Sunday, April 08, 2018

What's Next On the Agenda?

Today's Observer Dispatch editorial, "OUR VIEW: ‘Base’ has come a long way since BRACC," repeats an old "feel good" story of MV EDGE bringing economic "growth" to Rome.

Why repeat this now?

Is it to make us feel better that EDGE marketed the land from underneath some 40 businesses, Not-for-Profits, and even Utica's new police garage to a tax-exempt hospital because EDGE's leader deemed Utica's Columbia-Lafayette a "do over" neighborhood?

Maybe it is to make us feel better when one of EDGE's alphabet-soup of "partner" agencies takes these properties by eminent domain -- and EDGE and its partners can again justify their existence by offering to find their victims new homes? 

EDGE has been unaccountable to anyone, yet has such power that it can override local zoning and plans, rearrange streets, and even change a neighborhood's character -- all without public input. The County Legislature and City Council have been mere rubber-stamps to EDGE's machinations.

While contemplating EDGE's "growth" in Rome let's remember that some of it came at Utica's expense. EDGE's stock in trade, after all,  has been to move the economic deck chairs around this region's sinking ship. 

Utica seemed to do better at attracting jobs before EDGE was put there to eliminate the "politics and infighting."

Maybe it is time to get rid of EDGE!


Anonymous said...

I have not read the article but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that there is no discussions of new private sector companies into the area bringing new private sector jobs. I'll also bet there is no comprehensive analysis of how much EDGE has spent sense created in relation to private sector job creation. Finally, the EDGE has been marketing the Marcy site for well over a decade. Is there any chip company in the world who has not heard of it? Yet we keep peddling the same old myths and spending a small fortune chasing wind mills.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that EDGE has been a colossal failure from the time it was created. After the base closed they spent much of their time and resources simply shifting existing businesses from one part of Oneida County to another, sorry but transplanting is not growth. To have the article actually claim a move of the Rome High School into the Griffiss site toward the job count - seriously? How many truly net NEW businesses have come in?

The only major EDGE initiative outside the base job shuffling was the transforming NANO vision in Marcy and it is hard to come up with a more wasteful and pathetic fiasco of spending so much time (over 20 YEARS!!) and money (did we get a final accounting yet?) constantly promising there were major new employers on the way. Even going so far as holding job fairs to build up hopes and then (after the elections) announcing the whole thing had been for nothing. We used to hear that we were “on the short list” and “next in line” for chip developers but nothing much is said anymore, now why is that?

It’s onto the Hospital for Downtown (and no where else!), causing major disruptions for existing businesses while generating busy work for EDGE. St Luke’s remains a low cost a drama free choice but that won’t happen when there is tax money to spend.

The region is STILL dominated by poverty and it will continue until there are major changes in these quasi government groups and what there priorities are.

Anonymous said...

Yep it's the usual propaganda piece which the OD specializes in. Lie & hoodwink the readers into thinking everything is hunky dory! This area is a train wreck while the OD cheerleads for area politicians that have failed. I cancelled my subscription a few months ago because I'm sick of the garbage that the paper peddles to the public.

Ray Jadwick said...

They're not in business to grow MV's economy. Their purpose is to keep MV economic power consolidated in the hands of a select few.

Anonymous said...

It's telling how the editorial writer failed to mention EDGE's role in the chip plant fiasco. Does the OD think the public forgot?

Anonymous said...

There is no real reporting in the OD. The paper simply regurgitates the same old stuff year after year. There is a measurement of EDGE that even the OD should have figured out. What is the population of the area and Rome pre EDGE and post EDGE? With population comes tax base expansion, more wealth and progress. I honestly have a hard time figuring out what the huge EDGE staff does all day. Love to see their calendars.

Anonymous said...

Several comments here identify the real life problem of the area. One, there is no in depth and investigative reporting in the local media. That means that there is no accountability for politicians and groups like EDGE that control public monies. Those monies comprised of federal, state and local tax dollars total in the hundreds of millions over the years related to Griffiss and many other projects. The same people have controlled this dollar flow and live very fat and happy with the status quo. Change is the last thing they want. Finally it is a myth that groups such as EDGE controlled by the business community strive for economic growth. Labor is the chief component of business cost and the last thing existing companies want is labor competition that drives up cost. There, is no incentive for groups like EDGE to produce anything. Here a coalition of long time politicians and the entrenched business establish controls the public monies and that translates into lining their own pockets directly and indirectly. The hospital project is just the latest example of that control.