My priorities are your priorities
- Advancing Onondaga growth and leading progress
- Promoting jobs and economic development
- Supporting agriculture and our farmers
- Preserving good healthcare
- Protecting Lake Onondaga and the Skaneateles & Otisco Lake watersheds
- Addressing local infrastructure, I-81 and traffic issues
- Reclaiming our civic pride as a high-energy, creative, can-do community
- Restoring leadership accountability to voters
THE top priority for any elected official must be accountability. I WILL be accountable to you, your family, your neighbors, our community. I will report to you, the people I serve, every month on progress towards our goals.
Our top priority must be economic growth. Growth creates opportunity for young people and stability for families. It helps build great schools and strong communities.
We aren’t growing for one reason – a lack of leadership from our elected officials.
That’s why businesses don’t come here, others leave, many jobs don’t pay enough to raise a family. That’s why our kids move to work elsewhere, because there’s little for them here.
We have smart, well-educated and industrious people, a central location, affordable energy, abundant pure water, hard-working farmers, affordable real estate and a low cost of living, and five great educational institutions that have yet to be fully utilized.
But out of 100 of the largest metro areas in the US, this area ranks dead last for economic opportunity. By almost any measure – wage growth, employment, productivity, standard of living, this area ranks at or near the bottom.
Make no mistake – this is entirely due to a failure of leadership on the part of our elected officials. As a successful businessperson, I understand what businesses and farmers want, need, and should expect from government:
- responsive officials
- clear and straightforward rules and regulations
- incentives to invest in jobs, people, and our community.
We need to start rewarding companies that create good, long-term, high-paying jobs, not giving massive tax breaks to out-of-state owners of luxury student apartment buildings.
I will work tirelessly to bring experience, drive, and focus to the Legislature and local government. This won’t be easy, it won’t happen overnight, but it can and must happen.
Preserving good healthcare
Like real estate, all healthcare is local.
That’s especially true in Onondaga County. About 70% of your county property taxes go to fund Medicaid – that’s over $100 million a year. There are 26,000 healthcare jobs averaging $58,000 in wages here. Four of the top 10 employers in the County are healthcare organizations.
Like manufacturing years ago, healthcare is going through wrenching changes, changes that will directly affect jobs, wages, access and quality of care. It will affect our parents’ nursing home care, our neighbor’s Medicaid insurance, the cost of prescriptions, the doctors and hospitals we can go to and what we pay in taxes to cover government workers, teachers, and their retirement.
As a healthcare executive with three decades of experience, I know what works, what doesn’t, why costs are high and access a problem. While we may not be able to control healthcare’s changes we can certainly prepare for what’s coming. Ensuring your tax dollars are well spent, preserving the best of our healthcare system while improving what so desperately needs fixing, and coming up with creative solutions will help ensure our taxes are used wisely, our parents are cared for, our kids are healthy, and vital jobs are protected.
More garbage from New York City, more pollution, more traffic. We know what’s going to happen to us when the politicians in Albany and Washington finally decide on I-81’s future; we’re going to get even more garbage trucks trying to use our local roads to deliver New York City’s garbage, creating more pollution, risking our lakes and damaging our roads.
There are already regulations in existence that require those trucks to stay off our roads, but we all know they aren’t enforced. Before it gets worse, we need to demand our officials force drivers to stay off our roads and out of our communities.
I’ve already started working with local officials to monitor and report on truck traffic. We will expand that work, and once I’m elected, I’ll meet with local law enforcement to get their assistance.
If we fix this now, when 81 construction starts, we’ll be ready.