“Together, we must enact this $1 billion Upstate Revitalization Fund and create an upstate whose best days aren't behind it but are ahead of it,” Spitzer said.Nice words -- but no substance.
Every region in upstate will receive funding, said Daniel Gunderson, whom Spitzer appointed as upstate development czar. Funding will be allocated based on Regional Blueprints designed in meetings across upstate and will be specific to each region, Gunderson said.This "Regional Blueprint" idea is a crock.
"Regional Blueprints" which are "specific to each region" sounds like "Pork Barrel" to me -- designed to keep some certain politicians in office. And "allocation" sounds like some regions will be winners, and some will be losers, based on politics . . . Like the Albany area has been a winner (to the tune of $Billions of OUR money) while the rest of us eat dirt.
Oh, sure, there are some projects that might be important to particular localities. There are the industrial parks and other pet projects. You can read the local list of "I Wants" in the OD Article. Some of the spending on local water and sewer systems is likely to make up for LOCAL failures in maintenance, to cure downright violations of the law, and to continue policies that encourage urban sprawl (upping regional maintenance costs). That hardly sounds like the kind of behavior that should be rewarded.
The point that the plan appears to miss is that most of Upstate west of Schenectady shares in the same malaise. That so many communities are in the same boat should tell us that it is State Policy (not local) that has caused the problems. . . . and that a $1Billion spending plan is like a $1Billion aspirin: it may provide some symptom relief, but does not get to the heart of the problem.
Because the plan does not address the systemic problems that are driving jobs and people out of Upstate, all this plan will accomplish is to give us a bigger hole to dig out of.