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Mohawk Valley leaders fear Cuomo is neglecting them

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Payne Horning
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WRVO News File Photo
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente and other Mohawk Valley lawmakers are concerned that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is neglecting their region after he failed to mention the area or its economic development projects in his 2017 State of the State speeches.

Lawmakers from the Mohawk Valley are criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not visiting or even mentioning their area this week during his six State of the State addresses. They believe the snub comes at an especially tumultuous time for the region, where the economic recovery has been slower than in other areas of the state.

New York State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi says Cuomo's absence is especially concerning because the governor has not visited the area since the main corporate partner in the state's massive nanotechnology project in Marcy pulled out late last year.

"This is the time when we want to hear from him most," Brindisi said. "He didn’t even make a phone call to any of the elected officials in the region, not myself, not the senator, not the county executive to reassure us so we can go back and tell the people we represent that we have talked with the governor personally and he’s committed to this project." 

The head of the Empire State Development Corporation, an economic development agency, did reaffirm the state's support and financial commitment to the Nano Center in Utica last month. But Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says that does not excuse the governor from visiting or at least mentioning the project and the Mohawk Valley in the agenda he laid out for upstate this week.

"You’re skipping over a significant area with a significant state investment and a continuation and as much as the people of the community would like to hear it, I think there are businesses that would like to hear it," Picente said. "It’s the old saying that you want to hear it right from the horse’s mouth and that’s really what it comes down to."

A spokesperson for Cuomo's office says every region of the state will be fairly represented in the governor's agenda. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.