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Archive for June 24th, 2012

It’s been a busy few weeks for me, with trips to Rome, Schenectady, Liverpool and back to Schenectady, all in the pursuit of regional affiliation.

In Rome, I participated in a strategic planning session with members of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council (MVREDC). We’ve been focused on reviewing last year’s projects, identifying new scoring criteria and priority projects, and reporting on our progress as a newly formed and amazingly cooperative entity. We’ve all been pleasantly surprised at the willingness of all six counties to work collaboratively toward common goals.

In Schenectady, I was honored to serve as a panelist at Congressman Tonko’s “Mighty Waters” Conference, again, tailored to look at regional commonalities experienced by communities necklaced along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. Two hundred fifty stakeholders from all walks of public and private life gathered at Union College to discuss waterfront development, job creation, environmental issues, educational opportunities, tourism and historic preservation throughout the Capital Region. In a manner that is in keeping with his progressive vision for this area, the Congressman unveiled legislation to create the Hudson-Mohawk River Basin Commission.

The Commission would carry out projects and conduct research on water resources in the basin, which stretches across five states and includes five sub-basins, increasing our understanding of these waterways and the dramatic impact they have on our lives.

The highway soon called me farther westward to Liverpool to enjoy a day with members of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission. “Stretching 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York, the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals are among our nation’s great successes of engineering, vision, hard work, and sacrifice.” Similarly, the Commission works to showcase this tremendous asset and has been instrumental in facilitating tourism, economic development and historic preservation along this spectacular state treasure.


Lastly, I ended up at a meeting in Schenectady’s magnificent City Hall to launch a new partnership: one of New York State’s first landbanks, a collaborative effort between the City of Schenectady, Schenectady County and the City of Amsterdam. We are fortunate that Planning Commission Chairman Bob DiCaprio and URA Chairman Bob Martin have agreed to serve on our city’s behalf. As with the other efforts cited above, this progressive initiative marks a new age of cooperation between communities that had been traditionally separated by geographical and territorial isolationism.

I am profoundly honored to play a role in this emerging regional sensibility and believe strongly that these relationships will change our future in ways we are only beginning to understand.

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