The Public Needs Guarantees

Developers, bankers, and SUNY chiefs are all gearing up for the announcement that $500 million of NYS tax dollars will be poured into the Southern Tier to stimulate the economy. The working people are not enthused. Over the past 30 years there have been many hundreds of publically financed schemes that have only lined the pockets of a few while leaving the area an economic disaster region.

Remember the $100 million EIT deal in Endicott that was to “save” 2000 jobs? Only a few weeks after the developers, SUNY people and politicians were on-camera hugging and kissing about this great project, the developers started firing workers. There are now about 350 of those jobs left. There has been no penalty for those paid to maintain the jobs. The politicians never went back in front of the media to explain why workers and the public got royally cheated.

Before any of the $500 million is given away to the chosen few, the public needs guarantees that unless the agreed upon jobs are created, the developers will have to return their grants. If the politicians cannot extract these guarantees in writing, there should be no deals. Who do the politicians work for?

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