Is Rochester a victim of its own PR?
We felt royally snubbed by the Regional Economic Development Councils and the State of the State gifting of $1 billion to Buffalo.
Ken Warner, who advocates for union jobs, told the Democrat and Chronicle:
“It just seems like Rochester is getting punished for doing a good job,” Warner said. “Not only did we get the booby prize (from the economic development council awards,) we’re getting money we were already getting anyway” for the 390 work.
(I suspected as much about the 390 money in a recent blog post.)
I’ve long felt local leaders inappropriately downplay crises.
When reporters ask Mayor Tom Richards if he’s worried about Kodak going belly up, he says,”I wish them well…we’ll carry on.” That kind of dismissive attitude masks very real consequences for the city if Kodak cannot emerge from bankruptcy in a strong position. The company owns a ton of property, employs thousands of people and is part of the community identity.
Sandy Parker of the Rochester Business Alliance has also downplayed Kodak’s woes, saying her conversations with Perez gave her faith the company will not go bankrupt.
Rochesterians themselves don’t help their cause, tending to ignore the poverty of the inner city. Except when it comes to schools, downtown, and occasionally crime, a lot of people look the other way.
Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy astutely observed in the D&C:
“Rochester is not forgotten. We are not being penalized for our success at all. We are being recognized,” he continued, noting that the same people who touted the jobs report and other good news were among the first to criticize. “We can’t have it both ways.”
We can’t have it both ways. We want our local leaders to be cheerleaders, but we also want them to be honest.