FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kingston, New York – April 16, 2011
My two potential democratic opponents have been namedropping and debating over who has the better campaign manager. I doubt highly that this election will be decided by the notoriety of anyone’s campaign manager. Rather, it is the strength of the plans and proposals of each candidate that will decide the matter.
When I announced my candidacy, I promised to produce details throughout the campaign of my comprehensive plan for improving economic development, spending and tax reduction, and quality of life in the City of Kingston. With that in mind, I am offering the first part of my plan.
For years, we have dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the city’s Economic Development Department. In the most recent budget, the total expenditures for this department totaled nearly two hundred thousand ($200,000.00) dollars. As is obvious, there has been precious little economic development in our city. Certainly, the money we have spent, which exceeds one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars in the last six or seven years, has not been fruitful.
Therefore, I propose that the Economic Development Office be eliminated and replaced with two more positive and fruitful ideas. First, a small portion of the funding from this department should be used to create a grant writing office. There are numerous state and federal grants available especially in the areas of law enforcement and fire fighting. We need to pursue these grants aggressively. To fund this office would require only about ¼ of the current funding. The balance could be applied to tax reduction.
The second thing that should replace the Economic Development Office is an Economic Recovery Team made up of Kingstonians with expertise in business, law, real estate, architecture, and other areas of importance to economic development. For years, the city has hired consultants from outside our city. I believe that Kingstonians have the ability to solve the problems facing Kingston. By creating this group of civic-minded volunteers and allowing them to study the problems facing our local economy, we can use the combined brain power of our city to create solutions and new ideas to unleash Kingston’s true economic potential.
Kingston created a similar team to deal with housing issues. That team offered several valuable proposals that have been implemented by the city and proven quite successful.
This first part of my comprehensive plan will save a large amount of taxpayer money, allow us to tap into other resources and take the burden off our local property taxes, and will provide for new and innovative economic ideas.