We cannot help but have more than a little doubt regarding the Financial Restructuring Board that was proposed this week for municipalities by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Announced on Tuesday, Cuomo says the board "will bring together state and local officials to help localities make tough decisions and solve this crisis now instead of kicking the can down the road."
But just how many new boards and commissions do we need to save upstate? Many of these proposals, including the commission on government efficiency led by Stan Lundine in 2008 or the Berger Commission on hospitals, are usually window dressing. What results have they brought or forced locally? Hardly nothing.
Why should anyone believe, with the record of past failures, this restructuring board is going to fix more than a century of wrongs by upstate municipalities?
"I see this proposal today as another tool to go into the tool chest for local governments," said Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi. "I like the notion of it because it is voluntary and it presents itself as a viable alternative to a more invasive, control board-type of approach, which should always be done as a last resort by a local government and avoided at any possible cost."