Posted at: 03/07/2013 5:20 PM
Updated at: 03/07/2013 6:19 PM
By: Ray Levato
He started off as Rochester's police chief before becoming mayor and now he's lieutenant governor. Bob Duffy said his new job in Albany would help the city of Rochester.
The Rochester Coalition, which includes Mayor Tom Richards and Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, went to Albany Wednesday to lobby for Rochester, but returned, apparently, empty handed.
News10NBC wanted to know with Duffy now in his third year of helping make decisions for the state, has his new position helped the greater Rochester area.
Governor Cuomo said, as a candidate, and as recently as this January here in Rochester, that he told Bob Duffy he could do more for Rochester as lieutenant governor than as mayor. But in the two years since Bob Duffy left city hall for Albany, the city has struggled financially. So what has Bob Duffy done to help Rochester?
Andrew Cuomo said, “You think he's done great things for Rochester? You ain't seen nothing yet.”
To get him to be his lieutenant governor running mate, Duffy said Andrew Cuomo told him.
Bob Duffy said, “I could do more to help our city and cities across the state than I can in my current position.”
But what has Duffy done to help the city where he was once the mayor? News10NBC put that question to Mayor Tom Richards.
Ray Levato said, “Is it time to deliver on that promise?”
Mayor Tom Richards said, “I don't know that I would accept the fact that he hasn't delivered already. One of the things I have noticed, I used to go down there with then Mayor Duffy, the level of reception we get now, and the people we get to meet with, and the attention we get is already significantly different than it was before. He's not in a position to just shower money on the city of Rochester and forget about everybody else. That's just not realistic.”
Levato said, “He himself made the case about the inequities in state aid to Rochester and Buffalo. I'm wondering what tangible things has he done that's going to help this city out of its financial crisis?”
Richards said, “First of all you're right. He made that argument for a long time. But he didn't create the recession that threw us off base. Are we going to get our issue recognized? I don't expect it to be recognized this year and I don't think it's realistic to expect him to do it. But I do want him to do it in the future and I’m sure he'll be helpful.”
News10NBC also put the question to Republican Assemblyman Bill Nojay in Albany. Has Bob Duffy, as lieutenant governor, done anything tangible for the city of Rochester?
Bill Nojay, 133rd NY Assembly District, said, “I'm not sure I could point to anything that Bob Duffy has done to help Rochester’s economy, or frankly, any of upstate New York. Bob Duffy has not been able to change the pattern of this administration of taking care of New York City first, second and third, and the rest of the state is an afterthought.”
The mayor says, last year, the city got what essentially was a $15 million advance in its state aid and that Lt. Governor Duffy was responsible for that. But later, the Senate and Assembly decided to give other cities an advance in their state aid as well. Rochester City Hall says the extra state aid greatly reduced the burden of its budget deficit and prevented big cuts in public safety, library and recreation center programs.
Statement from Gareth Rhodes, Deputy Press Secretary for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
“The same fiscal issues facing Rochester are also facing other upstate cities, and that is why Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy are tackling these problems head-on from Albany. The Cuomo-Duffy administration has done more than any other in recent memory to help local governments across New York, on top of the unprecedented investments made over the past two years to grow the Upstate economy.”
The Cuomo-Duffy administration has delivered for Rochester:
· Tier VI Pension reform passed last year will save Rochester $5 million over 5 years and $300 million over 30 years
· Recognizing that the worst of the crisis is now, the Governor’s stable rate pension option would allow Rochester to realize potentially $21 million of those savings this year, and $75 million over the next five.
· The Governor’s 2012 Budget included $26 million to modernize and rebuild the I-390 Interchange in Rochester – a major economic development project estimated to create more than 600 new jobs
· As a Best Plan Awardee, the Finger Lakes Region was awarded $96.2 Million for 76 Projects in the 2012 REDC process – many projects of which are located in Rochester
You can contact Lt. Governor Bob Duffy at his Albany office:
Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy
Phone: (518) 402-2292