The Greater Utica Blog
“New York needs to come to the table and they need to do it in a big way,” U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, said. “The governor has committed $500,000? I don’t think that’s near enough.”
Having worked for over 20 years at Griffiss AFB, and having traveled to Wright Patterson AFB many times, I am quite concerned for the future of Rome Lab. The City of Rome and Oneida County are not on a par with the Dayton area population wise or with regard to political clout. WPAFB has been on the hunt to steal the mission from Rome Lab for years. It is only a matter of time until they succeed. Thankfully thus far, the economic impact on the CNY area and compassion has ruled and it has survived along with NE Air Defense Sector HQs and DFAS. The lab at Wright Patterson has the advantage of being located on a very large and active Air Force base. Cuomo might need to up the ante to defend the jobs at Rome Lab, but it will be up to the commission to decide. We all thought that Griffiss was immune to closing too, and they shut down the majority of the base and moved the flying missions and engineering and installation group mission to other locations.
It would be a tragedy to lose Rome Labs, but your assessment, Anonymous, that this area is not on a par with the Dayton Area is realistic. Our leaders have a tough time dealing with reality.What exactly will the $500,000 or more that the politicians propose to throw into this effort buy? More Public Relations? Bribery?It gets sickening that we seem to constantly have to do this sort of thing -- please BRACC, please federal brass, or please politically connected kingmakers in a phony Governor's "contest" that pits one state region against another for state dollars that we all contribute to. It's all the same: We have developed an entire industry locally that produces nothing but lipstick for the pig.We also seem to focus on the airbase in Rome and on certain industry "clusters" while thousands of jobs in a variety of industries have quietly leftGreater Utica.Charity to a beleaguered region has its limits. At some point even government agencies which do not have to turn a profit understand what the private sector learned long ago: New York State - and Upstate and Oneida County in particular - are NOT among the best places to conduct business.It was quite the opposite 40-50 years ago. We as a people have not negatively changed (arguably the people have gotten better with the variety of education institutions now available). Our climate and geography have not changed. But government policies have changed. Upstate's transportation advantage has been "tolled" into a disadvantage. Upstate's abundant hydropower advantage has been put onto a wire and sent Downstate so we now are at an energy disadvantage. State so-called "green" policies like the RGGI "cap-and-trade" scheme have exacerbated the problem. And there is the constant barrage of regulations, fees, taxes, and waste. Locally we have County-cheered and subsidized sprawl to further raise costs for all governmental services... as well as an Albatross of an Airport that is far too large for our population to justify.Enough already.Close the check book. Fire the Economic Development and Planning departments and agencies. Get the government out of people's businesses and private lives.We know what needs to happen: Cut back government so the private sector can grow in its place.A healthy private sector would eliminate the worry over another government installation.
Gee the last time a Cuomo interceded in a BRACC action, NY State lost TWO bases instead of the one that was originally proposed. Just saying.
The money buys consultants who, in turn, sell themselves as having influence on both Air Force officials and BRACC members. The funniest, in a tragic sense, aspect of the losing effort back in the 1990's was that a ton of money was shoveled to Republican consultants close to Boehlert and his hand picked guy from Rome who led the failed effort to "save" the base.Bill Clinton was president.
One is constantly amused to read comments critical of what we are as it relates to political leadership. We vote them into office and tend to keep them there. In that sense we have failed ourselves. Today, the Utica newspaper printed its usual "we can do better by pulling together" editorial citing the success of the Boilermaker and heart walk and run. What the OD never mentions is the brain drain and the fact that characteristics like brain power, innovation, risk capital, creativity and high education level are what elevates areas, not fund raisers and running races.
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