Monday, May 17, 2010

It IS Fair . . .

Per the OD: Forbes study: Business outlook bleak for Utica area 
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.

“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.”
Agreed, agreed, agreed, agreed and agreed.  But . . .

(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 . . .


swimmy said...

"“There’s too much government regulation, too much red tape and high energy costs,” DiMeo said."

Yet, dimeo just coordinated the creating of a nonprofit organization that will lease lands from SUNY IT and sub-lease it to EDGE to promote (the same lands EDGE has been promoting for the last 2 decades)!

How much more red tape was just created to isolate and conceal EDGE?!

Anonymous said...

One must seriously wonder about the competency of Steve DiMeo, his board of directors and Oneida County which keeps funding EDGE. DiMeo's constand refrain over the years to explain the sorry performance of his organization is the difficulty of doing business in NYState.If one accepts this excuse, we are we spending so much money on DiMeo and the EDGE? You can't have it both ways by complaining on one hand that your handcuffed by the state while taking a pay check to do the very job you're so handicapped to do. The bottum line is that the EDGE does not lead anything very effectively. It simply spends a lot of money doing the same old non-productive things and singing the same old out-dated tunes. The entire approach to business development activities should be revisited,restructured and re-staffed. We can get much more bang for the buck.DiMeo and most of his staff are retreads from Utica development who have little to no insight or track record in attracting new business and jobs. They are overpaid, tired, sloppy and lazy.Our political reprsentatives should be forced by the taxpayer to demand better and to foster long overdo change. As for Mr.Sullivan, he has no qualifications whatsoever to hold his job.

frankly said...

They consider a magazine with a huge reputation in market research... to be doing something unfair in spite of the truths that they reveal...(?!) Yet it's "fair" for Utican apologists (ie parents, politicians, paragovernment organizations, etc) to lie to the younger generations just to keep them there?

When someone points something negative out, it's fair for Uticans to say, "OH, well don't move away because it's like that everywhere else!" ...even though that is a blatant lie?? (just ask all the people that moved away... and those that MOVED HERE for Rome Labs. It's NOT "like this" everywhere else!)

It's fair for Uticans to tell younger people, "NO no no... young people aren't leaving... they're COMING BACK!" even though it's a blatant lie? (In my personal circles, for every young person that "comes back" I know four or five that have left... And eventually the one that "came back" will leave within three years...)

It's fair for Uticans to scream, "It's affordable to live here!" even though people are paid much less here and spend a much higher percentage of their income on monthly expenses? (It's only affordable if you don't care about the quality of life and/or you end up moving in with your parents)

...because that's a very telling indicator as to what Utica-area people think is "fair." Personally I'm surprised people would visit local businesses if this is their image of what "fair" is.

Greens and Beans said...

The responses from our local public officials, to the Forbes’ article are all too typical. They are all too comfortable with placing the blame on the poor business climate on Forbes. They are covering the fact that they have NOT been performing their jobs! They should be reading this blog. For if they were to read this blog they would be impressed on how well the area placed in business poll. In light of all of the business impediments, that the elected officials have allowed to be placed upon the area, it did place 195 out of 200. This rating is 4 places better than most of the well informed residents would place it in.

This is not as pessimistic as it is realistic.

onjeesun said...

My thought's exactly swimmy. Dimeo is complaining about the red tape that he is a part of and contributing to. It's all smoke and mirrors.