For Immediate Release
May 19, 2009
For more information, contact
Brockport, NY – Revenues are down. Population is down. Taxes are up. “Something’s Gotta Give.” That was the theme of today’s (Tuesday, May 19) half-day conference featuring regional economic experts discussing opportunities for municipal consolidation and governmental efficiencies, sponsored by The College at Brockport’s Department of Public Administration.
“It’s time for former combatants to retire their swords in pursuit of a noble idea,” said conference panelist, William Johnson, distinguished professor at RIT and former mayor of Rochester. Johnson surprised the audience with the news that both he and the late NYS Republican chairman Stephen J. Minarik III were planning a joint presentation at the conference to discuss common areas of agreement on municipal consolidation issues. Johnson called for a “grass roots” movement to move reform forward. “You can’t leave it to the politicians,” he urged.
Kent Gardner, PhD, president of the Center for Governmental Research, Inc and the singing economist with the Broadway voice, gave the keynote address, “Making the Case for Why Something’s Gotta Give.” Gardner outlined the New York state’s deteriorating fiscal picture, punctuated his talk with a cappella renditions of familiar tunes with lyrics describing the shortcomings of the state’s budget process.
Other speakers included Bruce Fisher, director of the Center for Economics and Policy Studies at the State University of New York College at Buffalo, who urged municipalities to abandon outdated municipal governance for a more regional approach; Ed Doherty, vice president, The Community Foundation (”Metro Police: A Major Solution?”); Charlie Zettek, vice president, Center for Government Research, Inc. (“Examples of Changes from Across NYS”); Paul Haney, Monroe County Legislature; Ralph Esposito, supervisor, Town of Gates; and Sandra Parker, president and CEO, Rochester Business Alliance.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu