. I have never raised their rent. With yet another tax increase (to pay for yet another beaurocrat) I am going to have to start raising their rents......Then what? I do NOT want to do that to them as they are low income. The point is, there should be NO NEW HIRES inthe City. GEEZ, didn't we JUST get out of that horrible debt we have been in because of the LAST Economic Development person??? Can we enjoy a surplus for once???
doug smith
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Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them. Ronald Reagan
Bea McManis
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Tell the city not to hire someone who is knows the ins and outs of REAL economic development. then, when other regions are competing for and getting their share of the economic development money and Batavia gets none, will you feel that you won?
Jim Burns
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Think small get smaller Batavia! This town needs to do something, decide it is quaint and in decline of buck up and spend money to make money. (Yes that is a risk) Batavia has been listed as a growing micro economy thanks to the addition of all the chains stores on the NW side of town. But those jobs barley pay a sustaining wage. If they hired an entrepreneur for this position it might work. If they hired a politician it would not work at all. The problem is they would not have enough money for a good business person. So as I suggested before, lift someone else's plan to grow the local economy that did work. No reason to reinvent the wheel here.
Jim Burns
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Bob Harker
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Peter, awesome post. 1 vital position not mentioned: Lifelong bureaucrat to oversee and justify the employ of other lifelong bureaucrats. This should be a highly paid position as it is vital to the viability of lifelong bureaucrats.
Bob Harker
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Bea, will the left EVER recognize that MORE government does not usually equate with BETTER government? That by allowing the private sector to operate without over burdensome taxes and regulations almost always equates with economic growth? The nine scariest words ever said: "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help". Another quote from the late, great Ronald Reagan.
Dave Olsen
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Bea; everytime a company wants to build something and open or expand a business, the first thing they do is announce that they are considering several areas and then wait to see what is offered. They get offered breaks on electric, water, sewer, gas, taxes, roads to be built etc etc etc.via all the EDC's that are already around. That's the game and it doesn't seem to be effective, it might lure a company to locate here, but doesn't bring enough income to offset. So, assuming your question wasn't directed at anyone in particular; for me a win will be when a company decides to open a business here without any incentives, just 'cause it makes good sense.
Jim Burns
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Business will not come to Batavia with the exception of retail chains. Batavia needs to support its self and grow with what it has available here. Perhaps I am mistaken even posting suggestions. You people seem like a nice representative slice of the town. But instead of solving problems you appear to like the old left vs right argument. How will that solve anything?
Bea McManis
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Jim Burns, it won't. for those naysayers, what part of "These will be public private sector partnerships the focus of which is to create jobs" didn't you understand? Public/private sector partnerships, means that local businesses will have a say in helping the city compete for that economic development money. This isn't a left vs right issue. It isn't a gay rights issue, it isn't a 'only my agenda' issue. It is the opportunity for this community to help itself. It may mean the infusion of blood that will bring this city back to life. It may mean helping local people start a business and succeed.
Mark Potwora
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Dave i've often wonder the same...Why is it, the only way to get a business to set up shop here, Is that we have to offer tax incentives ,grants ,and low interest loans..GEDC does this all the time to lure a company here...That tells me that everyone knows that the cost of taxes are to high..We already had an economic development coordinator How many jobs did he create..How many business were created..I thought that by giving money and a grant to the people who own the Batavia Industrial Center that would create jobs..We were told that there were company's ready to move here if only the government would help rehab the place..So what is Batavia's answer to job grow ..CREATE ANOTHER TAXPAYER FUNDED JOB....
Jeremiah Pedro
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Ok so say we hire this person, this so called "economic development coordinator" and then history repeats itself? Then what will we do? Dig ourselves out of debt again? What happens when we are competing for these state funds and some down state area wins the funds instead of us, or a greater amount of the funds? How are these ten areas going to be divided up? I only assume that one of the ten areas will not be comprised of only Genesee county so once the area we belong to receives their share of the state funds then Genesee county and Batavia will have to compete with others that make up the area we belong to for our scraps. I don't see how hiring this person will help. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
terry paine
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Its sad when people think that government can create jobs. Pro's and Con's of starting a business in this state. Pro's Con's Highest property tax in the country Highest school tax in the country Highest electric cost in the country Highest fuel cost in the country Highest workman's comp in the country One of the highest sales taxes in the country One of the highest state income taxes Very low appreciation on real estate One of the most regulated states The only tool a economic development coordinator would have is to give concession's on the above.
Dave Olsen
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Mark; it's called corporate welfare.
Bea McManis
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Posted by Dave Olsen on January 14, 2011 - 11:52am So, assuming your question wasn't directed at anyone in particular; for me a win will be when a company decides to open a business here without any incentives, just 'cause it makes good sense. Dave, You are right, it wasn't directed at anyone. I was the first person to comment, and subsiquent comments were only to reinforce my opinion. You are also right when you say it would make good sense to open a business without the incentives. In the most perfect world that would certainly be the win. Governor Cuomo is well aware that New York State spends too much and gets way too little in return. My comments are based on his State of the State where he says with great emphasis on the fact that the New York State needs radical reform. He isn't giving the state lip service, nor is he just talking to one party over another, he is talking to all of us. "Not only to we spend too much, but we get too little in return. We spend more money on education than any state in the nation and we are number 34 in terms of results. We spend more money on Medicaid than any other state in the nation and we are number 21 in results. We spend about $1.6 billion per year in economic development and we are number 50 in terms of results. We are spending more, and government is growing more. We now have more than 600 Executive branch agencies. And it's not just State government – the proliferation of local government and special districts all across the State now over 10,500 driving that property tax rate up all across the State. And the large government we have is all too often responsive to the special interests, over the people of the State of New York. The proof is in the pudding. And New Yorkers are voting with their feet. Two million New Yorkers have left the State over the past decade. What does this say? It says we need radical reform, it says we need a new approach, we need a new perspective and we need it now. We must use this moment to transform our government. We currently have a government of dysfunction, gridlock and corruption - we have to transform it into a government of performance, integrity and pride. It is time that we speak to these issues and actually get results for the people of the State and stop offering rhetorical solutions." http://www.legislativegazette.com/Articles-c-2011-01-07-73916.113122-Gov...
Jim Burns
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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana So regurgitate the some old rhetoric and fight amongst yourselves. I have a business to run despite the area.
Julie A Pappalardo
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Obviously, judging by this poll and the comments, the vast majority of people here do NOT want yet another taxpayer funded person on the payroll. You guys, I think everyone needs to start calling your councilperson (do any of them even read this?) and let them know how you feel about this. Again, the LAST guy got FIRED (if memory serves)after he and the City Manager dug us into terrible debt. As a matter of fact, didn't that City Manager skip town and get his house forclosed on and everything?? We canNOT let this happen to our City again! NO NEW TAXES and NO NEW HIRES!! And NO RAISES...It's like they raise our taxes to give themselves a raise. Private Sector......Private Sector......Private Sector Now that the Bush Tax Cuts have been extended, the Private Sector is more abt to start investing again. Everyone was just "holding" until that got worked out. Why invest and star a business when the Gov't is going to tax the crap out of you! I live in Erie County now (my business is in 14020), but I shop and spend my $$$ in 14020. Why? The sales tax is lower than Erie County by almost a full point! Why did I buy my new wardrobe in the great State of NH? Because there's NO SALES TAX...(Who Hoo! The outlet malls there ROCK) Does anyone get it yet?
Mark Potwora
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Does the town of Batavia have an economic development coordinator...How do they do it...All this does is create someone to point the finger at when nothing changes...Takes the heat off all at city hall....
Peter O'Brien
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"Two million New Yorkers have left the State over the past decade. What does this say? It says we need radical reform, it says we need a new approach, we need a new perspective and we need it now. We must use this moment to transform our government. " So this new perspective, this new approach, this radical reform that we need now is to do what didn't work before and cost the property owners of this city to get a greater than 25% raise in taxes.... Sounds like the same old same old to me.
Mark Potwora
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Same here Pete.......
Chris Charvella
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So when are folks going to announce your intentions to run for City Council this year? (Erie County residents excepted.)
Jeremiah Pedro
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We don't have to run for or serve on city council to have a voice on how our tax money is spent.
Peter O'Brien
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When I can no longer move from sports injuries and therefore have the spare time. Though I wouldn't threaten my opponents...
C. M. Barons
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Chris, you missed the more poignant question... Now that the Bush Tax Laws have been green-lighted, when will the beneficiaries (who were in a holding pattern) demonstrate their stewardship by investing in Batavia? a) When property values nose-dive another 5% b) When the derivative markets dry up c) When Chuck E. Cheese inks the deal d) When uranium ore is discovered beneath Dwyer Stadium.
Jeremiah Pedro
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Something to add Pete to your earlier post, those two million New Yorkers that have left over the last Decade included many bright young New Yorkers that could have helped New York grow. There has to be a reason why recent grads leave the State and don't look back. I'm not saying all of them do but there are enough that do that should make the state government stop and think about what they're doing. Recent college grads is not something the state should be exporting.
Chris Charvella
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@Jeremiah You're absolutely correct. I only brought it up because I'm getting a real 'I could do it better vibe' from most of the commenters.
William Cox
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Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts and ideas on the economic development coordinator recommendation by the city manager. This recommendation impacts all of us. Sometimes the failures of the past weigh heavily on how each of us perceive the potential of the future. I am right there with you. For the past 36 months we have been without an economic development manager. The Masse project which is rehabbing part of the Harvester complex is a bright spot which should create more and better paying jobs; Next Level Fitness has improved the city downtown but its the continuation of an existing business as is the re-opening of Larry's Steakhouse. We have the BID, BDC, the GCEDC and the Chamber all trying to improve our city. What has been missing is a central point to coordinate things and a leader that can make things happen regardless of the issues that arise. Everyone's job is nobody's job, we have all seen that happen and that is what has been what has been happening for the past three years. We need to take positive action to start the process going. As one or more of you suggested the last thing we need is a politician in such a position. We need an expert that has contacts with governmental agencies, a person who can get grant funding and lots of it, and someone who has done this before with a successful track record of accomplishments. He or she also needs the authority to carry out their directives and be held accountable for the results of each endeavor undertaken. I would welcome any suggestion sent to me personally or to the city council and city manager that can give us a better idea of how to accomplish economic development. I cannot speak for anyone on city council specifically but I can tell you that everyone on council has openly expressed their deep concerned with the eroding commercial tax base, the loss of good jobs, our youth moving away to find better jobs, and the heavy tax burden on our citizens and property owners both homeowners and business owners. The tax burden is unsustainable for many especially the elderly on fixed incomes and the unemployed. Something has to be done NOW. This is a MUST Priority for all of us. There is no easy answer and no quick fix. Whatever is done will most likely take 24 months or more to even start making a difference. The city manager's proposal is simply a proposal. Council will be debating that this month in our budget meetings. I believe his proposal is well thought out and realistic. One of the problems is that no one else or no other agency or organization has put forth any other proposal to compare it with. We really need options so we can select the best one with the best potential for success. We have to start the process for economic recovery and job creation; we cannot wait any longer. I I welcome everyone's input and ideas. I can promise you that I will take your idea and suggestions to city council and the city manager on your behalf. We are all in this together and your input is critical because it impacts everyone. Sincerely, Bill Cox Councilman - First Ward [email protected]
Chris Charvella
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Well put, Bill. Thank you.
terry paine
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Mr.Cox,could you help me with the Pro's column of my post. I had a hard time coming up with anything. I know the comment sounds negative but everything I listed is true. What would make financial sense for a business to start or move to this area.
Bea McManis
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Bill Cox, thank you.
Daniel Jones
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Bill - Great post. I'm always amazed when strict adherence to an ideology trumps common sense and professional analysis.
Daniel Jones
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Terry - I think the idea is to work to reform government to make the state more business friendly. We need to end the pessimism and start looking at ways to move the state into a better future.
C. M. Barons
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The concept of hiring a professional to work on a problem that has befuddled government since the northeast industrial exodus began in the 70s is not unreasonable. I can understand the cynics and naysayers who might look at such an action as good money following bad, however Mr. Cox seems sincere (and likely mirrors his peers) in seeking guidance in an area admittedly complex and beyond the scope of the council. I would only suggest that the problem of industrial development requires solutions extending beyond city limits. Terry's list of 'cons' is not so much negativity as it is a reality check. The 'pro' side: new business does locate to or originate in our state and region. Furthermore, businesses remain that have been here for generations. We need to be protective of existing business as well as nurturing of new. Doing so involves a critical balance directed by informed and objective attention to resource management- something best handled non-politically and in a multidisciplinary manner. Many of the communities that have been successful at culturing an economic turnaround have done so in novel ways that produce new models of cooperative enterprise. Cleveland is one example. Batavia has a track record in the realm of business incubation. It has a community college that has notably remained cutting edge in program development mirroring business trends. Logistically, Batavia is in a prime location with air, rail and roadway access. Real estate, utilities, technology development are favorable. Batavia is ahead of many communities with cultural opportunities. Perhaps an able navigator is all that is needed.
terry paine
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"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."Benjamin Franklin Daniel, I just listed nine ways to reform governments oppression on business. Optimism does not help a balance sheet. C.M., I'll bet most cities in this county would make similar claims of their area.
Bea McManis
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Terry, Did you hear or read the State of the State speech? We now have a governor who is willing to stand up and say that the state is spending too much and the results are dismal. He is willing to say that raising taxes isn't the answer. The answer is to stop spending, and when we do spend to do it judiciously. He wants to bring New York State back to the it's original intent of being the center of commerce, from one end of the state to the other. He talks about economic development that should be built on the strengths of each of the regions (by the way, we are in the Niagara Frontier region). He, also, talks about the bloated government in the state, not only in Albany but in every county, city, town and village. He is the first to admit that there is corruption in our state government. Like you, he wants to see it cleansed. All of this is dependent on each and every one of us to believe that good work can come from this administration. Naysaying and just repeating the same old rhetoric won't get the job done. If hiring a qualified, experienced person to win our share of that money, then it is the responsibility of our city council to find him or her. This is not the time to sit on our hands and look at the past failures and just say it will happen again.
C. M. Barons
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Terry wrote: "C.M., I'll bet most cities in this county would make similar claims of their area." I assume you meant 'country'- not 'county.' Regardless, the difference between cities with similar claims and Batavia could be that Batavia intends to break out of the mold. Batavia is not in decline- no blighted neighborhoods or irreparable infrastructure. I'm not sure where Batavia stands in terms of a fiber optic network, but Verizon is generally ahead of the curve. The state fiber spine parallels the Thruway which bodes well for the city. Batavia cannot afford to bog down in partisan debate. The other cities you allude to are competitors. Batavia needs to map out a plan, corral some grants, photoshop its image and get in the running. Do you know someone with expertise to manage that?
Timothy Hens
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Batavia has a lot going for it. Its location is the key. Halfway between Buffalo and Rochester, right along a major interstate, in the middle of the Canadian Trade Corridor, near the freshwater of the Great Lakes and also within the "radius" of the hydro-power of Niagara Falls. It is an opportune spot for business, but until Albany changes it's ways it is unfortunately also stuck in the middle of WNY-the HIGHEST TAXED AND REGULATED AREA IN THE UNITED STATES. Our property taxes are 3 times the national average and all of the counties in WNY are in the Top 25 Highest Taxed counties in the nation! Offer all the grants you want, hire all the economic coordinators you need--but there is NO WAY to consistently attract high paying, technological driven businesses without lightening the tax burden on both businesses AND individuals. Put yourself in the shoes of a CEO. Given the choice to locate or expand your business say between Batavia, NY and Georgetown, TX; where do you go? Although Batavia is offering significant tax exemptions and rebates, the exemptions are limited and the property abatement will end in 10 years. Staff and employees will pay income tax on their wages and very high property taxes on their homes. I will also have to deal with high workmen's compensation, high utility rates and significant and sometimes confusing regulations to comply with numerous NYS laws. Ultimately, I will have to pay my employees more to compensate for taxes and they are likely to not see any equity growth in their homes over the long term. The location is great as it places my business near Canada and numerous options for transportation, but the weather is difficult in the winter and the nearby big cities are rusty and in decline. My other option, Georgetown, is within an hour drive of Austin, TX and has a very young and talented workforce--an extension of the growth and success in nearby Austin. Texas has no state income tax and the property taxes are extremely low. State regulations are streamlined and my employees can get into homes that will grow equity significantly over time. The location is close to the Mexican Trade Corridor and the weather is fantastic year round. Seems like the choice is simple to me. Don't get me wrong--we do have some incredible local businesses and industry. Most people would be amazed at the cottage industries out there in Genesee County. These business owners are typically rooted by family and love of the area, but it is getting increasingly more difficult for them to expand their businesses and hire qualified folks. Without the exemptions and benefits offered by our local economic development folks, most of the them either would not have expanded or would be thinking about relocating their business to remain competitive. I personally love Genesee County, but I wish everyday that would could get out from under the burden that Albany (driven by NY City interests) has placed upon us!
terry paine
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Bea,I did listen to the speech and have heard the same thing 100 times. I'm hoping he learned his lesson after his devastating HUD policies. I wish him luck,but until he can get control of the unions,and the corrupted policy makers he can only whack at the branches while the root continues to grow.I'll bet you a coffee, the only spending cuts will be to reduce the growth not actually reduce the amount they spend annually(I truly hope I'll owe you a coffee). C.M.,thanks for the correction. The only thing I have to go by is my past experience. While I was in business I was able to overcome the higher cost (1 thru 8 of my list)of doing business in this state compared to my competitors in MN and WI (between $75-80,000 per year more). What I couldn't over come was the regulations and laws (#9 of my list)targeting our industry. Today the industry is a fraction of what it used to be along with the hundred's of jobs and the sales tax revenue it created. What was the benefit of having all that extra money taken from me and my employee's? Could you help me with this "The other cities you allude to are competitors" theory. Correct me please,we take tax money from people to fund grants ,then we hire people at tax payer expense to compete for those grants for a certain area.The end result is some taxpayer and some county will lose there money. I might be old school but I still think individuals can manage their money better than unaccountable bureaucrats. Tim, I to love this area,I feel bad for the good people that can't afford it.
Bea McManis
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So, Terry, the answer is to throw in the towel? Without the hope that things can get better, within the framework that we have, then we just might throw up our hands and say, "It can't be done!". Period! The end. I'm not making this political. I'm talking about someone who has admitted that there are problems. He is willing to talk to the private sector to help solve them. I am a long time coffee addict. If Cuomo doesn't live up to his expectations for New York State, I'll gladly buy you that coffee. I have a feeling, however, that he is going to make a momunental effort to turn the state around. Somehow I get the feeling that there are many who are hoping he fails and that is sad.
Daniel Jones
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Terry - I understand that and although I do not own a business, I know people who do and I can only imagine that total frustration that must set in when it comes to dealing with this state. I also agree that we need to assess what's wrong with our state if we are going to address the crisis. I also think that we need to start putting pressure on our public officials to make the radical changes that need to be made in addition to listing what the problems are. Assemblyman Steve Hawley: Albany: Room 329 LOB Albany, NY 12248 518-455-5811 District Office: 121 N. Main Street Suite 100 Albion, NY 14411 585-589-5780 http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=139&sh=contact Senator Michael Ranzenhofer: Albany: Room 315 LOB Albany, NY 12247 (518) 455-3161 District Office: 8203 Main Street Suite 4 Williamsville, NY 14221 716) 631-8695 http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/michael-h-ranzenhofer/contact
terry paine
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Bea, I had unwanted help throwing in that towel. I wish the best of luck to any ambitious person willing to work through all the obstacles. I'm afraid that for most, ambition and a good sound business plan will not be enough to overcome the many layers of unaccountable bureaucracy. Adding more personal to that failed system will not in any help. As we speak their trying to make the cost of doing business more expensive with that ridiculous licensing fee for contractors. This fee is a perfect example of what we need less of. In the end it will only hurt businesses and eventually the consumer. Daniel, "I also agree that we need to assess what's wrong with our state" see Cons 1-9 of my previous post. I will guarantee that those two politicians agree 100% with my list.
Bea McManis
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That contractor's fee is not of Gov. Cuomo's doing. That came from our own council. Who proposed it anyway? The governor promised, months before he was elected, to eliminate the authorities that clog our system. He is making good on that promise. If those two politicians agree with your list, then will they work with the governor to make things right? There is a site where you can make suggestions on how to improve the business climate in the state. You can even toss your hat in the ring to help bring those changes to fruition. I thought I had it in my files, but I can't find it right now. I know that Dan knows it, maybe he can give it to you, or post it here.
Peter O'Brien
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So basically I think we can all agree that the major issues stem from Albany. Explain to me again how an economic development coordinator is going to fix those issues? He won't. So until Albany is fixed, Batavia is not going to get better.
Bea McManis
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Peter, I don't expect you to support anything the Governor will do to fix Albany. That said, it is not surprising that you don't understand why a qualified economic development coordinator, with a winning track record, is needed in order for Batavia be a front runner in the competition for the economic development funds available. Yes, some of that money comes from your individual tax return. Yes, I know that you abhor the fact that any money you contribute to the state's treasury is used for grants. Perhaps, you should apply for the position. It would give you an opportunity to bring your tax money back to Batavia.
Peter O'Brien
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First, I have no experience in business, since I am unqualified in reality I am certainly qualified for the bureaucratic position, so maybe I should. Second, Until the governor actually does something to make a change, nothing should be done. I support some of his ideas, I am just not dumb enough to believe that they will actually come to fruition. Third, Grants have a place in a thriving economic environment. Certain technologies that have been developed to help all of man kind were established because of grants. However in this economic environment, it is better to take the restraints off companies and allow them to operate freely and hire individuals with creativeness and grand ideas that create more capital. Then we can return to the Bush Tax created boom times (2003-2008) before Barney Frank and his cohorts ruined the housing market by getting their grubby hands into the cookie jar.
Howard B. Owens
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My position is, Albany isn't going to help us. In fact, the better bet is Albany will make things worse. What we can't do for ourselves won't get done. Either we, as a community, find a way to rise above the mess in Albany, or we get what we deserve. It's really up to us. We're foolish to look to Albany for help.

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