“I respectfully request $100 million to allow the City to support the private development of a downtown Performing Arts Center.”
That might be the most amazing sentence ever written by a politician.
But Mayor Lovely Warren did indeed ask for the money with a straight face in a February 13 letter to the governor. She also asked for other stuff, including money to repair sidewalks, reorganized the police department, fill in the Inner Loop and assist the Sibley Building project. Her monetary request was far, far greater than the wish list sent to the governor by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Two weeks before Warren wrote her letter, I wrote a blog asking “Why Not Rochester?” The governor had just visited suburban Syracuse, awarding $100 million for a lakefront project. We can’t criticize Rochester for not getting anything and then criticize our leaders for asking.
Yes, Warren’s request was very bold. But we’re talking about a state that was prepared to give Syracuse University $200 million for an athletic stadium before Miner put on the brakes. We’re talking about a state that is giving Buffalo $1 billion, not including the tens of millions being used to renovate Ralph Wilson Stadium.
That fact is, we’d have a new performing arts center on Main Street if our last two mayors cared to advocate for one. If Warren wants a theater at Midtown, she’ll get a theater at Midtown, especially with help from County Executive Maggie Brooks, who said she supports the effort. Getting our state lawmakers behind that vision would help, too. (So far, they most definitely are not.)
Here’s what former Brooks spokesman Noah Lebowitz posted on my Facebook page:
Links of the Day:
– A Cornell professor weighs in on college athletes getting paid. She relates them to medical interns.
– I just do not understand putting $95 million of tax dollars into a Ralph Wilson Stadium renovation while at the same time exploring a new Bills venue.
– See ya suburbs. More people want to live in the city.
– This is hysterical: When your anonymous neighbor makes fun of you via a Wi-Fi name.
Video of the Day: