As expected, the county's contract with EDGE was renewed for another year and another $412K. What was different about this approval was the vote: 24-3. Three legislators, all from Utica, voted against it -- a real break from what we've seen in the past with this legislature where propositions are rubber-stamped with unanimous votes.
And questions were asked -- for a change!
Tanoury thought his queries about the accountability of the not-for-profit EDGE and whether there was any analysis of what EDGE gets back on its investments were given the short shrift at the committee session, so he raised them again Wednesday at the full board meeting.
Mohawk Valley EDGE President Steven J. DiMeo responded to Tanoury’s queries. DiMeo reviewed the legal formation of EDGE and why two affiliates were set up to support specific projects. He also said the EDGE budget undergoes an outside audit.
It was noted that EDGE officials meet with legislators on a quarterly basis.
Several legislators then spoke up in support of EDGE.
"I think they’re doing a fine job relative to accountability," said Les Porter, R-6, Remsen.
Mr. Tanoury's questions were given the short shrift again . . . or maybe it was a "long shrift" . . .
It's clear that Mr. Tanoury isn't asking about accounting practices . . . It's accountability to the public: What return is the public getting for its substantial investments, both in EDGE and in the projects that EDGE administers?
It sounds like he was given the typical Oneida County response: (1) A lot of irrelevant detail that distracts from the purpose of the questions that were asked, and (2) EDGE supporters cheerleading but providing no substantive information themselves. All talk to give the impression that EDGE is doing a fine job - - BUT NO SUBSTANCE TO ACTUALLY PROVE IT.
Well . . . If EDGE meets quarterly with the legislature and it is doing such a fine job of accountability, why is it that we still don't know what we've invested and what we've gotten in return? Why can't the supporting legislators tell us what we are getting for our bucks?
The question remains unanswered.
Again, keep asking those questions, Larry. It may take awhile, but eventually the vacuous nature of county decision making will be exposed.
More on this from Gear over at the CNY Snakepit.