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Mahoney weighs in on economic competitions in wake of Buffalo Billion investigation

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News file photo
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney at an annoucement Thursday of the drone traffic management convention.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is defending the state's economic development competitions such as the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, which pitted different regions of the state against each other for financial aid. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development projects have come under fire as the Buffalo Billion project is currently under a federal investigation.

"The governor put together this system in which we were asked to compete and I think there were people who complained about the nature of the competition and just wanted to share equally," Mahoney said. "But I think the governor has shown that these competitions that he puts in place have made all areas rise. When you know you’re competing, you put your best foot forward.”

Mahoney said the state's financial commitment from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative helped central New York land a drone traffic management convention, led by NASA, for this November. 

"When people see these jobs that we can attract because the state has invested, they’ll see the wisdom in those investments,” Mahoney said.

The state is making a $500 million commitment to central New York over the next five years through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The federal probe is investigating if the state’s contracting process in the Buffalo Billion gave special treatment to a developer. Cuomo has also appointed an investigator to look into the Buffalo Billion matter.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.