Economic development in New York State — a tale of two cities

Among all the public issues discussed and debated on the federal, state and local levels of government, there is major consensus about the importance of economic matters – creating jobs, stimulating the economy. Once you get past those clichés, however, there is no major consensus about what to do about such things or how to measure the benefits of public development projects. Continue reading

Next time, say no to Trump

This a guest post by Steve Banko, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who has also served his country in positions in federal, state and local government.

By Steve Banko

Before anyone gets dizzy taking victory laps regarding the reopening of our government, this would be a good time to recognize the real engine behind the reopening. It was the air traffic controllers who spread the pain of the shutdown to the general public and thus impressed Congress and the White House with the critical need to stop posturing and reopen governmental services. Continue reading

ECC’s finance and management issues lack the transparency required of a public institution

Erie Community College is a public institution with an annual budget of $111 million, 45 percent of which is funded directly by state and county taxpayers. It is a public institution whose administration seems comfortable with talking around funding issues and how the school spends its money.

This blog has posted numerous articles about problems at the College. Last August a series of articles was posted about the financial management of the institution; its contract with Canisius College for dormitory space; and the manner in which the school’s president spends tens of thousands of dollars made available to him in two expense accounts. Continue reading

Chris Collins — right for the wrong reason

As the garbage piles up at national monuments and parks; as TSA agents and other federal security personnel go to work without a paycheck; as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s minions cut favors for their banker friends; Trumpworld spins out of control in all sorts of ways. This is all very unsettling, but probably makes Trump pals in Moscow very happy.

With all that is going on with Trump, it’s not hard to overlook some lesser political issues that are serious, but have been pushed out of the limelight by bigger developments. So that you don’t forget the less shiny objects, Congressman Chris Collins has come to the rescue. Continue reading