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Politics and Government

Onondaga County pitches Amazon, highlights region, Democrats skeptical

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
Legislator Casey Jordan makes the case for his Amazon resolution.

Onondaga County lawmakers are asking Amazon to consider a site in the town of Clay for its next headquarters. But some Democrats spoke out against the resolution at a meeting last week.

Why Amazon? Legislator Casey Jordan said it’s because of the promise of 25,000 jobs from the fastest growing and most desirable company to work for.

“We’ve lost a lot of these big employers,” Jordan said. “We really could use having Amazon come in here. They would literally be the largest employer in the community with jobs that are very well-paying jobs. I just think that the upside is unbelievable, almost beyond description.”

Jordan said the White Pines Commerce Park has more than 300 acres of vacant land with ready access to water, transportation, and unlimited power from a National Grid substation. The resolution highlights central New York’s educational institutions, entertainment and sports venues and drone corridor.

“I think we have an enormous amount to offer to Amazon,” Jordan said. “Maybe we don’t necessarily fit into their little box in terms of we’re looking for A, B, C and D, but I think if you look outside the box, I think we have a great deal to offer.”

Republicans said the resolution, which passed the county legislature, encapsulates the virtues and qualities of the county.

But Democrats were skeptical of Amazon.

“I support the business community and we should do a lot to engage them and bring jobs here,” Legislator Christopher Ryan said. “But to what extent? They pay zero taxes. Zero. Zero federal taxes. We all have to make up for that.”

Ryan said he couldn’t support the resolution not knowing how many jobs would be created by the company, which would likely receive huge tax breaks.