The Utica metropolitan area finished 195 out of 200 sites.Look at the bright side: At least Utica is still being ranked . . . for now.
“I don’t believe that it’s right or fair for a magazine … to include a community like Utica in some sort of list based on hypothetical, arbitrary figures they’ve collected,” Utica Community Revitalization Director Robert Sullivan said.
Of course, it IS fair. Everyone considering a move to someplace new will judge their move using criteria that are somewhat subjectively chosen or are subjective in and of themselves. That's life. There is no reason to believe that Forbes has an axe to grind with the Utica-Rome Metro Area (the population quoted makes clear that it is Oneida and Herkimer Counties including Utica, Rome, New Hartford, Whitestown, southern Herkimer villages, etc combined that are being ranked). Utica-Rome is being judged by the same criteria as every place else that is ranked. Unfortunately, we are practically at the bottom.
Sullivan said many of the region’s issues in attracting businesses are statewide — a view shared by Mohawk Valley EDGE President Steven DiMeo.Agreed, agreed, agreed, agreed and agreed. But . . .
“There’s too much government regulation, too much red tape and high energy costs,” DiMeo said. “Add to that the lack of stability from the state governor standpoint, which has impacts on the decision-making process for businesses.”
(1) What have local officials done to control those things that are within their ability to control?
(2) What have local officials done to get the state to change those policies that place us at a competitive disadvantage?
I have yet to hear local officials talk seriously of merger of Utica, its suburbs, and all Utica-centric authorities and services. These entities are inextricably bound to each other by infrastructure, geographic proximity, and a common marketplace. . . but they all move in their own directions with one adversely affecting the other. They are also so small that none can afford competent direction. It is bad government . . . and it is expensive, redundant government. No one wants to give up their turf. . As a result, outsiders don't come here because they don't want to be bothered with the cost, incompetence, and multiple fiefdoms. (The same can be said for the Rome area and for the southern Herkimer County villages).
As far as the State is concerned, where are the coalitions of Upstate representatives in the Assembly or Senate? And where are the other local officials? Not a peep out of them, e.g., when the tolls were continued on the Thruway long after the road was paid off. Not a peep when tolls have been increased on multiple occasions. Not a peep when tolls were shifted to maintain I-84 downstate, which is a free expressway. It seems we Upstaters are plagued with representative that place their own interests above their constituents.
While Upstate may not have the votes, reason, when marshaled and clear, can be a powerful persuader. . . but there is no reason.
Here is the Report on Utica from Forbes.
This is only the latest wake-up call of many. It's time to stop hitting the "snooze" button . . .