• The Rochesterian in Your Inbox:

    Join 642 other subscribers

Governor Andrew Cuomo told Syracuse it won’t get help from the state unless it comes up with a viable plan to become economically sustainable. The mayor has been complaining about aging infrastructure, including water mains that burst on a regular basis.

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports Cuomo said:

“Show us how you become economically stronger and create jobs. Then you fix your own pipes.”

cuomoCuomo needs to take a lesson in history.

He seems to think that cities across the country are to blame for the fact people and businesses fled.

He discounts the invention of the automobile that allowed people live farther away from their jobs.

He doesn’t appear to know about the massive amounts of state and federal dollars that went into building the roads and bridges that enabled people to leave the cities built by their forefathers.

He doesn’t recall the tax breaks and grants lavished upon companies that long ago left cities or didn’t consider moving into cities at all.

He needs to look up the state laws that forbade annexation and set strict boundaries for municipalities.

He forgets state policies that created the Big 5 school districts and made them dependent on the state.

He didn’t notice cities get varying amounts of state aid and only one city – Rochester – is forced to pay its school district $119 million every year.

He didn’t read the Morin-Ryan agreement that gave Rochester a portion of sales tax revenue, because the county recognized it needed a thriving, surviving city.

He glossed over giving Buffalo $1 billion in economic development aid, citing that city’s dire need. Meanwhile, the rest of Upstate must compete for the cash.

He didn’t mention giving the Tappan Zee Bridge hundreds of millions of dollars, even as he’s telling Syracuse to fix its own pipes.

Governor, cities didn’t put themselves in the position of having severe structural imbalances. Neither did their school districts. Years and years of policies created this mess. You want businesses and people to come back to cities? Make sure their pipes are working.


Links of the Day:


– New York State health officials wouldn’t give the D&C an interview about the importance of vaccinations.

– The comptroller released a highly critical audit of Empire State Development. There’s little accountability and a whole lot of highly-paid managers.

– Former state senator George Maziarz ordered his staff to destroy records, as he feared Preet Bahrara.

– Gambling revenue is down in New York, but let’s build more casinos!

Frontier plans to buy a big chunk of Verizon landlines.

Science denialism has consequences.

14 Responses to Fix Your Own Pipes?!

  1. I don’t know why anyone listens to him anymore. He doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. He throws $140 million in public money at the corporations that pad his campaign accounts so they don’t have to pay state taxes with his “New New York” re-election ads. He gives $1 billion to Buffalo (which did need help) but was arguably the poster child for the conditions he describes in Syracuse. Buffalo was one of the worst Rust Belt cities in the country; it lost half its population from 1950-2010. And despite the good things there (and in Rochester) it is confined to one corner of the city, with affluent white hipsters moving in. He is a governor of the 1% and the low-information voter. And be advised, I’m not as liberal as people might think. I support people, not corporations.

  2. February 5, 2015 at 6:40 pm Christopher J. Wilmot responds:

    Cuomo is a typical example of New York City / Downstate arrogance. Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, etc., can do very little on their own: Most upstate cities are tapped, and have maxed out potential tax revenue from a still declining urban tax base. Solution? One is for counties to share more of their tax revenue with failing upstate cities. Some (few) realize that a figurative ‘donut’ is not an economically viable civic model for NY State metro areas. Prosperous suburbs surrounding a non-viable aging city (i.e. the empty middle of a donut) hasn’t worked, and is a prescription for complete uban failure. Thank you.

    Christopher J. Wilmot
    Pittsford, NY

  3. February 5, 2015 at 7:40 pm Brian Kane responds:

    I seem to remember that the Syracuse mayor pissed off the governor last year. Maybe this is payback. It doesn’t matter, since his policies are largely bankrupt. I also suspect that, since Sheldon Silver is gone, and Heatie is just a “nice guy”, that the governor will try to strong arm the legislature to implement his policies, whether they make sense or not.

  4. What a surprise….cities want the State to give them more. The State is now refusing. So the suggested solution is for the counties to give the city more. Here is my solution…..cities need to live within their means. Don’t expect anyone else to provide you with revenue. What does this mean? Obviously, a complete mindset change. If there is no revenue, there is no payouts. Should it be cut to services…..I say no. Workers get paid first. What is left? Is it welfare and other assistance programs that are left with no money? If it is, so be it. Little by little, the people who rely on assistance will move to other areas that offer assistance. People who come HERE just for the lucrative handouts will no longer come. Those that stay will need to work to be able to survive. The area will be stronger economically and socially. As it is now, there is no positive future here. Cuomo is clueless. He is a NY politician. His concern is to get reelected and NOT to help the State or upstate cities to prosper. Get over the whining about his comments. Whining accomplishes nothing.

  5. February 5, 2015 at 8:33 pm Orielly responds:

    Let me see
    20M to fill in the Inner loop
    100M at Charlotte to build a marina and then turn the rest of the area over to a private developer
    200M to bring in out of ROCH developers and restaurants to build the HIGH Falls which is an absolute failure
    200M for the fast Ferry
    8yrs running a city owned restaurant in Charlotte competing with private business owners in the area – the maître d’ making 250K a year.
    Turning over 1000s of acres that were taxable to the UR who took the land off the tax rolls and has the land for free.
    This all just over the last 10 or so years….
    AND ITS NOT THE City of Roch fault for their poor financial state? Who’s fault is is it then, THE RACISTS in SPENCERPORT?

    The city and RCSD has the party in charge THEY, the people of the city VOTED FOR. The same single party for DECADES. The failures are their own.. Stop blaming people who moved to the BURBS for better schools, homes, bigger yards, safer areas, etc. Since when, is it the fault of people seeking a better way of life in the burbs to blame for the cities poor financial shape and mis-management? The city and its voters need to take responsibly for its own failures.

  6. First of all Orielly, the city is not in “poor” financial state.
    Secondly, High Falls failed as an entertainment district, but it is successful as a commercial sector with many offices and people living there. Without that investment to clean it up do you think there would be people living there, a brand new apartment complex and companies moving into those rennovated buildings?

    High Falls is NOT a failure if you actually look at the whole picture and not just blinders.

    20 M to fill the inner loop will be far less than 50 million to repair bridges.

    UofR has done great things with it’s “free” land. And again, there are many new businesses over there besides just the college town. They pay taxes and provide jobs.

    The Fast Ferry is such old news. How long are we going to rehash that same tired argument over and over and over again and compare it to irrelevant examples.

    I wish people would actually look at the problems in the city instead of pointing to the successes and trying to find every irrelevant nugget to try and paint the city with a bad brush.

    • February 6, 2015 at 1:25 pm Orielly responds:

      “First of all the city is not in “poor” financial state. ” Thats not what we hear almost weekly and thats not what Ms Barhnart says here in the article. But hey if you don’t need County tax revenue why then is the city always asking for it?

      “Secondly, High Falls failed as an entertainment district, but it is successful as a commercial sector with many offices and people living there. Without that investment to clean it up do you think there would be people living there, a brand new apartment complex and companies moving into those renovated buildings? ”
      NO but that was part of the RE_DO to cover up for the mistake of the HIGH falls. THink if they didn’t have to RE DO … they would have re-invested in the area? And did we really need more OFFICE SPACE DT? No, there is plenty of empty office buildings downtown. … WE as taxpayers didn’t need to build more .. and why is GOVT. COMPETING again with private sector office building owners?

      “High Falls is NOT a failure if you actually look at the whole picture and not just blinders”
      TELL that to the restaurant and bar owners who lost a lot of money and their business trying to make it work there. .. Who’s got the blinders on ? OR tell that to the EAST END bar owners who the city tried to drive out of business with the High Falls.

      20 M to fill the inner loop will be far less than 50 million to repair bridges. Nice words but PROVE IT. An expressway bridge complete tear down and rebuild costs around 3M. At 50M thats about 16 bridges .. I think they your claim “BS”

      “UofR has done great things with it’s “free” land. And again, there are many new businesses over there besides just the college town. They pay taxes and provide jobs.”

      College Town pays no taxes on property. New business on the UR land pay no property tax. THERE is no question what so ever that the give away to the UR Of land cost the city property tax revenue. There is no other way to look at it. .. .if you are logically reasonable vs a city cheerleader.

      The problems in the city are easy to see. Most would have a more sympathetic ear for the problems if there were actually a two party system running the city but instead today there is a rubber stamp single party system. And who voted for that? The City voter. They have the city and schools they voted for.

  7. When I talk about “one corner of the city,” I mean the Southeast Quadrant, which to many people (*cough* Mary Anna Towler *cough*) IS “the city”. Most (not all) but most of the “growth” we are seeing is confined to there and Downtown. There are small pockets of development elsewhere but the majority of it is concentrated on the affluent, upper-income white people who live in the Southeast. If you go two miles from East Avenue to JOSANA, you’re in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the nation. I know a lot of people would rather not talk about it (I give major props to Rachel for NOT being one of them) but we need to get a handle on that or all the “growth” in the Southeast section won’t mean a damn if the rest of the city is dying. I know many people who “love” living in “Rochester” for all the attractions it has. But they don’t actually live in Rochester. They live in Chili or Fairport or Brighton. They come down to the city to the R.P.O. or GEVA once a month, have coffee at SPoT and get on 490 to the heck out of Dodge and back home to the leafy ‘burbs ASAP. That doesn’t do much to help lift the impoverished areas out. It’s the Smugtown elite I detest not the people in the city and not the city itself. I don’t like people who complain that I’m “only” seeing the negative. Not at all. There’s a lot I love about Rochester. As a well-educated relatively affluent 20-something, I could afford to move elsewhere. I love the underappreciated progressive history of Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and Emma Goldman, the coffee shops, the neighborhoods, the (relative to Boston or NY) cost of living, the commute (when it isn’t snowing to beat the band), the theater and music available for little or nothing. I CHOOSE to stay here and try to make this city a better place to live, work and play. But it is very, very hard to do that if a lot of the people who have the power to move things along, either use old methods that don’t work anymore or don’t even see that there is a problem. Whenever someone mentions negative things about Rochester to white, affluent well-educated suburbanites, they get defensive and hostile and try cutting me off at the pass. But I don’t really care all that much and respond in kind. And bringing up the Fast Ferry and other failed projects, is because of the MONEY that was spent on them. We are talking hundreds of millions of dollars, which we no longer have to use to improve the city, to give to the City School District so we don’t need to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Once the city forks over the $119 million to Adam Urbanski at gunpoint that they are required to by state law, then pay their pension obligations, there’s no more money from the property tax levy. Now you tell me where the devil they are supposed to get the money to pay for payroll, public works, etc.? That’s why these grand, silver bullet, one-shot (failed) multi-million dollar projects matter so much. Those who don’t remember the past (Rochester) are doomed to repeat them (ad nauesum).

  8. February 6, 2015 at 8:36 am Monkeytoe responds:

    Where to start?

    You complain that years of policies “created the mess” (of course, none of the policies the responsibility of the Cities themselves)? Yet you are a liberal who supports big gov’t and big gov’t interfering with every aspect of our lives? How do you not see the cognitive dissonance?

    Why do liberals believe Cities have to be saved? Cities (at least the kind we are talking about) only came about because people needed to live close to work, the river (for export/import and to power mills). The industrial revolution created cities.

    But, their time is past. Cities serve no real purpose anymore, except in the mind if liberals who believe that “urban” means “sophisticated”.

    All of the various things you cite as being responsible for a City’s demise are things liberals loved and cheered. Trust a liberal not to understand consequences from their policies.

    I don’t like Cuomo, but he is correct that if Syracuse cannot fix its own pipes, why should the rest of us pay to fix them?

    As far as Rochester – Greater Monroe County would thrive and survive just fine without a “thriving city”. In fact, we have been doing so for 20+ years. The City does not create wealth.

    Cities everywhere in America represent the failures of liberalism. Overpaying gov’t workers in both salaries and benefits, which lead to bankruptcy. Idiotic schemes to transfer wealth. Terrible school systems. Over-regulation and taxes that chase away business.

    Does anyone really believe Rochester is ever going to fix its problems? Under the stewardship of Lovely Warren? Or the RCSD fix its problems? Who leads that – Van White? too funny.

    but, cry about not getting enough state money. I’m sure more money will solve the problem. That’s what a good liberal always thinks.

  9. Everyone loves talking about paying your own way, but neglects to look at how suburban sprawl was subsidized on a state and federal level. So it’s fun to bash the city asking for money for infrastructure, but if the state and feds didn’t subsidize the road, sewer, water, etc in the ex-burbs you wouldn’t be able to afford that house or that business couldn’t afford to move out to the suburban business park. So if we want to have an honest discussion about state money and paying your own way lets actually have it.

    The cities are always tasked with educating some of the toughest students in the state, english second language and/or impoverished students. Thanks to some creative zoning and other means of keeping out the poor, the cities get to deal with that burden while the towns sit back with the easy students and ridicule.

    Don’t lump me in with the liberals either, I’m highly critical of local government, but no matter how hard I try at the ballot box I can’t seem to get change. Not to mention the Republican party won’t even run candidates, so what am I supposed to do? I couldn’t vote for another party if I wanted too.

  10. Oh good heavens, of course, all the problems are blamed on government policies and government spending. Next time your car gets stuck in a pothole, feel free to get the asphalt out and fix it yourself. No? Then stop complaining about all government spending. I don’t like tax breaks to big corporations, which is neoliberal, not “liberalism”. I support people working together to help each other, together. I don’t support enormous bureaucracy because they don’t usually solve anything except giving the bureaucrats a nice six-figure salary. This is what we have in City government and in the City School District especially. “Conservatives” today are not especially conservative. I am probably actually MORE conservative than many so-called “conservatives” today. I want efficient government but without government support for infrastructure, meal programs, etc. many, many people would have no where else to go. Private non-profit and for-profit groups can’t provide everything people need. Only the government can provide us fire and police services (or else we have competing groups that fight each other, not the fire), schools, fix roads and bridges, etc. Every attempt at privatization over the last forty years has resulted in higher prices for consumers, higher profits for the top executives who hardly do anything worth their profits and less services for the people. Cuomo is playing politics with Syracuse’s infrastructure problems b/c Mayor Miner (who was his handpicked co-chair of the state party) voiced skepticism of his “pension smoothing” plan, which counted on unsubstantiated projected future “savings” to work. No one voices opposition to El Duce Cuomo with impunity and gets away with it.

    • “No one voices opposition to El Duce Cuomo with impunity and gets away with it.”……this sums up the Syracuse infrastructure issue. This also reminds me of The Sheldon Silver issue. It is interesting that only when he was gone did the politicians voice their support for needed changes in the way the Speaker position operates. Why didn’t they do this before? Well, if my memory serves me, there was a push a few years ago. It failed, and all the politicians who supported this change of leadership were eventually banished from leadership positions and / or now supported for reelection by their party. I laugh at the praise given in the D&C and others for the leadership of Joe Morelle. Just a week ago, he was Silver’s biggest supporter. Now he is singing a different tune on reforms. Can he be any more of a slime ball? Can the news reporters be any more of cheerleaders instead of reporters? The point being and the question EVERYONE, including the press, should be asking is “how are we condoning and nominating and reelecting Andrew Cuomo? He is a bully through and through. And the press knows it!

  11. February 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm Anti-Wilmot responds:

    GREAT to hear from Chris Wilmot!!! Hey, Chris- if you’re so concerned about the financial problems of the city of Rochester, I’ll just bet you were so angered by Wilmorite skipping out on almost $20 million in taxes owed to that very city! How’s Pittsford living treating ya, Chris? Hey, feel free to give the city of Rochester any extra cash you happen to have lying around!

    Also- love when the Liberals always bring up “the roads” as a defense of the “necessity” of government! Hilarious! Um, have you seen the condition of the roads around here? I’d describe them as “poorly maintained” at best! How about the thruway which was supposedly paid off years ago but they still collect tolls for? The government can’t even manage to keep it open when it snows! Yep, they’re really “necessary!”

    oreilly- I enjoy your replies. Always just common sense and facts. That’s why the Liberals who post here attack you. They HATE facts and common sense. Oh, and feel free to KEEP bringing up the fast ferry. Liberals may think it’s all “in the past” because it’s an embarrassment for them. But we’re still paying for the damn thing so as far as I’m concerned- it’s still VERY relevant!

    Thanks for reading, from a Libertarian who has lived in the city for almost 20 years now and watched it decline steadily from a front row seat!

  12. February 7, 2015 at 1:43 pm Orielly responds:

    The Fast Ferry is the perfect example of a one party system. No opposing viewpoint expressed or even heard in the City. IT had no business case and the local PRESS at the D&C, in close relationships with a Black minority DEM Mayor did no “watchdog” reporting and expose that the Ferry would never, could never work.

    Urban sprawl? During the 50s and 60s Rochester along with the rest of the country was booming. Kodak was expanding and developing new businesses, Xerox started and had meteoric growth, and the expanding auto industry had RPD and Delco growing as well. Tons of good well paid jobs. SO just where were these people supposed to move? There was no more room in the city. And the market demanded bigger homes, attached two car garages, big yards for the children of the post war baby boom. The burbs grew and that growth was funded by bigger more expensive (higher taxed homes) along with the corresponding Burb Malls. Those developers commercial and residential along with the increased tax base funded the development. THe concept that the city funded that infrastructure increase is factless.

    Rochester could only be so luck as to experience that growth and Urban sprawl again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *