Thursday, December 22, 2011

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Gets Another Big Victory

Settles Yogurt and Sewer Treatment War Between Upstate New York Cities

About the only rising star in the Democratic party these days is recently elected New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Mr. Cuomo is the son of the former Governor, Mario Cuomo, a former Clinton Administration cabinet member, a former in-law to the Kennedy’s and a politician with a reputation as brash and insensitive. Mr. Cuomo won election against an incompetent and bigoted Republican and so has not really been tested.

Now Mr. Cuomo has been tested and he can confidently say he passed the test.  The Governor has settled a dispute between Gloversville and Johnstown, two towns northwest of Albany.  The dispute threatened to disrupt plans of a yogurt company to expand.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was watching TV this week when he spotted a story suggesting that an intercity dispute over a sewer line near a new Wal-Mart was threatening to sink the expansion of a Greek-style yogurt plant in eastern New York.

The core of the dispute was access to a sewage treatment facility.  This is one of those mundane everyday things that local government is involved with, and for the people involved it is a big deal, much like peace in the Mideast is a big deal with the Federal governments of North American and Europe.

as part of the expansion, the company also sought to build a whey pretreatment facility on a parcel of land owned by Johnstown and a neighboring community, Gloversville, next to a wastewater treatment plant they share.

In return for its consent, Gloversville asked Johnstown to change the rules for their jointly run sewer system, so that future commercial development just outside their city, near where the Wal-Mart is being built, could tap into it.

That such an issue took the Governor to settle doesn’t seem right, but that’s life in politically polarized America.

Mr. Cuomo reached the mayor of Gloversville, Dayton J. King, at about 5:15 on Tuesday night.

“He said, ‘I want to talk about yogurt,’ ” Mr. King recalled.
Sarah J. Slingerland, the mayor of Johnstown, was home when the local police department called and said the governor was looking for her.

“He said, ‘It sounds like you’re very close to an agreement,’ and I said yes,” Mayor Slingerland recalled, “and he said, ‘Well, I would really like this, because of the economic growth and jobs.’ ”

Mr. Cuomo also called the head of the yogurt company. “I told him that we would work it out, and pardon any inconvenience, but we would work it out one way or the other; we very much wanted him to stay here and to grow,” the governor said.

So after talking to everyone the dispute was settled, the yogurt company will expand and increase hiring, and best of all, Democrats get a small point in their favor against the charge of being anti-business.

As for the yogurt company, well let’s just hope they are smart enough to keep their processing process separate from the sewer plant process.  That will also make everyone happy.

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