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Elected officials did not do enough

January 13, 2013

By BARBARA BINKIWITZ So much for elected officials working for the people! Many letters were sent in the past few months to elected officials as rumors of Carriage House closing circulated....

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Jan-13-13 9:06 AM

Our elected officials are more concerned about the waterfront and keeping the Bills than anything else.The demise of WNY is well under way. These closings just help push it along. In the western US we have ghost towns. we will have them here too ! Albany must change and that does not seem likely.

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Jan-13-13 9:28 AM

Albany must change and workers should have thought about situations and demands before digging in their heels. They are saying ok I can't win and you are leaving so wait let's talk. Now you know how that works.

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Jan-13-13 11:01 AM

We should have showered these companies with tax breaks and outright cash bonuses, no strings attached of course, in order to try to keep these jobs in the area. It might not have worked, they probably would have skipped town with the cash, but it might have been worth the effort.

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Jan-13-13 11:24 AM

You should already know this, but I'll say it anyway: NEW YORK STATE HATES INDUSTRY, PERIOD. It, and its residents think that any business operating inside it's borders stands to make a dollar more than them, and as a typical reaction, the NIMBY crowd and the simply jealous, along with the greedy, tax-hungry government react as if it is their own private money tree. Ironically, much of the time, nobody waters the tree and it dies. Sometimes, the tree is much like a cactus, in that even in an environment as harsh as this, it still finds a way to continue. We should be thankful elected officials didn't do more than they did, since their efforts aim squarely at keeping entrepreneurial efforts at bay. ...unless it's a union shop, then they help the union ruin the tree from the inside out.

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Jan-13-13 11:45 AM

Proud is partially correct; if the County/Edwards hasn't done so, they/he needs to proactively draw up a list of all firms in this county and create a Most-Favored-nations (MFNs) list. (btw -- big corporations do this all the time with both partners, vendors and customers...) It doesnt have to include all firms, just those which have the greatest economic impact to the county. Then, look at county/city/townships the Costs of Doing Business for each of these firms and create/force special tax breaks or pricing (ie, water, sewage, etc) for each. Obviously, review the MFNs eveyr year, when the MFNs create the upcoming fiscal budgets.

Maybe this proactive approach won't stop all these MFN firms from leaving -- as with Ralcorp, there are other bigger drivers to relocating production and facilities -- but at least, it shows the voters and business that this ocunty is very willing to partner with them.

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Jan-13-13 11:59 AM

And as usual, commentor and localresident use the issue to bash workers and unions, and like the politicians they routinely vote for, they ignore or even assist the real culprits. And then, amazingly enough, whine about nothing changing or getting done. No, for that to happen someone would actually have to address the real issues, or at least have a small idea what those issues are.

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Jan-13-13 12:21 PM

Agree with Steiner and Proud, Albany must change and giving industry/business preferred treatment is a must. In the city where I live it is standard operating procedure, and it works. Dcron's idea is most proactive, and MFN status given to most productive companies in WNY/Chaut Cnty with an annual, or even bi-annual, check-in between politicians and company reps is a strong suggestion. It gives the company positive reinforcement and the politicians something productive to do that could actually make a difference. In addition, with Steiner and Dcron acting as microcosms of opposing political factions locally, and actually agreeing, gives the idea a real chance in this area. Not only can it stop the bleeding, it can heal and perhaps make the area healthy again.

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Jan-13-13 12:41 PM

Christopher, here are the issues dragging NY down a bottomless pit:

Unreasonably large amounts of tax monies going to welfare programs (the highest number of programs in the country). Tax rates (yes they do matter, especially to small business) that are the highest in the country. Petty jealousy and/or fear of change from residents. "OMG, they want to tear down some long-unused grain elevators and put up a new building! That's a LANDMARK! Stop them!". And, yes, unions do factor in, because they do nothing but cost money. Example?: NYS Thruway Authority and county road crews themselves (why are they so afraid of automated toll booths to hand out tickets?). One of the best examples is Dunkirk's excuse for road crew. Add to that the got*****toll booths themselves. You know, the ones that aren't even supposed to be here anymore? High taxes on gasoline, property, etc.

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Jan-13-13 1:45 PM

In the final analysis the city and county offer a hostile business environment with excessive taxes, powerful unions and enough reduntant government to choke any business to death. Fat and lazy politicians sit back collecting their hefty salaries and benefits and blame Albany for all our grief. There is only one day they really care about the people and that is election day. Hey, look at the bright side - we have music on the pier!!!!!!!

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Jan-14-13 5:10 PM

Phil, when I was a kid I always rode my bike "down to the dock." When did it become a pier?

Man, oh man, don't many of us remember the days when all the fishing boats would pull in, and a few minutes later you could go to any reataurant in the 1st or 4th wards for a perch fish fry?

The best!

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Jan-17-13 9:21 AM

Let's face it our elected officials have to coddle the unions because the union members will vote for them . After the candidate is elected he will back off from any confrontation with the union because of their support. Also, the city officials have no opposition from the taxpayer. They do what they want and the taxpayer just accepts it. Was there any opposition from the union when the memorial park upgrade was done with union help. No. And remember this the union employee that did this work did not have this type work in his job description. Only because of the money he was paid was there no backlash. yes it all boils down to money and keeping the union happy. Heaven forbid a union employee files a grievance. If he does the city will do whatever it takes to appease the grievant before it goes to arbitration. That would make work for the city attorney and heavens we can't have that.

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