November 12, 2010

Onondaga County well represented in Cuomo's transition

Seems like we’re going to have a voice in the formation of the Cuomo administration, which is a very good thing. 

Several locals, including County Executive Joanie Mahoney, Common Council President Van Robinson, businessman and former state Republican Chair J Patrick Barrett, and economic development promoter Rob Simpson, head of CenterState C.E.O. (the organization formed when the Chamber of Commerce and Metropolitan Development Association merged) were chosen to help with the transition itself (Mahoney is one of the co-chairs), the Committee of Economic and Fiscal Advisors (Barrett) or the Committee on Economic Development and Labor (Robinson and Simpson). 

There are other solid representatives of Central and Upstate NY, including Danny Wegman, Buffalo mayor Byron Brown, and of course Lt. Governor-elect Robert Duffy, who’s currently mayor of Rochester.  I can’t remember for sure who was on Steamroller Spitzer’s team, and of course our lame duck Accidental Governor David Paterson didn’t really transition so much as he had his feet pressed into the fire -- but I suspect our neck of the woods hasn't been this well represented in previous transitions in quite some time.  

The teams are a mix of Dems and Reps, government and private sector, union and business, and include regional, ethnic and gender diversity. I would have preferred not to see the ever-colorful Ruben Diaz - I'm not sure what he really brings to the table - but in the overall scheme of things, it looks like a reasonable team.  After all, the Reverend Al was complaining about it before it was even announced – so it can’t be all bad.  

And to those who complain that Joanie Mahoney is abandoning the Republican Party or trying to feather her own nest,  you're missing the point, and the benefit, of having her involved.  We need a voice – any strong voice – that can have an impact on reducing the burden that state government places on local governments. We need an advocate for bipartisan collaboration and cooperation to help set the tone for the new administration. Heaven knows we’re not getting it from Senators DeFrancisco and Valesky or the rest of the local legislative contingent.

We’ve got some great representation with the folks Cuomo selected; now it’s up to them to rise to the occasion and take advantage of the opportunity to make a difference in how the new administration governs us for the next four years.