A fellow reporter asked Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy on Thursday about the billion dollars going to Buffalo for economic development. Rochesterians have been quite miffed. Here is his response:
We have some great football games this weekend and at the end of the first quarter you don’t declare a winner. We have, I believe the best governor in the country. We have one fourth of his term done. By my count about $200 million has been earmarked or on its way to Rochester in the last month or so.
Buffalo is the second largest city. Rochester is the third. The governor made a decision that put a stake in the ground. But what has happened in Buffalo, that investment, I would say if it’s as successful as I believe it will be, you’ll see the same things happen in Rochester and Syracuse.
And what I’ve told the governor is there’s this incredible Upstate competition with cities, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse. If we got the $1 billion, Buffalo would be up in arms. So I think you have that competitive issue.
Rochester is not forgotten. If the governor was here speaking, he would tell you how much is passed along and communicated about what goes on here and the needs. But in all honesty, I don’t argue with the decisions that were made. Our Regional Council here did an extraordinary job…They did not win. They did not win the top four, but the scoring was so close, anyone could have won. But there’s four more years…of that money coming.
Duffy was definitely defensive, but not overly so. Apparently, being the third-largest city behind Buffalo matters.
I was a little curious that the governor’s budget called the Buffalo initiative an attempt to form
“innovation clusters.” We have those in Rochester already and they sorely need funding. But it’s fair to say there’s still a lot of time in the Cuomo administration.