Presentation: Optimism for upstate

While the extremist comments from Gov. Andrew Cuomo have put the Empire State leader under the microscope across the nation, a former Syracuse mayor noted his appreciation on Tuesday in Dunkirk.

Matthew Driscoll, president and chief executive officer of the state’s Environmental Facilities Corporation, gave an overview of Cuomo’s recent budget at the Fredonia State high-tech incubator on Central Avenue. He said residents upstate have reason to believe in Cuomo.

“I just want to say that those of us that call New York state home and upstate New York home, there is one clear distinction I would offer. That is, and I’ve had the privilege to serve under three former governors, … he is the first governor who has truly zeroed in on upstate New York,” Driscoll said. “I mean for the first time we really have a governor who gets it, and who’s really taking this large battleship of New York and turning it.”

December’s announcement of the repowering of NRG Energy in Dunkirk is one example of Cuomo’s commitment. Another, many say, is the Start Up New York initiative that is being led by the college.

All things considered, Western New York looks better today economically than it has in the past 15 years. Still, plenty of work remains.