Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 22, 2013

Crisis draws in Cuomo|Gov. Cuomo ready to work with NY's troubled cities

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — "He has the skills" to tackle the crisis, Miner said. "If he's going to put people in a room, that's a good thing."

When Miner raised the issue in February, Cuomo's director of operations, Howard Glaser, responded critically on an Albany radio station.

"Syracuse wants somebody else to solve that problem," Glaser said then. "If you're unwilling or unable to solve a problem in fiscal management in a city, there's a mechanism for that: You ask the Legislature to create a financial control board, and the financial control board will solve the problem for you."

Richard Brodsky, a former Democratic assemblyman who is now with the Wagner School at New York University and has been working with local officials, said the rising costs of health care and pensions of public workers is hitting local governments as cities outside New York City are losing population and tax base. Several are on the road to insolvency. Some municipalities in other states have already gone broke.

"There have been a lot of people around the state calling for a broader discussion," Brodsky said. "All of the elbows thrown over the past year will have been worth it if it leads to a discussion. A verbal acknowledgement is good. An actual meeting is better."

Cuomo told public radio's "Capitol Pressroom" that the state can't continue to give cities handouts.

"That does nothing," he said. "I just perpetuates the structural imbalance and it perpetuates the denial of the structural imbalance ... you can't have fewer taxpayers paying for more government."

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