Regions or State Know Best?

Curious about how a project in your region was “scored” by the state during the 2011 regional economic development council process?  You can see that data here.

Interestingly, some projects that had the support of the regional council leaders received minimal to zero support by the state “scorer’s”.  This “news” is a little disappointing.

First, it seems to me that the purpose of this effort is to highlight the vast differences and needs of the various regions of New York.  As I have stated many times, the needs in Watertown are very different than those on Long Island.  So it would seem that those trusted as leaders of the regional councils would support critical projects to create jobs and spur economic activity that best fit their region.

Now I understand that the state should be a “fail safe” or barometer to some degree in this process, but I am curious to how much the regional leader’s opinion was a factor.  The 80% state -20% regional council split in scoring is a significant lean towards the state. Wasn’t the purpose of this new and innovative process to highly engage stakeholders in the regions, with the thought process that they know best?  I know that critical piece has been a source of my praise.

Either way, there needs to be more of a balance in scoring and I lean to the terrific regional leaders to know best.


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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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