Empire State Development Regional Pres. Sam Hoyt, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, Mayor Byron Brown and Assem. Sean Ryan (L-R) among the local officials who visited Canalside Thursday for a construction update.
The Cuomo Administration is apparently willing to consider Rep. Brian Higgins' recent call for removing the Buffalo Skyway.
During a stop downtown for a progress report on Canalside, Lt. Governor Robert Duffy touted the billion dollars Governor Andrew Cuomo has pledged for economic development.
Duffy said there is a process in place for requesting funding for Skyway demolition. He said if the Regional Economic Development Council lists the project as a top priority, then "the state is certainly going to listen."
From a statewide view, the most visible pieces of Governor Cuomo's regional economic development councils revolve around computer chip manufacturing and medical research. But the most visible local result of the councils right now is the high-tech conversion of milk into Greek yogurt.
While there are all kinds of high-tech proposals in the plans for the regional councils, there are also items like improving the railroad connections to the Milk-Bone plant on Buffalo's east side so that will remain the only plant making the dog treat.
The power and influence of Governor Cuomo's regional economic development councils are drawing the interest of state politicians.
Now, one Assembly candidate is turning the matter into a campaign issue.
If you wade through Empire State Development's website, you can find a list of the members of the Western New York council. It's not quite accurate, since there is no mention of Senate Mike Ranzenhofer or Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, both powerful Albany figures who have been named to the Western New York board.