There is a great article this month in Governing Magazine contrasting Niagara Falls, New York with Niagara Falls, Ontario: How Bureaucracy and Bickering Brought Down Niagara Falls. Anyone from New York who has been out that way recently has envied the gleaming high-rise skyline of the Canadian side above its well-manicured parks and gardens, and wondered why the New York side couldn't look even half as good. Even with a world-class tourist attraction AND a casino, the New York side still looks like a dump.
The explanation for the difference, of course, is the way we govern ourselves in this state. The article explains not only the plight of N'Fls, NY, but Utica, NY as well.
“I sometimes get the feeling,” says one Canadian official who spends a lot of time on the New York side, “that the state plan for economic development in the region is to employ people as economic developers. You’ve got all these people doing economic development, but there’s not a lot of actual development.”
That seems to sum things up here, too. We need competent leadership both locally and in Albany, but don't have it.