Friday, January 20, 2006

New York State Screws Rochester, AGAIN! Let's Screw New York State Back!

Why am I surprised that Governor Pataki's budget gives Rochester the shaft? This state has profited for years off of Rochester's homegrown ingenuity without giving much of anything in return. It's a shame that our fair city is being punished for managing its finances at a level superior to any other muncipality in the state. For the first time in its storied history, the Greater Rochester Area is enduring a prolonged economic decline. Population estimates show that Monroe County is hemorraging residents to Florida, Georgia, Texas, and other sunnier economic climes. Now is the time for New York State to step up and give Rochester its fair share of state funds so that we can turn ourselves around.

So what does Pataki do? He continues to fund Buffalo, Syracuse, and Albany at much higher levels than Rochester -- proposing an 11% increase in funds for all cities. How fair is that? But wait, there's more! Pataki proposes fund increases for every urban school district in the state except one. Can you guess which one? That's right! The Rochester City School District! The same district that is facing a potential $20M shortfall next year. Unbelieveable!

The solution is simple: SECESSION. The only way the Rochester/Genesee/Finger Lakes Region is going to survive is to separate ourselves from New York State. You see, the Governor will always come from Downstate and the Assembly will always be controlled by Downstate, thus Upstate will never be able to secure its own future. Downstate politicians could care less if Upstate becomes the new West Virginia. I propose we create the state of Ontario and make Rochester the capital. If the Buffalo, Syracuse, Elmira, Jamestown, Utica, Binghamton, etc. areas want in, so be it.

Why can't Upstate thrive in the current NYC-dominated political environment? Because we are philosophically, emotionally, politically, and economically different. New York City is the capital of the world. They can afford to have the highest taxes in the nation because the people who live there want to live there and nowhere else. Upstate, despite its obvious charms, must compete with every other region of the nation. Realistically, why should any company choose Rochester over Austin, Texas? Both are nice mid-sized cities with high qualities of life. Both are known as centers of education and innovation. But the tax burden in Austin is significantly lower and let's not bring up the weather factor.

So, in closing, as much as I love the Empire State, I love Rochester more.