"The Bagg’s Square Cafe was opened last week to great fanfare. The cafe is situated on the first floor of the Cobblestone Building at 421 Broad St. . . . . The building was purchased by Michael Pezzolanella in 2009 for $315,572. At the grand opening, Mayor Roefaro told the Observer Dispatch, “In a bad economy, we’re doing pretty good here in Utica”."GCN alleges:
"Pezzolanella received $100,000 in federal stimulus money to help with the project."WHY would ANYONE get to receive taxpayer money for a personal business?
Doling out government money to a private business without taxpayers getting a good or service of equal market value in return makes the government a partner in competing with the recipient's competition. If the allegation above is accurate, the Baggs Sq. Cafe would have received $100,000 to compete with the Utica Coffee Roasting Co. a short distance away on Baggs. Sq. West. . . . That would not have been the intent . . . but it would be the result.
I don't know the rules on use of Federal Stimulus . . . and I do not have to know them to know that government grants to private businesses is bad policy. The power of government should not be used to give one business person an advantage over another. Doing so discourages others from even venturing into business out of fear that their government will enter the competition against them.
Instead of giving taxpayer money away to individuals or corporations . . . pave Erie Street! It can use it.