Thursday
July 28, 2011

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Regional priorities key to success for Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council


Duffy detailed the Economic Development Council program to about
200 people at SUNY New Paltz


NEW PALTZ – “A regional approach to economic development,” is how Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy defines the network of 10 Regional Economic Development Councils, covering New York State.  Duffy, with several state, county and local lawmakers, formally launched The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Wednesday at a New Paltz event attended by about 200 people.

The Mid-Hudson council will coordinate the economic development of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.

Duffy said it is about changing direction in moving regional economic development forward.

“Is no longer having people in the Mid-Hudson region, or anywhere around the state, have to sit there and take a top-down approach to economic development,” he said. “It’s no longer Albany telling you want to do. It’s no longer New York City telling you what to do. It’s having each individual region … 10 of those right now … develop a team that ends up identifying your priorities, identifying your projects which are your priorities.”

It’s a work in progress, already, said Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Jonathan Rouis, a Democrat, whose county faces perhaps the most serious challenges of any of the counties in the region.

“I’ve worked very closely with the county executives in the counties that are part of this region, and I feel that we can come together and put a plan together and a set of priorities that’s going to help Sullivan County and the whole region to grow,” Rouis said.

Republican Assemblyman Marcus Molinaro is a former Dutchess County legislator, who wants to come back, as county executive, if he wins the November election.  Molinaro liked Duffy’s resolve to end ‘top down’ economic development.

“Anything that can be done to reorganize the way in which state government deals with local decision-makers when it comes to economic development is of benefit, but overall, our economic conditions extend beyond municipal boundaries,” Molinaro said. “So, we have a responsibility to work collaboratively and then get state government working in a concerted effort so we can be as competitive as we can.”

That’s a key point, noted by several, including Duffy, and Republican State Senator William Larkin who introduced him to the crowd.  Both said it is time for New York State to stop losing jobs to other states. 

“I’m extremely excited to have this regional council located right here at SUNY New Paltz”, proclaimed Ulster County Executive Michael Hein.  “We think that gives us an important part of this and an understanding of how important Ulster County is to our region.”

Marist College President Dennis Murray and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. President Dr. Leonard Schleifer would be co-chairs of the Mid-Hudson REDC, which will be based at SUNY New Paltz. 

Click here for a full list of Mid-Hudson Council members


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