Visit: State of county? Not pretty

The Gov. Andrew Cuomo show comes to town today – without the governor.

Sam Hoyt, regional president of the Empire State Development Corp., will be at the Fredonia State incubator in Dunkirk at 4 p.m. to outline some of the State of the State initiatives put forth by Cuomo last month. While he’s here, Hoyt needs to take a dose of reality back to Albany leaders from this region.

Though the “Open for Business” advertising campaign may be cute to outsiders, it is close to insulting to those of us who live here in northern Chautauqua County. With Carriage House and Petri plants in Dunkirk and Silver Creek already in the process of laying off nearly 400 and the NRG Energy Inc. plant still in limbo, Cuomo’s office has provided no guidance or assistance in keeping jobs here.

In addition, the “open for business” sign for the Buffalo “billion-dollar” handout is more money for public and non-profit sectors than boosting the private sector. Do we really need that investment in Western New York?

Take a look on the tax rolls. We have plenty of public and non-profits in this area – that is the segment that does not have to pay property taxes. What we need is private investment, something missing in this region for nearly 30 years that has led to the population exodus.

Hoyt was a gracious guest at the OBSERVER outlining a number of the governor’s objectives one year ago, many of which we agreed with. But things have not taken a turn for the better here – despite the cute commercials.

Job losses and factory downsizing are just the opposite. It is not a pretty picture.