The Regional Economic Councils set up by the Governor have created relationships that didn't exist before and that's always a good thing. It has also forced communities to look at collaborative efforts...All that's fine.
On the negative side, there is a lot of rolling of eyes, even among those participating and among state staffers supporting the effort. It's still a mindset of getting the state to pay for things localities or businesses don't want to pay for.
Presentations this week from ten councils to a panel deciding who has the best plan have attracted some attention, but for most people in the regions, its like this debate over PILOTS and Fort Drum housing...Very much a game for the insiders.
The fundamental truth of economic development is that it is all designed to mask the overall hostile business climate in this state. The rest of us pay so someone else can get a break...That's because often the barriers to entry (such as building housing) is so high because of various regulatory issues.
This housing issue needs to be resolved as rightly or wrongly our fate is linked to Fort Drum and we cannot afford to send the message that there is no room at the Inn, because there are other Inns in other states.
The synergism of a Regional Council might help bring that issue into focus, but make no mistake, many feel the Councils are a goat rope. Don't get me wrong. I am glad to have attended and met new people, but its easy to get caught up in the hype and Powerpoints with these things.
Am I being too candid ?
Watertown Daily Times Regional council presents economic plan to panel of state judges