Cazenovia As members of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet made their way across New York presenting the 2012-13 budget and reform messages on Feb. 3, former Syracuse Mayor and current President of the Environmental Facilities Corporation Matt Driscoll visited the Cazenovia Public Library. He spoke to a crowd of more than 20 area residents, and advocated for Cuomo’s $132.5 billion proposed budget.
“What we are trying to do is look at the fiscal side of the state government – and how we will get ourselves back on track – but the operational side as well,” Driscoll said. “It really is about a pro-economic growth strategy and basing it on fiscal discipline reform and more on an entrepreneurial spirit in state government.”
Also in attendance were many local officials whom Driscoll addressed during his speech, including Assemblyman Bill Magee, Nelson Town Supervisor Roger Bradstreet, Cazenovia Village Mayor Kurt Wheeler, Cazenovia Central School District Superintendent Bob Dubik and Madison County Tourism Executive Director Jim Walter.
Driscoll presented on five areas of focus for the state administration, including economic development, mandate relief, education and the reimagining of the government. Eight other cabinet members delivered similar speeches around the state last Friday, from the North Country to New York City.
Hoping to spur economic development, Cuomo has discussed the addition of a new convention center at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, the easing of current gaming regulations, the repair and improvement of NYS infrastructure as well as the development of an “energy highway” through the state – hoping to evenly distribute available energy resources.
The government’s plan to embrace mandate relief includes a five-year map aimed at decreasing the cost of the pension system, while leaving current union members and employees unaffected. Driscoll said the administration hopes to put policies in place soon, estimating a 185 percent increase in pension costs from 2009 to 2015.