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Agglomeration
January 23rd, 2003, 02:16 PM
With the New York metro area up to 21.2 million while upstate NY is stagnant, I wouldn't mind at all if NY State and NY City split into two states. Hopefully we can take Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, and Rockland with us and let the upstaters have the rest.

There are complaints that Upstate NY gets much more than the city-suburban people do in terms of tax revenue. Yet the area north of Westchester-Rockland is stagnant as hell; NIMBY's are only part of the problem. Not surprisingly, the upstate area (except the cities like Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester) is more 'white' than Nazi Germany. No job-seeking person in his right mind or knowledge would go seek a job for himself in a region with dead factories, stubborn union bosses, a population obsessed with open space and the 18th century, and half-dead cities more dangerous than the South Bronx.

I heard about a second Mall of America proposed for the Syracuse area. Well go ahead. Upstate sucks so much that it needs a big Mall of Ameirca to revive it (which i DOUBT WILL HAPPEN). So what do you all think?

dbhstockton
January 24th, 2003, 01:00 AM
An entity that included NYC, all of Long Island and some surrounding counties in NY (and NJ) would be a very viable city-state (#51?). *What would it take to make it hapen?

It always bothered me that the people that the people complaining about "big government" are the people that are benefitting from it the most.

amigo32
January 24th, 2003, 03:07 AM
A city-state, hmmm?, kinda sounds like ancient Roman times. *I wonder how the rest of America would react to that?

dbhstockton
January 24th, 2003, 10:14 AM
Exactly. *It'd be like Florence or Venice during the Rennaissance. *Actually, when you think about it, if you compare the influence of the NYC metro area in an international context (especially the international scope of the media and financial services companies based here), it may be similar to small countries like Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, The Netherlands. *Anybody have any idea what the GNP of the NYC metro would be?

billyblancoNYC
January 24th, 2003, 11:49 AM
I think it's in the area of 900 billion, about 9th in the world.

Agglomeration
January 24th, 2003, 01:50 PM
Tell me, does NYC even need Albany? It has enough bureaucracy to deal with based in City Hall, but Albany's bureaucracy seems to be completely out of touch.

BrooklynRider
January 27th, 2003, 05:50 PM
I'd support NYC annexing Nassau, Suffolk & Westchester to be immediately followed by secession from the state. *I also vote we kick Staten Island out and send them packing to NJ where they belong - both in style and aroma.

Agglomeration
January 27th, 2003, 07:49 PM
I suggest we keep Staten Island, and annex Hudson, Essex, Union, Bergen, and Passaic Counties in New Jersey, Rockland and Fairfield Counties up north, and perhaps up to all 31 counties in the metro area, right up to Sullivan, Ulster, and Duchess County, and west to Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, and Mercer counties, east to Suffolk, New Haven, and Litchfield Counties, and south to Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Zoe
January 27th, 2003, 11:39 PM
You would want to keep Staten Island (where else would we put our trash?). *As far as NJ, the most important county would be Hudson (Hoboken, Jersey City, etc...)

Agglomeration
January 28th, 2003, 12:36 AM
If you ever wonder what I mean by "metro expansion", aka the expansion of NYC the 51st state, look up http//:www.rpa.org. You'll find the expansion map I'm talking about when you scroll down to the Spotlight on the Region section.

Bunnyzilla
March 26th, 2003, 09:43 PM
If NYC seceeds from the Empire State, it should at least change it's name. "New York", previously Nieu Amsterdam, was named for the home City of an ego-driven English nobleman- the Duke of York. * * *If the Big Apple/ gotham, Greater Manhattan, Earth City, Kingdom of the Tower Archepelego, etc were to break off from New York (the State), it should at lest drop it's WASPy moniker, in favor of somthing better fit for it's multi-ethnic character.

*The adding of Staten Island to New Jersey would make sense, given that if the arctic cap alone were to melt from global warming, most of the Garden State would be submerged under the Atlantic Ocean. The Empire State, on the other hand, is the biggest state north of the Carolinas (just why are there 2 anyway?) and is mostly upland. *Why not take everything east of the Hudson up to right above 42* North Latitude and make that an extention of Connecticut, while everything to the west of the Hudson that falls below that line goes to New Jersey.

* And the remaining 4 boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx & Queens could build massive floodwalls all around the great metropolis, so that when the polar ice caps have all melted (if they do) The great mega-city will be protected. *

P.S .
*Has anyone here seen the 5th Element, Judge Dredd, or some other movie where NYC has become a complex system of... see the movies, you'll know what I'm talking about. *

TLOZ Link5
March 26th, 2003, 10:29 PM
A comparison of population growth from 1990 to 2000 between New York State and NYC is quite telling. *In 1990, the population of the state was 17,990,455; in 2000 it was 18,976,457: in other words, the state population as a whole grew by 986,002. *New York City's population in 1990 was 7,322,564; in 2000 it was 8,008,278, meaning the population growth in the city alone was 685,714.

In other words, the population growth of the city on its own accounted for more than two-thirds of the total population growth of the state.

Yonkers, in Westchester directly north of The Bronx, grew from 188,082 to 196,086.

In contrast, Buffalo declined from 328,123 to 292,648; Rochester declined from 231,636 to 219,773; Syracuse declined from 163,860 to 147,306; and Albany declined from 100,031 to 95,658.

billyblancoNYC
March 27th, 2003, 11:29 AM
It would put the city in a much better position in a lot of respects, I think - more autonomous, keep more of our money for ourselves, etc.

I would support it! *Even just NYC, LI, and Westchester would be fine with me!

Ptarmigan
April 11th, 2003, 08:16 PM
That's an interesting question. New York and areas north of the New York area are different. Upstate New York feels ratehr removed from New York. I think New York should split into from the state of New York and form its own state.

Kris
May 2nd, 2003, 08:45 AM
May 2, 2003
Notion of a 51st State Comes Around Again
By NICHOLE M. CHRISTIAN

Message to Albany: Get your act together or you may be looking at the 51st state.

That would be the city formerly known as New York, N.Y.

City Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr. has introduced a bill to explore the city's secession from the state. He says it offers the city a way to become less dependent on a state that takes $3.5 billion more each year from taxpayers than it returns.

The quixotic notion got a hearing before a City Council committee yesterday. Several speakers addressed Mr. Vallone's bill, which would create a commission that would examine secession and decide whether to hold a referendum on the matter.

"Every day Albany gives us another reason to just go our way," Mr. Vallone said. The latest example, he said, is the budget being drafted in Albany, which he called "another sham."

"They're giving us the ability to increase taxes on New York City residents at a time when we already pay too much in taxes."

The bill calls for the commission to study the idea for two years, then pass it on to voters. From there, state legislators would have to vote on passing it on to Washington.

Not that it has much of a shot at even getting through the City Council. "I don't think anyone takes it as a serious effort or solution," said Councilman Bill Perkins of Manhattan, chairman of the Governmental Operations Committee, where the bill was introduced.

Still, for years there has been a certain allure to the idea of going it alone. The writers Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin based a campaign for mayor around it 34 years ago. And a threat of secession by Staten Island residents in 1993 caused such a political stir that it played a key role in the election of Rudolph W. Giuliani as mayor, the closure of the Fresh Kills landfill, the elimination of fares on the Staten Island Ferry and the construction of a minor-league stadium in the borough.

"It's not surprising that the notion of secession from the state has surfaced again," said Ronnie Lowenstein of the Independent Budget Office. "There is a fundamental mismatch between the city's fiscal structure and our level of fiscal autonomy."

MariSol Rodriguez, director of New York City affairs for the Partnership for New York City, said the city subsidizes the state on transit financing alone by $325 million.

Joseph Conway, a spokesman for Gov. George E. Pataki, stopped short of calling Mr. Vallone's effort a waste of time. "We should be serious about our response to this crisis," Mr. Conway said, "and we ought to be working as partners."

Mr. Vallone insists that he is quite serious. "It's a long, difficult road and it's not the safest political idea," he said, "but there are a lot who are frustrated enough to make this happen." And what would this new state be called? Gotham surfaced as one idea. "I kind of like keeping the old name New York State and making the other state change its name," Mr. Vallone said. "We have a bigger police force."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
May 2nd, 2003, 09:52 AM
For Agglomeration:

The Tri-State Metropolitan Region consists of nearly 20 million people living in approximately 1,600 cities, towns and villages. It encompasses an area nearly 13,000 square miles across 31 counties at the heart of the Boston-Washington northeast metropolitan corridor.

http://www.rpa.org/Images2/Triblue-sm.JPG

http://www.rpa.org/tristateregion.html

DominicanoNYC
May 3rd, 2003, 09:51 PM
Kings? Who'd ever think of calling Brooklyn... Kings? I prefer Brooklyn.

dbhstockton
May 3rd, 2003, 11:17 PM
That's the name of the county, bub.

ZippyTheChimp
May 4th, 2003, 12:46 AM
http://www.nygbs.org/art/Pix/kings1.gif

Very short history of Kings County:

1683 - 6 towns on map form Kings County

1816 - Village of Brooklyn (star on map, present day downtown) incorporated within Town of Brooklyn.

1834 - Village of Brooklyn and Town of Brooklyn incorporate into City of Brooklyn, first in Kings County.

1840 - Village of Williamsburg secedes from Town of Bushwick
to form Town of Williamsburg.

1851 - Town of Williamsburg becomes City of Williamsburg.

1852 - New Lots secedes from Town of Flatbush to form Town of New Lots.

1854 - City of Williamsburg and Town of Bushwick merge with
City of Brooklyn.

1886 - City of Brooklyn annexes Town of New Lots

1894 - City of Brooklyn annexes Towns of Flatbush, Gravesend, and New Utrecht.

1896 - City of Brooklyn annexes remaining Town of Flatlands.

1898 - City of Brooklyn is incorporated into Greater NYC as the Borough of Brooklyn, but remains Kings County.

1955 - Brooklyn Dodgers win World Series.

Lightning Homer
May 4th, 2003, 03:03 PM
Even my head would say "yes", my heart would say "no".

TLOZ Link5
May 4th, 2003, 07:45 PM
If we do secede, we ought to remain New York State. *Manhattan was the first part of the state to be colonized, anyway.

DominicanoNYC
May 4th, 2003, 09:58 PM
Quote: from dbhstockton on 10:17 pm on May 3, 2003
That's the name of the county, bub.


LOL... Did you get 'bub' from Wolverine?

dbhstockton
May 4th, 2003, 11:03 PM
Yup. *I never was a big comic book guy but I picked that up somewhere.

Agglomeration
May 10th, 2003, 09:56 PM
(For some reason, City Councilman Peter Vallone is warming up to the possibility of NYC secession. This isn't surprising since Albany is again late with its budget and the Pataki-State Assembly squabble over taxes and service cuts isn't doing much to help the city.)

Idea of Big Apple Secession Rears Its Head, Again
Fri May 9, 9:20 AM ET *

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The last time there was a decent tax revolt here, America was born.

This time, New York City could become the nation's 51st state, if a secession proposal by a local councilman succeeds.

Simply put, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. argues, the city pays $3.5 billion more to the state in taxes than it gets in return and can't afford it anymore.

'We need our money back,' he said this week.

The timing couldn't be better, he said, as lawmakers in the capital of Albany wrestle over the latest state budget.

'In the past the idea of secession was romantic and maybe cute. Now it may be the only the way for the city to survive,' Vallone said.

It's not the first time New York has threatened to pack up and leave. Novelist Norman Mailer argued for secession in his 1969 quixotic mayoral bid. In the 19th century, a pro-slavery mayor proposed New York secede during the U.S. Civil War.

But it is no easy task. Vallone's proposal before the city council calls for a ballot referendum asking the public for approval to study secession for two years. Secession would need the approval of the state legislature and, last but certainly not least, the U.S. Congress.

Details would be tricky, from designing a new water supply system to a prison system to finding a new name, Vallone admitted. He offered 'Greater New York,' 'Gotham' or 'New Amsterdam' -- the city's name in the seventeenth century.

Then there's the issue of changing the American flag to add a 51st star. 'That's a good question. I hadn't thought of that,' he said. 'That could be what sinks the whole thing.'

Still, it's more than a folly, Vallone argued. 'We fought a war over secession. It was the Revolutionary War,' he said.

Critics argue that New York city on its own could not pay its bills. Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed Vallone's idea when it was first suggested, saying: 'New York state is not about to let 50 percent of its revenue go.'

Former Mayor Ed Koch, known for his blunt statements, said of the notion: 'It's bullshit. It's a lot of talk about nothing. It's a schmucky idea. I said that when it was first introduced, and it's still schmucky.'

Nevertheless, Vallone is unfazed. 'If this effort does nothing else but fix the inequities that exist, then it was successful,' he said.

NYatKNIGHT
May 12th, 2003, 04:16 PM
Forget seceding, instead kick Upstate out. That would be the more New York thing to do. Simply lop off Upstate, and suggest they go find another name. While Albany and the interior grew simultaneously with the city, clearly New York State (like New Jersey) would not be what it is today without the city - not the other way around. New York was the name given by the British to both the city of New Amsterdam and the colony of New Netherlands. We share equal claim to the name, and let's face it, the name New York more often than not is associated with The City.

All in good fun obviously, Ed Koch hit the nail on the head....

phxmania2001
May 12th, 2003, 04:27 PM
Quote: from NYatKNIGHT on 3:16 pm on May 12, 2003
Forget seceding, instead kick Upstate out. That would be the more New York thing to do. Simply lop off Upstate, and suggest they go find another name. While Albany and the interior grew simultaneously with the city, clearly New York State (like New Jersey) would not be what it is today without the city - not the other way around. New York was the name given by the British to both the city of New Amsterdam and the colony of New Netherlands. We share equal claim to the name, and let's face it, the name New York more often than not is associated with The City.

All in good fun obviously, Ed Koch hit the nail on the head....

You got that right-it sucks up here. Noone knows we exist either.

Kris
January 24th, 2004, 10:10 AM
Shortage of power

Buffalo wields little clout as state's second largest city

G. Scott Thomas
Business First

Buffalo is New York state's "second city."

A very, very distant second.

First place, of course, belongs to the market that shares the state's name. New York City and its suburbs are a demographic behemoth, encompassing 13 million of New York state's 19 million residents.

Buffalo, the state's second-largest metropolitan area, is a midget by comparison, with a population of less than 1.2 million. Its insignificance is compounded by remoteness from the bright lights of Manhattan: 300 miles away by air, more than six hours by car.

These twin factors - size and distance - have combined to make Buffalo the most isolated "second city" in the nation, as determined by a Business First study of the second-largest metros in 47 states. (Alaska, Hawaii and Rhode Island were excluded for technical reasons.)

That means Buffalo is the weakest No. 2 market in any state in America, wielding virtually no economic or political power.

"In most states where there's a dominant city, you almost always find a competitor, but not in New York," says Virginia-based author Joel Garreau, whose book, "The Nine Nations of North America," examines regional differences and similarities.

"Dallas and Houston are always duking it out in Texas. The same with Los Angeles and San Francisco in California," he says. "But Manhattan's competitors are Washington or L.A., not Buffalo. To mention New York City and Buffalo in that way just sounds weird."

Business First devised a five-part formula to determine whether each state's second-largest metropolitan area is well-connected and powerful -- or isolated and weak. Buffalo finished near the bottom in every category:

1. Distance from the state's largest metro: It takes six hours and 32 minutes to drive from Buffalo to New York City, according to MapQuest, an Internet site that provides driving directions. Reno, Nev., is the only second city that is located farther from its in-state rival. (The typical second city is three hours and eight minutes from the No. 1 market in its state.)

2. Distance from the state's capital: MapQuest pegs the Buffalo-Albany trip at four hours and 42 minutes. Just two cities in the study, Spokane, Wash., and Las Cruces, N.M., are more distant from their capitals. (The average for the entire group is one hour, 59 minutes.)

3. Share of the state's population: The Buffalo metropolitan area, which consists of Erie and Niagara counties, contains a mere 6.1 percent of New York state's residents, the fifth-lowest percentage in the study. (The average is 14.3 percent.)

4. Residents per 100,000 in the biggest metro: The Buffalo area has only 8,920 people for every 100,000 living in the New York City metro. That ranks among the six worst ratios in the nation. (The typical second city has a ratio of 43,450 residents per 100,000 in its state's top market.)

5. Share of the population within the state's top three metros: This category combines the three largest markets in each state, then calculates the second-biggest metro's share of their total population. Buffalo is home to 7.6 percent of the people living in the New York City, Buffalo and Rochester areas, which is the sixth-lowest figure in the study. (The national average is 23.7 percent.)

Second cities that are almost - but not quite - as isolated as Buffalo include Savannah, Ga.; Spokane, Wash.; Salisbury, Md.; and the St. Louis suburbs of Illinois. At the opposite end of the rankings is Hartford, Conn., the second city that has the strongest connections to its state. (Scores for all 47 markets can be found on the accompanying chart.)

The numbers game

Buffalo's demographic shortcomings are repeated on a broader scale.

New York state's 49 upstate counties, stretching from Western New York to the upper Hudson Valley, have a combined population of 6 million. They're dwarfed by the 13 million residents of the 13 downstate counties, including the five boroughs of New York City.

All upstate markets - from Buffalo and Rochester to Plattsburgh and Glens Falls - consequently find themselves in the same tiny boat, says former state Attorney General Dennis Vacco.

"At the end of the day, we're still upstaters, still outsiders," says Vacco, now a partner in the consulting firm of Powers Crane Vacco & Co. LLC, with offices in Buffalo and Albany. "That's the perception. The institutions in New York state are primarily controlled by downstaters - the bar association, you name it."

Downstate's power is manifested in several ways. Some are easily measured, while others are a matter of perception.

Business: There are 357,000 private-sector businesses in downstate New York, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's two-and-a-half times the size of upstate's total of 137,000.

Money: Downstate residents earned $519 billion in 2001, based on the latest figures available from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Upstate was 68 percent behind with total personal income of $166 billion.

Politics: Five of the six statewide elected officials are downstaters, including Gov. George Pataki, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

The lone upstate exception is Lt. Gov. Mary Donohue, who hails from Troy. But Donohue was not independently elected, running on a ticket with Pataki. And she is not well known: A Business First-Goldhaber Research Associates Poll last year found that fewer than one-quarter of Western New Yorkers could identify her.

Taxes: Upstate politicians, especially Republicans, complain that free-spending downstaters drive up the state's taxes.

Their grousing contains an element of truth. The local tax burden is higher in New York than in any other state, exceeding the national average by 72 percent, according to a recent report from the Citizens Budget Commission, a nonpartisan civic group.

A key factor driving taxes up, said the study, is the state legislature's requirement that county governments pick up a substantial share of costs for social-services programs such as Medicaid.

A 2001 report from the Center for Governmental Research, a Rochester think tank, concluded that property taxes could be slashed if New York handled social services the way most states do.

"If New York treated Erie County or Monroe County the same as Pennsylvania treats its counties, for example, the property tax levy here would be roughly cut in half," says Kent Gardner, CGR's director of economic analysis.

But there are misperceptions about tax revenues, too.

"If you talk to upstate people, they would say that basically all of the (state's tax) money goes to New York City," says state Sen. Pat McGee (R-Franklinville). "But if you think about it, the money comes from New York City. They have the population; they have Wall Street."

A second CGR report says much the same thing. It concluded that most upstate communities, including the Buffalo area, actually receive more money from the state government than they pay in taxes. Downstate, on the other hand, contributes more than it gets.

Exposure: Another common complaint is that New York City's concerns dominate the statewide agenda. Upstate's problems are of little interest to the downstate majority, according to this view.

"The attention we get is peripheral - stories about some guy going over the falls without a barrel, or about snow, or another of those New York Times stories about how destitute the upstate economy is," says Vacco. "Things that are more serious or more positive (about upstate) are often ignored."

Image: The outside world often views upstate New York through a downstate lens. Many out-of-staters assume that most of New York state is paved and that most New Yorkers speak with Brooklyn accents, says Garreau. They know little or nothing about the Adirondacks or upstate's large agricultural sector.

"The New York license plate still carries meaning in most of the country," he says. "If you've got one, people assume you're a wiseass know-it-all until proven otherwise. The typical person in Wyoming doesn't draw any distinction between a New Yorker from Manhattan or Albany or Buffalo."

Looking westward

So who arranged this strange geographical marriage? How did Buffalo and the rest of the Niagara Frontier end up as part of New York?

The state's physical outline suggests that careful planning was involved, given the water boundaries to the north and west, the precise lines bordering much of New England, and the smooth 42nd parallel defining the underbelly of the Southern Tier.

But planning had nothing to do with it. Land hunger was the state's motive force. Visionaries, speculators and greedy officials scrambled for every square mile and dreamed of more. Much more.

Eighteenth century New York insisted that it was the rightful owner of Vermont. "The New Yorkers push the matter almost beyond the bounds of modesty," wrote an exasperated member of the Continental Congress in 1780. It was another decade before the Vermont claim was abandoned.

The lust for westward expansion also died hard. John Jay insisted in 1779 that "the country west of Niagara, on the present ideas which prevail and by the Articles of Confederation, belongs to New York." The state's claims extended all the way to the Mississippi River, encompassing the present states of Michigan and Wisconsin. They were reluctantly abandoned in 1782 as part of a compromise with other states to promote the settling of the frontier.

Such defeats kept the Empire State from becoming as immense as its promoters dreamed. But those men also scored their share of victories, securing thousands of square miles inhabited solely by Indians, trappers and wild animals.

The two areas involved in this strange geographical union - the populous lower Hudson Valley and the desolate upstate region - naturally developed along separate lines.

New York City emerged as the dominant commercial center of the new nation. Its elite considered themselves the best that America had to offer. The city grew rapidly, fueled by a massive influx of foreigners. Nearly one-quarter of the city's residents by 1860 were natives of Ireland.

Upstate prospered as a major agricultural region, boosted by completion of the Erie Canal. Buffalo and other upstate cities processed goods for shipment to New York City and the world beyond. Upstaters, believing in the superiority of rural life, looked with horror on the growing downstate metropolis with its large foreign-born population.

Strains quickly developed between these two greatly different New Yorks. Upstate was gripped by Union fever during the Civil War, while New York City was the scene of ferocious anti-draft riots. "Dry" farmers sparred with "wet" city dwellers over the volatile question of prohibition. And always there loomed the question of which was best for the soul: rural or urban life?

Some would argue that these regional distinctions - very real in the age of the telegraph and the steam locomotive - have become outdated since World War II.

But recent history suggests otherwise. Think back to Edward Koch's 1982 race for governor, when he dismissed life outside of New York City in typically belligerent fashion. "This rural American thing, I'm telling you, it's a joke," he snickered.

Or recall the reaction of many upstaters to New York City's financial crisis in the mid-1970s. Warren Anderson, then the majority leader of the State Senate, scoffed at the city's request for emergency assistance. "I can only liken it to someone addicted to heroin," said the Binghamton Republican. "Do you really help him by giving him more?"

Cutting ties?

Geographer C. Etzel Pearcy proposed a solution to this geographical dilemma 30 years ago. He suggested that New York be divided into three states:

Downstate would join suburban Connecticut and New Jersey in the state of Hudson.

The Champlain Valley would be linked to northern New England in the state of Kennebec.

And the rest of upstate would merge with northern Pennsylvania in the state of Mohawk.

Nobody actually believed that Pearcy's plan would be enacted. "To begin with, there would be so much hot air from politicians of all parties that the entire climate would be threatened," Smithsonian magazine concluded. "The chief obstacle to such schemes is that people just don't like change."

Only two states have been created from existing ones: Maine from Massachusetts in 1820 and West Virginia from Virginia in 1863.

Separating upstate and downstate in the same manner has been suggested several times during the past century and a half, but none of the proposals has gone anywhere.

New York City Mayor Fernando Wood, exasperated by poor relations with the state government, endorsed a split in 1861. Author Norman Mailer revived the idea in his quixotic campaign for mayor of New York City in 1969. And Pat McGee cosponsored a resolution a decade ago that would have allowed voters to decide the issue in a referendum.

She has since had a change of heart.

"That was in my younger years when I was in the Assembly," McGee says now. "Over time, I began to see things differently. Yes, we're a state with inequalities, but we're also a diverse state. Our goal shouldn't be to split apart, but to raise awareness and work together."

Kris
January 24th, 2004, 10:20 AM
Downstate dominates state's political arena

G. Scott Thomas
Business First

Dennis Vacco is the last of his breed.

The Buffalo-based lawyer and consultant is the last resident of upstate New York to be directly elected to statewide office, serving as state attorney general from 1995 through 1998.

Downstaters have monopolized the five statewide power positions - governor, two U.S. Senate seats, attorney general and comptroller - ever since Vacco was defeated for re-election. And their streak is almost certain to continue. Every major contender mentioned for the Senate in 2004 or governor in 2006 hails from the 13 downstate counties.

"What's the reason? Well, one thing you can't point to is a lack of talent," says Vacco, now a partner in the consulting firm of Powers Crane Vacco & Co. LLC. "There are an awful lot of talented people upstate, but it's much more difficult for them to make that talent visible."

That wasn't always the case.

Upstaters held their own during the first half of the 20th century, occupying the five key statewide offices 41 percent of the time between 1900 and 1949, according to a Business First analysis. The peak was reached in the early 1920s, when the governor, attorney general, comptroller and one senator all had upstate home addresses.

But the theme in recent decades has been downstate dominance. Upstaters have held the five power positions just 14 percent of the time since 1950. That includes three streaks (1965-68, 1971-79 and 1999-present) when downstaters occupied all five offices simultaneously.

Year-by-year results of the Business First analysis can be seen on the chart on the opposite page. The study ignored the sixth statewide position, lieutenant governor, since it is not elected independently. Current Lt. Gov. Mary Donohue (R-Troy) was carried into office on a ticket with Gov. George Pataki.

So what is the cause of upstate's political weakness? The answer is a combination of demographic factors and political reforms.

The obvious starting point is population. Downstate New York contains 13 million residents, easily overshadowing the 6 million scattered throughout the 49 upstate counties.

Two-thirds of the state's voters live downstate, which is a hell of a burden for any upstate candidate to overcome," says Gerald Goldhaber, president of Goldhaber Research Associates, an Amherst polling firm.

But it goes further than that. Downstate is a single media market, blanketed by newspapers, TV and radio stations from New York City. A politician who becomes famous there is instantly exposed to a majority of the state's electorate.

Upstate, on the other hand, is fragmented into Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and a half-dozen smaller markets. Reaching a large number of voters across such a vast region is not easily done without a well-stocked campaign treasury.

"It's very difficult for someone from a remote part of the state without great personal wealth to wage a campaign for statewide office, especially governor," says Stan Lundine, executive director of the Chautauqua County Health Network. "Having to raise $20 million would be a daunting challenge."

He should know. Lundine served as Gov. Mario Cuomo's lieutenant governor for eight years, returning to Jamestown after their ticket was defeated in 1994.

If Cuomo had been elected president or named to the U.S. Supreme Court, as was often rumored in those days, Lundine was first in line to be governor. He would have sought reelection in his own right under those circumstances, Lundine says now, but he saw no point in making a gubernatorial bid without such a power base.

"Most fundraising occurs downstate, and you have to have a lot of contacts in the New York City area to be viable," he says. "I would have had a chance in that situation (replacing Cuomo). But being out of office four or eight years, I didn't think the opportunity was there."

Two political reforms helped to increase the statewide degree of difficulty for upstate candidates:

The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution mandated popular election of U.S. senators. It was the state legislature's job to pick senators prior to the amendment's ratification in 1913, and lawmakers put special emphasis on geographical balance. An unbroken line of upstaters occupied Senate seats from 1821 to 1909.

But voters have never shown the same kind of interest in such a balancing act. The last upstater elected to the Senate was Rochester's Kenneth Keating in 1958. Jamestown's Charles Goodell was appointed in 1968, only to be badly defeated when he ran on his own two years later.

The institution of statewide primary elections in 1968 further concentrated political power in downstate voters, especially within the Democratic Party.

The party bosses who chose statewide candidates before 1968 were practitioners of ticket-balancing, usually making it a point to include upstaters on the ballot. But the birth of the primary killed coalition politics. Nearly one-third of the Democrats nominated for statewide office between 1958 and 1967 came from upstate. The number has been around 10 percent ever since.

Nothing better dramatizes the gap between the two regions than Albany's Executive Mansion.

No upstater has been elected governor since Nathan Miller of Syracuse in 1920. No Western New Yorker has become the state's chief executive since Olean's Frank Higgins was elected in 1904. Buffalo has been shut out since Grover Cleveland packed his bags for the White House in 1884.

Few upstate candidates have even tried for the governorship in recent decades. Buffalo's Edward Regan, the state comptroller between 1979 and 1993, often talked of running for governor, but never took the plunge. Vacco was considered an eventual possibility until Eliot Spitzer unseated him as attorney general.

If any upstate politician is contemplating a gubernatorial candidacy in 2006, he or she will need three indispensable ingredients, says State Sen. Byron Brown (D-Buffalo): "It would take them a lot of time and a lot of focus and a lot of ability to raise funds."

The top Western New Yorker on the list of possible contenders is Erie County Executive Joel Giambra. But his statewide name identification is low, and his need for money would be great. "If a well-known, well-financed incumbent like George Pataki needs $20 million to run for governor," says Goldhaber, "how much do you think a guy like Giambra would need?"

It has been 80 years since an upstater was governor of New York, and Goldhaber predicts that it might be another 80 before the next one is elected. The barriers are that strong, he says.

Dennis Vacco tends to agree, even though he doesn't want to.

"I'm an eternal optimist," he says. "Never say never. Ned Regan was gubernatorial material, even though he didn't run, so it's not impossible. But the odds are exceedingly, exceedingly high."

TonyO
January 24th, 2004, 11:39 AM
When the Erie canal was the massive moneymaker it was this topic would never be suggested. All the upstate cities were vital to making NY what it is today.

Now things are much different, but the relationship between NYC and upstate will never be severed. This conversation comes up every few years and quickly fades away.

Pottebaum
January 24th, 2004, 12:25 PM
Well, I don't like the idea of having 51 states instead of a nice even number like 50, so if NYC ever did become it's own state, we would need to combine the two Dakota's :D :wink:

Clarknt67
January 25th, 2004, 03:30 PM
Well, I don't like the idea of having 51 states instead of a nice even number like 50, so if NYC ever did become it's own state, we would need to combine the two Dakota's :D :wink:

I really honestly think we'll never see a 51st state just because of this sentiment.

Seems this debate is spurred just to get albany to send the City a more equitable amount of tax revenue. Succession will never happen.

Remember when Staten Island tried to succeed? TPTB wouldn't allow it.

Kris
January 30th, 2004, 05:02 AM
January 30, 2004

The Importance of Being Upstate

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ

SYRACUSE - The day a major employer in this economically beleaguered city began handing out pink slips, Senator Charles E. Schumer traveled around reassuring residents that he was working hard to turn around the region's economy.

A day later, it was Hillary Rodham Clinton's turn. Though bad weather grounded her flight to Syracuse, Senator Clinton, in telephone calls from her home in Chappaqua, made her presence felt, offering her support.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But the back-to-back efforts by these two prominent New York politicians this month also reflect what has become one of the most significant developments in state politics: the continuing battle for votes in the upstate region.

Hardly a week goes by without a major statewide figure from either party touring the villages, towns and cities scattered in between the vast stretches of farmland and mountains that dominate the landscape upstate.

The region is desperately in need of help, with manufacturing jobs in steep decline, unemployment of more than 5 percent and, in many places, decreases in population as young people move to find jobs that pay well.

In part because of those economic issues, upstate is no longer a bastion of conservatism that Republicans could take for granted and Democrats could dismiss as enemy terrain. The region is in play as it has never been before, politicians and strategists in both parties say, at a time when it still accounts for a large bloc of votes: about 40 percent of the statewide electorate in 2002, compared with about 33 percent in New York City and 27 percent in New York City's suburbs (Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk Counties).

"There's a reason that politicians go upstate all the time: That is where the votes are,'' said Lee M. Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "Neither party can afford to take the region for granted anymore. It's up for grabs.''

The first signs that the battleground was shifting in New York came in 1998, when Mr. Schumer, a Democrat, defied conventional wisdom and devoted a great deal of attention to upstate in a successful effort to topple Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato, a Republican. Though Mr. D'Amato took upstate 53 percent to 45 percent, Mr. Schumer managed to win several counties that have considerable sway in statewide elections, most notably Monroe, which includes Rochester, and Erie, which includes Buffalo.

Then, in 2000, there was more evidence of a breakdown in the usual geopolitical patterns that had long governed statewide campaigns. Mrs. Clinton soundly defeated Rick A. Lazio, a Republican congressman from Long Island, in part by drawing big support from upstate voters. Mrs. Clinton was only three points behind Mr. Lazio upstate, validating her strategy of making constant trips to the region during the campaign.

"The single biggest change in New York politics in the last six years has been the fact that upstate New York has shifted from a Republican stronghold to an up-for-grabs battleground,'' said Howard Wolfson, one of Mrs. Clinton's advisers.

Even Republicans concede that the area requires some hard work on their part. "Upstate has taken on a completely new role in New York politics,'' said one senior Republican strategist. "It really has become a major swing region.''

Political analysts say one related consequence is that Republicans have been forced to look to New York City, a Democratic bastion, as a source of new votes to offset the ground they have lost upstate.

A prime example has been the strategy of Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican, who has shrewdly courted Democratic constituencies in the city, chiefly Hispanic voters and labor unions. In his three elections for governor, the share of the New York City votes that he won grew from 28 percent to 33 percent to 39 percent, the last being the best number a Republican candidate for governor has posted in the city in five decades.

It is a matter of debate which politician is delivering the most for the upstate region. But if polls are any measure, Mr. Schumer is doing the best job of wooing voters there. A Marist poll showed that 55 percent of upstate voters surveyed gave Mr. Schumer a favorable rating, compared with 49 percent for Mr. Pataki and 46 percent for Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Schumer's standing upstate is worth noting for another reason. In the 1998 Senate race, when Mr. Schumer was a congressman from Brooklyn, Mr. D'Amato ran advertisements against him that sought to play to the enmity upstate voters felt toward the city. "Liberal Brooklyn Congressman Chuck Schumer doesn't think upstate New York matters,'' the narrator in one ad said. "On Election Day, send Chuck Schumer a message: There's more to New York State than just Brooklyn."

In an interview, Mr. Schumer joked that he has clearly proved Mr. D'Amato wrong since taking office and suggested that his travels upstate had played a big role in his victory. "Upstate is no longer in the pocket of either party and has become a new battleground,'' he said. "That's good for upstate because politicians from both parties are paying attention to it."

To get an idea of how coveted the upstate vote has become, it is worth considering the travel schedule and policies of Mr. Pataki, Mr. Schumer and Mrs. Clinton.

By the count of Mr. Pataki's office, for example, he visited 75 upstate communities in 2003, the year after his election to a third term. The pace required him to fly around the state at least once a week, his advisers said. That year, Mr. Pataki's press office issued 165 releases on issues that are popular among upstate voters: creating jobs in the region and enticing companies to move here.

The governor has also taken credit for creating a kind of Silicon Valley upstate, something he calls the Empire State High-Tech Corridor. This corridor, his aides say, boasts four hubs for technological innovation: the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics in Buffalo, the Center of Excellence in Photonics and Optoelectronics in Rochester, the Center of Excellence in Environmental Quality Systems and Clean Energy Technologies in Syracuse and the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics in Albany. It is an accomplishment that Mr. Pataki and his aides routinely promote, though some Democrats deride it as pie in the sky.

Mrs. Clinton's schedule upstate is busy too, and has been ever since her so-called listening tour and her Senate campaign took her to the remotest corners of the upstate region again and again. She has made at least 18 trips upstate since the beginning of September, including one to Syracuse the day after the Carrier Corporation, the city's best-known company, announced that it would close its plants and no longer make air-conditioners here. The senator sought to console distraught workers, saying she, too, felt betrayed.

In that period, Mrs. Clinton also delivered what her staff billed as a major policy speech, announcing that she was joining forces with one of the leading members of her husband's White House economics team to try to address upstate New York's economic problems. The speech got widespread coverage. Her advisers say she continues to push a package of legislation in Washington that she unveiled in her freshman year to bolster the upstate economy.

As for Mr. Schumer, it might appear as if there are the makings of a new sitcom in the very idea of the senator making the rural rounds, the deep strains of Brooklyn in his voice. But, in fact, he has become a comfortable fit at county fairs, town hall meetings, parades, tulip festivals and the like. (He also takes nothing for granted as he campaigns for re-election this year, even though he has an enormous war chest and no Republican challenger yet.)

Mr. Schumer's advisers say he plans to visit each of the state's 62 counties at least once this year, as he did in his first five years in office. In the first three weeks of this year, he took advantage of the long Congressional recess to visit nearly 30 counties, most of them upstate.

On his visits, Mr. Schumer displays the qualities of a town manager and a cheerleader, addressing myriad issues raised by local leaders, no matter how small. On the senator's trip here in central New York, for example, a local mayor approached him after a meeting with business leaders to seek help in getting money for a new fire truck. Thirty minutes later, Mr. Schumer was standing alongside local officials inside City Hall in Syracuse, where he introduced federal legislation to deal with the city's gang problem.

"Everywhere you turn, there's Senator Schumer,'' said William J. Fitzpatrick, the Republican district attorney in Syracuse, who is one of the pillars of the upstate political establishment. "It's unbelievable.''

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
February 12th, 2004, 11:28 PM
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Erie County, Buffalo back merging

By Rick Armon and Joseph Spector
Staff writers

(February 12, 2004) — Buffalo and Erie County are backing a proposal to create a regional government, and a longstanding debate in Monroe County may be reignited because of the talk to the west.

Erie County Executive Joel Giambra on Wednesday called on local and state leaders to endorse the creation of the Greater Buffalo Regional Government.

Giambra, a Republican, said he wants to put the issue before voters next year because the status quo isn’t working. A single government could save the community $20 million to $50 million a year, he said. He has the support of Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello, a Democrat.

“After 200 years of governing separately, it’s time to get our act together, and it’s time to bring our governments together,” Giambra said during his State of the County speech.

The plan does not include Erie County towns or villages, just the county and city governments. The next 60 to 90 days will be used to determine how to make the new government a reality and develop a plan to build public and state support, Giambra said after the speech.

“The prize,” Masiello said, “is a greater Buffalo, New York, that has the resources and the tax base and the confidence that people want to live and work and raise their families in.”

Government experts expect a long process.

“This is just the first shot in the war here,” said Charles Zettek, a director at the Center for Governmental Research in Rochester.

“If Erie can pull it off in the first go-around, it would be fascinating to see,” Zettek said. “But one would expect it to be a long battle.”

For decades, the financial picture of Buffalo has faded against a shrinking population and tax base that paralleled an exodus of manufacturing jobs. Buffalo’s population is 292,000, down from a 1950s peak of 580,000.

The city hit a new low last summer when a state-imposed financial control board stepped in amid enormous budget deficits. The shortfalls have forced the layoffs of hundreds of teachers and other city employees and a controversial restructuring of police and fire services.

Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson Jr., a national proponent of metro governments, applauded Giambra for pushing the proposal, but he said it doesn’t go far enough. “I’m willing to go where Giambra is afraid to go: complete consolidation of all government functions.”

By not talking about consolidating towns and villages, the county and city are losing an opportunity to save more money for residents, Johnson said.

Johnson said he hopes Giambra’s proposal reignites the debate in Monroe County.

County Executive Maggie Brooks was unavailable for comment.Johnson lost a bid for county executive to Brooks last year, and observers believe his support for a regional government helped seal his defeat. The issue also was outlined in two studies last year.

In July, the Monroe County Council of Governments unanimously approved a report that called for greater collaboration by local governments to cut costs but stopped short of endorsing a city-county merger.

Pittsford Supervisor Bill Carpenter, who heads the group, said Wednesday that studying further cooperative efforts among governments in Monroe County should be pursued, but it’s unclear whether a full-scale merger would be cost-effective.

The report by the Rochester Business Alliance last summer found that government consolidation would be too onerous.

Moreover, local governments already have numerous shared services, more than most places, said Thomas Mooney, the alliance’s chief executive. And Rochester does not face the same financial crisis as in Buffalo, local leaders said.

“Every suit fits a bit different, and in this instance Buffalo has some serious circumstances,” Mooney said.

RARMON@DemocratandChronicle.com

JSPECTOR@DemocratandChronicle.com

Includes reporting by The Associated Press.

To read Joel Giambra’s speech, go to: www.erie.gov .

Agglomeration
February 14th, 2004, 12:21 AM
When the Erie canal was the massive moneymaker it was this topic would never be suggested. All the upstate cities were vital to making NY what it is today.

Now things are much different, but the relationship between NYC and upstate will never be severed. This conversation comes up every few years and quickly fades away.

Perhaps, but if Albany doesn't get its act together and try to bridge the eceonomic and political divide between upstate and downstate and fix the tax disparity, I doubt that talk of secession in NYC and its suburbs will fully go away.

Agglomeration
February 28th, 2004, 02:07 PM
My own opinion is starting to lean towards secession, partly because of how unaccountable and entrenched and Robert-Moses-like Albany has become. (Mike Bloomberg sucks also, but that's another story.) I've posted this link (http://www.nycstatehood.org/index.php)managed by someone who passionately wants NYC to form its own state. Even if you don't agree with him, it's worth checking out.

ZippyTheChimp
February 28th, 2004, 02:19 PM
Think about New York City's entire water supply coming from another state.

TLOZ Link5
February 28th, 2004, 02:49 PM
Think about New York City's entire water supply coming from another state.

If that were the case then remember that only Congress can regulate interstate commerce.

TLOZ Link5
April 21st, 2004, 09:18 PM
Rust Belt Sisters - Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buffalo in race to consolidate government
Judy Lin, Associated Press Writer 03/15/2004
http://www.timesonline.com/site/new...id=478569&rfi=6

PITTSBURGH - For decades the Rust Belt sister cities of Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh have maintained much of their government inside city halls despite losing tax base to sprawl, job loss and population decline.

Now in the face of budget deficits - $24 million in Buffalo, $42 million in Pittsburgh and $61 million in Cleveland - political leaders and urban planners agree it's time to consolidate municipal governments if these Northeast metropolises hope to rebound in the 21st century.

Following in the footsteps of cities like Louisville, Ky., Indianapolis, and Nashville, that successfully merged with their surrounding counties, the three Rust Belt cities are moving toward consolidating basic services such as fire, police, schools, water and garbage.

"What has changed in the past couple of years is that fragmented government, particularly city and county government, is seen as a drag on competitiveness," said Bruce Katz, director of the Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy at the Brookings Institution. "Having all these duplicates was seen as fiscally wasteful and those kinds of issues really hit home in a time of economic downturn."

While talk of mergers - or regionalism - has mostly been taken up by private and philanthropic groups in Cleveland, leaders in Buffalo have been plotting the merger of city and county governments for years. Pittsburgh is in the middle with elected officials and committees exploring the possibility of a city-county merger for the first time.

Already, the county executive in Buffalo has sounded the opening bell in a friendly, informal race with Cleveland and Pittsburgh to consolidate city and county governments. Erie County Executive Joel Giambra claims a prize of economic prosperity dangles at the finish line.

"We're in a race in the Northeast here to see who can rebrand themselves first," Giambra said. "It's my contention that the one who rebrands itself first is the one who will have the best chance of success."

The three cities share similar roots. Born of America's industrial age, the canals opened up Buffalo and Cleveland to trade in the Great Lakes. Coal fostered Pittsburgh's steel industry. In their heydays, each town boasted wealth rivaling New York City, and government benefited accordingly.

Out of Buffalo sprang 46 municipalities. Cleveland has more than 50 municipalities in its region. And Pittsburgh has 130.

As the cities started aging, manufacturers couldn't keep competitive and factories and mills closed. Young, single, college-educated people fled and families sought refuge in the suburbs.

According to the 2000 census, Pittsburgh lost 10 percent of its population since 1990, dropping 35,000 people to 334,563. Buffalo's population is 292,000, down from a 1950s peak of 580,000. And Cleveland, once the state's largest city, dropped 5.4 percent to 478,403 from 505,616 in 1990.

All the while, their governments failed to downsize accordingly.

Public safety costs - fire, police and emergency medical services - now account for more than 40 percent of Pittsburgh's budget, according to Mayor Tom Murphy's administration.

Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell reported that Cuyahoga County lost more than 62,000 jobs, a significant portion of which were in the city. Citing housing trends tracked by Cleveland State, Campbell said 86 percent of Cleveland home sellers move out of the city.

In the coming week, Giambra says he and Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello will announce a new commission charged with revising the county charter. Giambra has proposed dissolving both the city and county governments, then installing a "New Buffalo" government.

Giambra, who first proposed the idea in 1995 as city comptroller, says Buffalo has done enough research; it's ready to start merging.

Steps have already been taken to streamline infrastructure, from merging small town police and highway departments to forming a joint-city and county water authority. In 2002, western New York voters approved downsizing the city council from 13-9 and the county legislative body from 17 to 15.

Both Buffalo and Pittsburgh have been placed under the fiscal leash of state monitoring boards to control spending, forced to balance budgets and created a fiscal recovery plan. The crisis has forced service sharing.

Pittsburgh officials last week approved merging the city and county emergency dispatch centers, a move that could save $1 million per year. Their purchasing departments are now buying bulk together and committees are exploring the possibility of a full-blown merger for the first time.

The idea of catapulting 52nd-ranked Pittsburgh to the seventh largest city in the nation is very alluring, said Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato.

After all, he said, when Louisville shot up from 67th to 16th from a merger with Jefferson County last year, their status improved overnight.

TLOZ Link5
April 21st, 2004, 10:03 PM
Another article on city-county mergers. This one is over a year old (November 3, 2002) and was first printed in usatoday.com right before Louisville, Ky.'s city-county merger. Interesting read, and Buffalo and Rochester are mentioned as mulling a merger. Buffalo has since gotten the furthest at this point; I'm not sure if Rochester is seriously considering it anymore.

Merger will pump up city's stats
By Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY

LOUISVILLE — After more than a century of churning out Triple Crown winners and Louisville Slugger bats, this Southern city has yet to play in the big leagues.

Ranked 67th in population in a nation where size matters, Louisville has never been able to compete against bigger cities for jobs, corporate investments and professional sports teams. But in January, Louisville will join the hall of fame of big American cities — if not in reputation, at least in numbers.

The city is about to merge with its county, Jefferson. Overnight, it will grow from 256,231 residents to 693,604, becoming the nation's 16th most populous city.

The first major city-county merger in more than 30 years does more than pump up the ego of a city better known for horse racing and mint juleps. It signals an important shift in the way cities and their suburbs are run, and it reinforces the notion that the lines between the two are blurring.

At least seven cities are exploring mergers: Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y.; Rochester and Monroe County, N.Y.; Memphis and Shelby County, Tenn.; Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, Wis.; Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, N.M.; Des Moines and Polk County, Iowa; and Fresno and Fresno County, Calif.

"The issues that cities face increasingly transcend municipal boundaries," says Jonathan Weiss, director of the Center on Sustainable Growth at George Washington University.

What city limits?

It's clear that urban problems no longer stop at city limits. As fast-growing suburbs attract more jobs and people, urban and suburban concerns over housing, schools, jobs, transportation and air quality are becoming one.

Smaller suburban governments feel the stress of managing large-scale urban growth, while cities struggle to hang on to residents. Combining city and county creates a richer tax base, and it eliminates duplication of services and competition for jobs, according to urban planners.

Even cities and counties that have no plans to merge are melding some government functions. In Denver and Atlanta, regional boards oversee transportation and air quality. Many large metros have formed commissions to plan land use for the whole region.

"The game is being played at the metropolitan level, and government needs to rearrange itself so it matches up closer to how the economy is operating," says Bruce Katz, director of the Center on Urban & Metropolitan Policy at the Brookings Institution. Louisville hired Brookings as a consultant.

But city-county marriages still are rare. Suburban voters fear they'll inherit what they tried to escape — racial diversity, crime and poverty. In metro areas made up of several counties, townships and boroughs, consolidations are difficult because too many governments are involved.

"The unspoken mission of these little town councils is to keep our town and keep our school just the way they are for people just like us," says David Rusk, former Albuquerque mayor and author of Cities Without Suburbs. "They want to maintain control of local planning and zoning."

William Hudnut was mayor of Indianapolis from 1976 to 1991, after the state Legislature merged the city with Marion County. "It gave the mayor a much stronger hand in negotiating economic development deals," Hudnut says. "There was one voice speaking."

In 1991, Indianapolis beat out 92 cities competing for a $300 million United Airlines maintenance facility. It also raised the extra $75 million needed to build a downtown mall from businesses throughout the county. Hudnut credits the merger for these successes.

How it was done

In Kentucky, it was a long and painful courtship.

Twice, Louisville and Jefferson County voters said "no" to a merger. Special interests — including minority voters, the police union, volunteer fire departments and small-city mayors — were all against it.

Blacks feared that their political power would be diluted. And the 93 smaller incorporated cities in Jefferson County didn't want to be gobbled up.

But in 2000, the proposal passed. Business leaders poured $1.2 million into an aggressive ad campaign. They also recruited the charismatic former mayor of Louisville, Jerry Abramson, whose three terms ended in 1998 because of term limits. With the city and county merging, Abramson was allowed to run again. He's expected to easily win the mayor's race Tuesday.

Merger advocates also appealed to civic pride. The state's second-largest city, Lexington, bumped Louisville out of the No. 1 spot in the 2000 Census. Lexington merged with its county in 1972.

And then there's sports.

The city is still stinging from its failure to woo a professional team. When the Charlotte Hornets basketball franchise started looking for a new home, "the mayor was for it, the county judge executive was against it," says Steve Higdon, head of Greater Louisville Inc., the chamber of commerce. "What happened? We didn't get it." New Orleans did.

The bigger-is-better pitch worked with voters. So did the way merger advocates sidestepped some contentious issues.

The county's 93 other cities will stay independent unless they choose to merge fully with the new Louisville. They'll elect Louisville's mayor and council as well as their own.

No departments will be consolidated until Louisville's new 26-member council is elected and votes to streamline.

Taxes will stay the same for now. City residents now pay higher taxes than suburbanites do. But they get more "free" services, from trash pickup to streetlights. If residents of the new Louisville want the services the city has been getting all along, their taxes will go up.

This fuzzy blueprint doesn't sit well with everyone, including Jefferson County Commissioner Darryl Owens. "We still don't know if we're going to have one police department or two police departments."

Owens bemoans the loss of black representation. A third of the 12 city aldermen and of the three county commissioners — Owens — are black. "Now, you might get six out of 26. You do the math."

Will other cities follow?

Albuquerque is getting close to a merger of its own. In 2000, voters approved a state constitutional amendment to create a unified government. Next year, they'll vote on a proposal.

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton wants to put a merger proposal on the ballot as early as 2005. Unlike in Louisville, where city and county schools already are combined, Memphis' struggling school district could benefit from county revenue — something suburban voters aren't likely to embrace.

While other cities watch Louisville's merger unfold, residents adjust to their new status. "Bigger isn't always better, but I don't want to see progress stopped," says Harold Knott, 62, a construction supervisor. He's amazed his city will be bigger than Boston. "Kind of hard to believe. Boston is like big, it's the Kennedys and all that. We're so laid back here."

--------

Louisville now has a population of about 700,000, making it the 16th-largest city in America. Buffalo-Erie County (950,265), Cleveland-Cuyahoga County (1,393,978), and Pittsburgh-Allegheny County (1,281,666) are the furthest along in the process and have good chances of merging. A second upstate city mulling a city-county merger, though not as seriously as Buffalo, is Rochester-Monroe County (735,343).

londonlawyer
April 21st, 2004, 11:42 PM
I would love to see NYC as its own state. It has nothing in common with the rest of the state other than Long Island and Westchester.

In fact, I would really love to see NYC as its own independent nation.

TonyO
April 22nd, 2004, 01:24 AM
This fantasy never seems to fizzle out in the minds of 'seperatists'. Sounds like whining Quebecers.

This astoundingly impractical idea always seems to get people going. And as soon as it appears it fades away. Until they forget and want to light this little torch again.

Won't happen.

MidnightRambler
April 22nd, 2004, 01:26 AM
But it should.

TLOZ Link5
April 22nd, 2004, 01:39 AM
For the time being, I for one will give upstaters the benefit of the doubt. If the largest city up there can streamline city governments and cut spending to boot (which is what the merger will accomplish), then there will probably still be hope.

Kris
May 18th, 2004, 10:41 PM
The Upstate-Downstate Debate (http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/issueoftheweek/20001204/200/148)

krulltime
July 13th, 2004, 01:21 PM
STATE SLICES APPLE DWELLERS FOR $11B


By DAVID SEIFMAN
July 13, 2004

The city is sending as much as $11 billion a year more in taxes to Albany than it's getting back in state aid, according to a study released by Mayor Bloomberg's office yesterday.

While the flow of city funds upstate is hardly a new phenomenon, the disparity has never been as great, according to the Center for Governmental Research.

"The late 1990s brought vibrant economic expansion to downstate communities and relative stagnation to their upstate counterparts, exacerbating these differences in fiscal contribution," said the CGR study commissioned by the city and two Long Island groups.

CGR found city taxpayers provided the state with a net surplus of about $7 billion in 2000-01.

When taxes paid by commuters were included, the surplus swelled to $11 billion.

By comparison, in 1997-98, the city was shortchanged by about $4 billion — or $7 billion when the calculation included commuters who earned their living in the five boroughs.

Bloomberg has come under attack by political rivals for not demanding more aid from Republican administrations in Washington and Albany.

State aid to the city includes money for things like education, transportation, environmental protection, health care and much more.

Along with the CGR report, the mayor's office released a two-paragraph statement from city budget director Mark Page declaring that state spending in the city is "way short of our fair share."

In fact, the entire downstate region — including Long Island and the lower Hudson valley — is subsidizing upstate communities, according to the study.

In Long Island's case, the net loss was put as high as $2.8 billion.

Bill Cunningham, the mayor's communications director, said the study demonstrated that the imbalance between what the city pays and what it gets is "even more dramatic" than people realized.

"We're not asking other regions to lose," said Cunningham. "We're just asking that some more of our money come back to where it's needed."

Michael Marr, a spokesman for Gov. Pataki's budget office, said it was still reviewing the findings.

"But it appears to confirm the fact that the city's economy and its budget are far stronger than they've been in years and that's a real positive," said Marr.

Robert Ward, research director for the Business Council of New York, said it shouldn't come as a surprise that city taxpayers are taking it on the chin since "we have a progressive tax system" and residents here have far higher incomes than those upstate.

"The ironic thing is that New York City legislators tend to support higher state income taxes, but that's what drives this imbalance of payments for New York City," noted Ward.

"This shows the folly of city representatives continually demanding more spending and more taxes in Albany."

Officials said the city paid $77,250 for the study.


Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

Johnnyboy
July 13th, 2004, 03:13 PM
this would make the new state exelent. I wonder if it would become as rich or richer than California.

krulltime
July 26th, 2004, 04:12 PM
Giving the city its fair share


By Alair Townsend (Columnist)
Published on July 26, 2004

Reprising the old Pat Moynihan study of how we contribute much more to the federal government than we get in return, our city government commissioned a study of the flow of money from here to Albany and back.

The study found that New York City's residents, businesses and visitors paid 46% of the New York state income tax and almost 50% of its business taxes in 2001. We mean more to the state than many have wanted to acknowledge.

At least $7 billion of our money goes elsewhere, rather than being returned to us as state aid. The outflow rises to $11 billion if the accounting allocates personal income taxes to the places people work as opposed to where they live.

That $7 billion is more than enough to raise protests that the city is being denied its fair share. But fair share is a slippery concept. It is not unfair for wealthier places to get less support than poorer ones-at both the federal and state levels. Otherwise, there would be little point in empowering those governments to tax us at all. With progressive income taxes, the rich pay more, regardless of where they live. Likewise, business taxes flow most heavily from places where business is strong. It's not surprising that city taxpayers provide a disproportionate share of state revenues.

Still, city officials-I among them in the past-have long argued that the distribution of state education aid was unfair. We receive a smaller percentage of total school support than our share of school children, and more of our children are disadvantaged and need high-priced help. Correcting that unfairness would cost some money, given state legislators' unwillingness to reallocate existing funds from other jurisdictions. But that sum would be small potatoes, compared with the $5 billion to $7 billion the city is seeking to resolve the recent lawsuit about fiscal equity.

But I think we should ask, "Where would those billions come from?" Almost certainly from us.

Remember last year. Faced with the most severe fiscal crisis in a generation for both the state and its localities, state politicians couldn't bring themselves to reform Medicaid, public pensions, tort law or anything else to save money. They resorted instead to the tried and true: They raised taxes. Among other tax hikes, they increased the top personal income tax rate, which tapped city residents disproportionately. If that's to be their response to giving us more aid, we will have shot ourselves in the foot.

Typically, New York's elected officials following the money focus on the return trip only: How much are we getting back, and what can we do to make our take bigger and, presumably, fairer? We should look at the other side of the equation as well: how much are we sending, and what can we do to keep more here.

It's a point to remember in evaluating claims for fair shares. Maybe the best way to help the city is to support state tax cuts.


Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

TLOZ Link5
December 27th, 2004, 12:47 AM
Poll: Support for city-county merger mixed
G. Scott Thomas
Business First

City residents are enthusiastic about merging the governments of Buffalo and Erie County.

Suburbanites, not so much.

That's the challenge facing advocates of city-county consolidation, which is expected to be formally proposed as early as next month. A merger of both governments would have to be approved by city and suburban voters in separate referendums. If either side turns thumbs down, the plan would die.

Buffalo appears likely to vote yes. City residents currently support a merger by the lopsided margin of 65 percent to 19 percent, according to a new Business First-Goldhaber Research Associates Poll. The remaining 16 percent are undecided.

But public opinion is almost equally divided in the suburbs, where 40 percent favor a merger and 39 percent are opposed. The other 21 percent have not chosen sides.

"There's a substantial difference between the city and the suburbs on this issue. Obviously, if it comes down to a vote, the city wouldn't be a concern. The battleground would be the suburbs," says Shawn Fegley, market research manager for Goldhaber Research Associates, an Amherst polling firm.

An 11-member commission is putting the final touches on a consolidation proposal, which is tentatively slated to be unveiled within a few weeks of New Year's Day.

"We're close to being done," says the panel's chairman, William Greiner, former president of the University at Buffalo. "We've got one or two sessions to do some fine tuning, but we're aiming for January. The earlier, the better."

A few details of the committee's closed-door deliberations have leaked out.

The panel reportedly will propose elimination of the Buffalo mayor's office and creation of a new legislative body that would incorporate the existing Erie County Legislature and Buffalo Common Council. Other cities, towns and villages would have the option of remaining independent or consolidating with the county.

The first step after the plan's release will be to seek approval from the state and county legislatures. If both agree, voters will then get their say in concurrent referendums.

Voters in Erie County's three cities -- Buffalo, Lackawanna and the City of Tonawanda -- would participate in one referendum. Buffalo, with 90 percent of the group's population, would hold the balance of power.

The county's 25 towns would take part in the other referendum. Suburban and rural voters would decide as a bloc whether to approve or reject the merger plan.

Consolidation would go forward only if both referendums were approved.

"It's a very elaborate process in New York state, and a difficult one," says Greiner. "If it doesn't go to the voters by next November, it's not the end of the world. But we'd like to see it next November."

Goldhaber Research Associates took the early pulse of the merger campaign by surveying 489 randomly selected Erie County residents from Nov. 13 to 23, half a month before the highly publicized culmination of the county's budget crisis in early December. The poll's margin of error was 4.4 percentage points.

The countywide results demonstrate substantial interest in city-county consolidation, at least in theory:

* Favor a merger, 48 percent
* Oppose a merger, 33 percent
* No opinion, 19 percent

"Across the board, pessimism about local government is very, very high," says Fegley. "It has obviously reached the point that people feel that something new has to be done."

But the countywide totals are not as important as the city-suburban breakdowns. Greiner and Fegley agree that the dead heat in suburbia is the key.

"I think our chances of carrying the city are quite good, so the lead there is not a surprise," says Greiner. "In the suburbs, I think the results are a good starting point. Those numbers would suggest that in the towns, there's an open mind at least, and that's helpful."

But he also acknowledges that the percentages could change substantially once a specific proposal is unveiled and the political campaign begins in earnest.

"I think it's likely to be a close proposition in the end," Greiner says. "Here in Western New York, we're cautious about change. What the (countywide) results probably reflect is the very strong dissatisfaction with the way things are going. But when we actually put something before the voters, it could be a very different thing."

Results of the Business First-Goldhaber Research Associates Poll have been broken down for 33 demographic groups, based on gender, residence, age, educational attainment, race, income and occupation.

Upper-income households are among the strongest supporters of a city-county merger. The concept was endorsed by 68 percent of respondents with annual incomes of $100,000 or more, and 63 percent of those in the $75,000 to $99,999 range.

"It's a very noticeable trend," Fegley says. "It could be that people in the higher brackets are more aware of the situation and are more supportive of trying to solve it."

Three other groups have support levels of at least 60 percent: Buffalo residents (65 percent), blue collar workers (62 percent) and white collar workers (60 percent).

The lowest levels of support for consolidation come from homemakers (29 percent), people who are 70 or older (33 percent) and those with annual incomes of less than $15,000 (37 percent).


© 2004 American City Business Journals Inc.

All contents of this site © American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.

MichaelMike5556
May 19th, 2005, 11:50 PM
No NO NO if u become a new state then we will have an uneven number .. so state hood should only come if Rurto rico becomes a state too . a nice evan 52 .

or better yet jsut take NYC out of the state but make it like purto Rico a terrotory . u could make a huge reduction in the State taxes u pay plus no more fed taxes plus all the Fed benifits still . buuuut none of this will happen ...

alex ballard
May 20th, 2005, 06:34 PM
No NO NO if u become a new state then we will have an uneven number .. so state hood should only come if Rurto rico becomes a state too . a nice evan 52 .

or better yet jsut take NYC out of the state but make it like purto Rico a terrotory . u could make a huge reduction in the State taxes u pay plus no more fed taxes plus all the Fed benifits still . buuuut none of this will happen ...


So it hinges on the number of stars we have? We have an odd number of houses in this country...let's knock yours down.

Sounds stupid, your reasoning is equally so.

TomAuch
May 20th, 2005, 07:40 PM
No NO NO if u become a new state then we will have an uneven number .. so state hood should only come if Rurto rico becomes a state too . a nice evan 52 .

or better yet jsut take NYC out of the state but make it like purto Rico a terrotory . u could make a huge reduction in the State taxes u pay plus no more fed taxes plus all the Fed benifits still . buuuut none of this will happen ...
New Yorkers would also lose the right to vote in elections beyond Mayoral and Gubernatorial (assuming there would be a territorial Governor).

MichaelMike5556
May 22nd, 2005, 06:09 AM
Hey now i'm not from new york and i dont care but if its all whinning about the taxes u have to pay being like purto rico is the best bet for ya .

davidcaspian
January 15th, 2006, 03:27 AM
This is a great thread, and a good idea, just not completely thought-out yet. The major problem that would arise would be the possible failure of the economies of aforementioned cities: Syracuse, Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester.

If NYC does get its own state, I say the State Bird is the pigeon and the state flower is the Marijuana Plant.

antinimby
January 15th, 2006, 01:12 PM
With the idea of the City's secession from the State seemingly unrealistic and thus unattainable, I think we should do something similar to the "special economic zones" given to cities in China such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen and others.

This has advantages of having individual statehood without the disadvantages. We'd still be considered part of NY State but will have more autonomy. I've always felt the rest of the State were often bias against the City and it always seem to rear its ugly head at critical occasions. Case in point, the Westside Railyards/Jets Stadium proposal just this past summer. Whether you believe it was a good project is beside the point.

The point is that the city should not have to depend on Upstate bureaucrats to do what it wants, big or small. That includes indisputable beneficial projects like subway extensions, infrastructure improvements and so on. Relying on distant politicians that either don't care or resentful, to be concerned about and working in the City's best interests is insane. The City with more autonomy over its own interests will be much, much better off.

MrSpice
January 15th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Being part of New York State is what saved New York City from being an overtaxed, slow-growing hole... The only reason why taxes came down in the last 6-8 years was because upstate voters brought fiscally conservative polititians into the office - from Pataki to so many state senators. While NYC is still grossly overtaxed, at least the state burden came down quite a bit and that was good for business.

macreator
January 15th, 2006, 10:12 PM
Being part of New York State is what saved New York City from being an overtaxed, slow-growing hole... The only reason why taxes came down in the last 6-8 years was because upstate voters brought fiscally conservative polititians into the office - from Pataki to so many state senators. While NYC is still grossly overtaxed, at least the state burden came down quite a bit and that was good for business.

Wait a second....let me take this in....are you calling Pataki and his cronies....competent?

Pataki is the most incompetent politico in the state. Part of the problem is that he spends half the year campaigning for his stupid fantasy of becoming President.

ZippyTheChimp
January 15th, 2006, 11:59 PM
First time I've heard of NYS politicians being accused of fiscal responsibility.

When times are really bad in New York City, it is somewhat of a burden on the rest of the state. In times like today, the city delivers much more in revenue to the state than it receives in benefits.

There's a report on this webpage (http://www.cgr.org/Articles/?id=124) by the Center for Governmental Research covering the fiscal years 1998 - 2001.

I would not want to see NYC become a separate state, not for economic, but for political reasons. The portion of non-NYC electoral votes that invariably get delivered to Democrats would be lost to Republicans.

The same situation exists in California.

jawny80
April 5th, 2006, 12:20 AM
I am a 25 year old that currently lives upstate and hates it! I went to college in NYC for a while and I am stuck in the Syracuse area for a while until I can save enough money and land a job in the city. The people up here all think that "upstate supports New York City". This sounds like a joke but they really believe this. I just heard yesterday, "We would be fine as a state if all our money didn't go to NYC". People up here have no concept of the size and importance of the NYC economy. The people up here are very ignorant, don't have a clue how to drive, and constantly say "New York Sucks". Every time I hear people up here refer to upstate as New York it is like hearing fingernails on a blackboard. The city and upstate should split but only if it is done right. NYC and NJ need to have serious talks over teaming up as a state. The state would be able to reduce taxes and grow at a faster rate, making it more competitive for luring jobs into the region. People in NY need to continue to press the desire to secede! Upstate wants to secede because the people are stupid, and NY wants to because it makes sense. Let upstate rot in their own misery and debt!

antinimby
April 5th, 2006, 01:06 AM
The people up here all think that "upstate supports New York City".That could be true if upstate is in a position to support someone, but it is not. It's fairly safe to say that the city is the breadwinner here.

Btw jawny80, are you a native upstater?

LeCom
April 5th, 2006, 09:46 PM
I say that the NYC and Philly break off their respective states (which are basically nothing but extra weight dragging the city down) and join New Jersey to form a mega metropolis state with population more than that of California.

czsz
April 5th, 2006, 10:43 PM
Although it would make me severely sad to have to associate with New Jersey, it really is a far more prosperous and rationally-administered state.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, would drag down both New Jersey and New York with its corrupt indigenous leadership. Harrisburg isn't so much the problem there as City Hall...but if a change of state were the best option for it, better it experiment with union with Delaware...

lofter1
April 6th, 2006, 12:47 AM
What's the income tax rate in NJ?

RS085
April 6th, 2006, 02:39 AM
hahaha this thread is hilarious. you guys got too much time on your hands. dont waste it talking about upstate. that shit will never happen.

JCMAN320
April 6th, 2006, 12:27 PM
Why would it be sad. Jersey is a great state and I love it here. Really beautiful and senic in many places. The stereotypes are so old, over used and played out that they have no real foundation anymore. If NJ was to succed from the United States, it would be the richest country in the world because we are the richest state in America. If NYC and LI were to team up with NJ to form one giant, powerful, rich state, it would be amazing. See NJ makes perfect sense because it is the most economically diverse and its always proven that when ever the country as whole suffers an econmoic down-turn, we fair the best because of our economic diversity. Our unemployment rate is way way lower than the national average and that gives us the lowest unemployment rate in America. Also Fifty Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or conduct business from Morris County, New Jersey alone!! Also it is said New Jersey has the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the world: nearly one hundred companies on the Fortune 500 list have headquarters or conduct business from New Jersey!!

Futhermore several New Jersey counties; Essex, Morris, Middlesex, Union, and Bergen counties have been ranked in the World Almanac of 2002, as being among the top 15 highest per person per capita income areas in the country.

So really it just makes sense. With NYC being so powerful, and NJ being so powerful it just seems like the smart thing to.

New Jersey and NYC...Perfect Together.

czsz
May 2nd, 2006, 07:38 PM
Similar ideas from the Left Coast:

Unscrambling Eggs: It's Time to Break Up California

By Frank J. Gruber

"If nothing else, the comic opera collapse of the two-month political quest for a plan to improve highways, levees and other strained and deteriorating public facilities should finally convince Californians that their Capitol is a broken institution, endemically incapable of dealing with major policy issues. . . .

"Simply put, California's dizzyingly dense mélange of ideological, geographic, cultural and economic subgroups interacts with a political structure that, in effect, gives every 'stakeholder' a virtual veto power over the product. Under those circumstances, there are only two possible outcomes, both of which are bad. Either the product is a monstrosity that accommodates all demands but collapses of its own weight, or there is stalemate and no product at all." -- Veteran Sacramento watcher Dan Walters, writing in the March 17 Sacramento Bee.

Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature failed to agree on an infrastructure bond to put on the June ballot, even though everyone agrees California needs major public investment. This latest political fiasco is one more indication that California's politics are dysfunctional, as if the recall of a governor, the state's recurring fiscal crises, and the ever-increasing use of ballot box government were not enough.

Different analysts blame different causes, from term limits to gerrymandering to big money in politics, but they only scratch the surface, and no one has a serious clue how to fix the problem.

And no one will fix the problem so long as, in Dan Walters' words, California is a "dense mélange of ideological, geographic, cultural and economic subgroups."

It's time to break up California.

Our huge population, 37 million, and our 163,707 square miles spread over distinct regions with different needs, have reduced political debate to the cost of TV spots and political office to non-stop fund raising. Political discourse revolves around one word: taxes.

Most important, Californians have no common purpose.

On the national level, California is an anemic giant. Our two senators represent 37 million people -- about the same number as the 44 senators of the 22 smallest states. Not coincidentally, we rank near the bottom in the return on the taxes we send to Washington.

It's time to break California up into smaller, more governable states, each with its own representation in Washington, each more attuned to the needs and wants of its residents.

Breaking up California is an idea that has been around since as long as California has been a state. But it is an idea that only now makes sense. Only now can California divide on principles of equality between, and benefit for, each new state.

Some history. Almost immediately upon California's admission to the union, the "cow counties" of southern California wanted to secede. In 1859 a plan to divide the state north and south even passed the legislature, before dying in Congress.

In the 20th century, various plans to split the state emanated from the north as both water and political power flowed to the faster growing south. The most recent attempt occurred in 1993, when Stan Statham, a member of the Assembly from Shasta County, proposed to break California into three states. His bill to put the plan to a vote passed the Assembly.

What all the old proposals had in common was the notion of secession, of escape. Break-up proponents wanted to escape the bigger whole by creating states that were more homogeneous -- more reflective of their own interests, culture, or ethnicity -- than the state or states they would leave behind. Statham, for instance, wanted a state of "North California" that would have had a population of 2.4 million, of which 93 percent would have been white.

All these plans failed, and for good reason; those who would be "left behind" had no good reason to let the seceders go.

Now Californians should consider breaking up the state on different principles: equality and mutuality. The purpose would be to create states with residents who are more united in what they want from government, but with populations that are more or less equal in size and diverse demographically and economically.

In fact, California has grown so diverse -- with no single ethnic group being in the majority -- that it is impossible to divide the state into three or four contiguous sets of counties, with roughly equal populations, that do not each have substantial ethnic diversity.

To understand why breaking up makes sense, it is important to remember that California's problems are political, not substantive.

California is a rich state. It is anything but in decline. It has ample resources -- human and economic -- to solve every one of its problems but one: the problem that Californians have lost confidence that government can do the solving.

Californians bemoan both gridlock in Sacramento and the regularity of "voter revolts" that perpetuate the gridlock, but if state senators represent almost 900,000 people each and members of the Assembly about 450,000, why shouldn't their constituents feel unrepresented?

When deep-pocketed private interests and special interest groups manipulate the initiative process, why shouldn't the people feel cynical about "popular democracy?"

When it costs tens of millions to run for statewide office, why shouldn't constituents lack confidence that their "representatives" will be looking out for them? For that matter, when the regions of a state are so diverse, why should we expect the people to agree on what "looking out for them" means?

Californians need state government that is closer to the people, and state government needs constituents who have more similar needs, who have a more common purpose.

The key to a successful division of California would be to create new states that make geographic, demographic, economic, and political sense. The states would need to be distinct and cohesive, yet maintain diverse populations and economies.

These states could have more or less the national average of eight million people per state, yet they would be so much smaller than California today that state government will be dramatically closer to the people and more responsive to their more homogeneous and identifiable needs.

As just one possibility, imagine if California divided into these four states: one combining northern and mountain counties with the Central Valley; a San Francisco Bay and coastal state; a Southern California state; and a state of Los Angeles County alone.

Each of these four states would have between seven and nearly eleven million people, and each would be big enough to have diversified economies and populations. At least 40 percent of the population of each state would be Hispanic, Asian, or African-American. The smallest in square miles, Los Angeles, would still be more than twice the size of Delaware and big enough to have within its boundaries the equivalent of two national parks.

Breaking up California would not be simple, although the legal procedure is not complicated. Under the U.S. Constitution, a state can divide if its legislature and Congress agree.

The Assembly and State Senate would presumably make their approvals subject to a vote by the people. If the people want to divide, then Congress would decide. While small states might not want to give up a little power in the Senate, the national political parties would likely go along, rather than alienate so many Californians.

Of course, drawing boundaries would raise a lot of big questions about what should constitute a joint political enterprise, and eggs would need to be unscrambled.

California's debts and assets would have to be apportioned. The new states may decide to hold and fund some assets jointly, such as the California Water Project or the state's institutions of higher education. ("The University of the Californias?")

Agreements that are intrastate now, such as those relating to water, and regional entities, would need to go interstate. Already, California and Nevada jointly manage Lake Tahoe, and the water from the Colorado River is subject to an interstate compact. Compacts between states are common elsewhere, as are interstate authorities like the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Each state would have to write a new constitution, but that would be a plus, given the barnacles encrusted on the California Constitution. The electorate of each state will have the chance to start fresh.

The wild card would be politics. It's hard to predict how the various interests in the state will position themselves, but every big idea engenders opposition. The ultimate question will be whether Californians in each region are willing to give up some little control they have over other regions in return for having much more control over their own.

I recently listened to a 1993 recording of a debate over the Statham proposal to split California into three states. Assemblyman Statham and a supervisor from a rural northern county defended the plan. Then-Assemblyman Willard Murray from Paramount and historian Kenneth Starr opposed it.

What they said was illuminating. Although the Statham plan was never going to fly because it was so unequitable, giving two senators to three million northern Californians and two to seventeen million southerners, the arguments Assemblyman Murray and Prof. Starr mustered against the plan were weak.

Murray argued that Central Valley farmers would not be able to sell their products to Southern California, as if splitting California would revoke the interstate commerce clause, while Starr earnestly invoked our shared history and traditions.

Not long after listening to the recording, I spoke to Dana Cuff, a UCLA professor of architecture and planning who has written extensively on land development in Los Angeles. Speaking as a scholar but perhaps more importantly as a fourth-generation Californian, Professor Cuff had a more trenchant analysis.

As she put it, "in California, tradition doesn't mean too much."


More California(s) Dreaming
By Frank J. Gruber

I know that the column I wrote a month ago with my idea about solving California's political problems by breaking up the state has not caused a tsunami of comment, let alone action. However, I did receive enough inquiries to justify writing another one, to explain some of the details.

And anyway, I like writing about the idea.

Some inquirers wanted to know how exactly I would divide the state, and what the demographics would be. It's important to note that there are many ways to divide California based on the primary criterion I identified in my first column -- fairness. That means relatively equal populations, and representative demographics in all states.

But after tinkering with the map and the census figures, and talking over the idea with various people who know something about California -- including, in one case, with farmers at the Farmers Market from San Luis Obispo -- I came up with one plan that could work. Here's the map:

http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/images/images-lookout/2006/IL-04_2006/04_24_06_Calif-4StateMap.jpg

I call the coastal state "Pacifica," the mountain/Central Valley state "Sierra" (although it could keep "California" since it includes Sacramento), the southern state, "South California," and Los Angeles, the "State of L.A."

There are some counties that might not seem logically placed. The most difficult counties were Ventura and the two eastern Sierra counties of Mono and Inyo.

Ventura County is the most schizophrenic county in the state; part is connected to L.A. (though not many Venturans like to admit it), part to Santa Barbara, and part is still agricultural, like the Central Valley. Probably the most logical grouping would be to include it in South California, but I haven't researched whether a state can be non-contiguous.

The eastern Sierra counties present a special challenge. Although they resemble most closely Sierra in economy and culture, I included them in South California because of the difficultly in traveling from one slope of the Sierras to the other for most of the year, when the passes are snowed in.

If California broke up on these lines, this is what the demographics would look like:

New state: Sierra Pacifica So. Calif. L.A.
Pop. (in 1,000s) 7,177 8,807 9,088 9,519
Ethnic splits:
White 67.48% 60.06% 64.18% 48.71%
African-Am. 4.51% 6.71% 5.13% 9.78%
Asian 6.09% 16.64% 8.55% 11.95%
Latino 28.05% 21.62% 32.60% 44.56%

(These numbers are based on the 2000 census; they are a little low, but they are not materially out of date for these purposes.)
You may have noticed that the percentages for the ethnic groups add up to more than 100 percent. The reason is that Latinos can be of any racial group. I am only using these numbers to show that all four states would have substantial minority populations. As opposed to the Stan Stathan plan of 1993, it's plain that no new state would be a white enclave.

The populations of the four states are all within the same range, as well, especially when one considers that the new state with the smallest population, Sierra, also has many of the fastest growing counties. The average is quite close to the national average state population.

Another question people ask me is how the new states would shake out politically, because they wonder if the politicians who would have to vote on the plan, both in Sacramento and in Washington, would go along.

http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/images/images-lookout/2006/IL-04_2006/04_24_06_Gruber_CalifBush-Kerry2004.jpg

The conventional wisdom is that Republicans would never agree to give Californians another six senators. But the numbers show that at least in the short run, Republicans would probably gain.

Republicans would gain because some of California's electoral votes -- now a lock for Democrats -- would be up for grabs. Democrats would gain because they would have the possibility (only a possibility) of increasing their proportionate representation in the U.S. Senate.

To the left is a map (using the familiar red/blue, Republican/Democratic convention) that shows how California counties voted in the 2004 presidential election:


It's obvious that California has its own red/blue divide; it seems that to be a Democratic county you have to have a coast. Here are the numbers for my four states:

New state: Sierra Pacifica So. Calif. L.A.
Bush: 56.64% 31.79% 56.54% 35.93%
Kerry: 43.36% 68.21% 43.46% 68.21%

What these numbers show is that Democrats would have a lock on L.A. and Pacifica -- no surprise to anyone. At the moment, the other two states are Republican, although not overwhelmingly so. Democrats -- perhaps only the moderate kind -- could win statewide elections in them, as well as presidential elections when the country wasn't scared about national security.

Now California provides Democrats in the U.S. Senate with a 2-0 advantage. Republicans would gain, therefore, if, after California broke up into four states, there would be 4-4 tie. Democrats would hold their own at 5-3, and improve if they could take half the seats in Sierra and South California.

The idea might look scary for Democrats and national Democrats would panic over losing the lock on California's bloc of electoral votes. But if my proposal ever gets beyond the stage of my fantasies, I would hope that Democrats would take a longer-term view.

First, increasing democracy, small-d, is always a good idea for Democrats. The fact that the urban populations of L.A. and Pacifica would have their own senators and House delegations is good no matter what.

For that matter, it would also be good for the nearly 20 million people in Sierra and South California to have as many senators as, say, the few hundreds of thousands of voters in North and South Dakota have, even if they are Republicans. They are going to be better Republicans, from a Democratic point of view, that those who come from Oklahoma.

Second, the populations of Sierra and South California are changing, becoming more urban and more ethnic. As they do so, there will be more opportunities for Democrats -- local Democrats who will understand the local politics better -- to improve their showings.

Liberals on the coast will gnash their teeth, of course, at the thought that they won't have as much control over the beloved mountains and the rest of California. But what has been evident for many years -- recently in the connection with the infrastructure bond -- is that counties like L.A. need more control over their own destinies than they need control over someone else's.

lofter1
May 2nd, 2006, 09:06 PM
It will never happen as Northern California has one thing that Southern California doesn't have -- and desperately needs: Abundant WATER Supply.

Both the Sacramento and San Juaquin Rivers (that serve the central valley agricultural area and are fed by Sierra snow run-off) drain into the Pacific Ocean via San Francisco Bay.

http://www.eh.doe.gov/nepa/eis/eis-0232/HTML/scans/f3-1.gif

SoCal has a few rivers / creeks -- that are basically dry most of the year (OK, there is the Colorado River, but now SoCal has to share that water with booming Arizona / Nevada).

Almost everything south and east of the Tehachapi Mountains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehachapi_Pass) is DESERT:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7a/Wpdms_shdrlfi020l_tehachapi_pass.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Wpdms_shdrlfi020l_tehachapi_pass.jpg)

Here are the pipes that pull the water over the mountains from the Central Valley to quench LA's thirst:

http://www.oasisdesign.net/images/img_book/TehachapiPumplift.jpg

It has been the age-old LA game to pretend it's a verdant paradise -- but that only came about from the Water Wars -- when LA stole water from NoCal via the Owens River on the eastern edge of the state (time to rent & view "CHINATOWN (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinatown_(1974_movie)" again) ...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/38/Chinatownposter1.jpg/200px-Chinatownposter1.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Chinatownposter1.jpg)

czsz
May 2nd, 2006, 09:09 PM
States can't share water supplies?

OmegaNYC
July 3rd, 2006, 02:22 AM
I hope not, can you imagine a loud, proud New Jerseyan such as myself, spitting or peeing in your NYC water supply? ^_^ j/k. Though I was wondering, if state still have the power to break-off from one another. Hell, West Virginia did it. Why not others? Ahhh, too much politics I tell ya! ;)

Dr Funky
March 16th, 2007, 01:14 AM
We must separate immediately.

MikeW
March 16th, 2007, 01:25 PM
Well if we're breaking things up, should the city be split, with each borough being it's own municipality? It might be bit simpler to get things done in each borough, with dealing with the massive and unwieldy city bureaurcracy.

kliq6
March 16th, 2007, 01:53 PM
It would be in the City's best interest to leave the State. Most of the tax revenue from the State is from the City and basically Albany taxes City residents and spends it Upstate. The City is often not given aid from the state and that results in city taxes and fines being increased. Look at the schools, we had to take our own state to the suprem court to finally get them to aid us.

Fact is that if NYC was taken out of the State of NY, NY would be ranked 47 in terms of economy and would also be one of only three state in the last census to loose people. However this wont happen as the State wont let there bread winner leave.

lofter1
March 16th, 2007, 01:57 PM
There is very little manufacturing left in NYC proper. It produces money. No food. Some goods, but little compared to the past. The rest of NY State gives us that. Our water comes from upstate. Many NYC workers live outside the City limits. How would you tax them? The questions are many.

What would be the real upside of splitting?

MikeW
March 16th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Heh?

Most of our food like comes for waaay out of state (like the rest of the country). The water thing is an issue, but I wouldn'd doubt they'd be more than willing to sell it to us for a fee.

As far as workers outside the city limits, talk to people from Jersey. They deal with this currently.


There is very little manufacturing left in NYC proper. It produces money. No food. Some goods, but little compared to the past. The rest of NY State gives us that. Our water comes from upstate. Many NYC workers live outside the City limits. How would you tax them? The questions are many.

What would be the real upside of splitting?

kliq6
March 16th, 2007, 02:08 PM
There is very little manufacturing left in NYC proper. It produces money. No food. Some goods, but little compared to the past. The rest of NY State gives us that. Our water comes from upstate. Many NYC workers live outside the City limits. How would you tax them? The questions are many.

What would be the real upside of splitting?


Water yes but we can strike a deal. Most food is from Out West or Latin America. You can tx them with the small commuter tax that use to be here. Its is a bad idea to have this when you ar double taxing people that live in the same state just to work in your city, but if they are coming from out of state a small tax would be acceptable. Plus the chances are that if NYC was free we could get more firms and employees to base themself here as most of the heavy taxes that force the firms to relocate out of NYC, are state level

antinimby
March 16th, 2007, 04:16 PM
Instead of splitting up, let's annex NJ instead. :D

Joking aside, why don't we work on the problems with NY State instead of all this fantasy talk of splitting this or that up?

Make the government programs more efficient and reduce taxes on residents and businesses and things will turn around.

Dr Funky
March 16th, 2007, 10:33 PM
It would be in the City's best interest to leave the State. Most of the tax revenue from the State is from the City and basically Albany taxes City residents and spends it Upstate. The City is often not given aid from the state and that results in city taxes and fines being increased. Look at the schools, we had to take our own state to the suprem court to finally get them to aid us.

Fact is that if NYC was taken out of the State of NY, NY would be ranked 47 in terms of economy and would also be one of only three state in the last census to loose people. However this wont happen as the State wont let there bread winner leave.

Bullshit


Its the other way around.

New York City bleeds out and leeches from Upstate Cities.

MidtownGuy
March 16th, 2007, 11:27 PM
That's delusional if you believe that. How could that possily be true...
Upstate would wither and die(even more) without New York City.

ZippyTheChimp
March 16th, 2007, 11:29 PM
Dr Funky:
You made the same argument in the Niagara Falls (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3817&page=5) thread. Your example was high property taxes.

Among other things, it was pointed out to you that property taxes are levied by local municipalities.

What proof do you have now?

Dr Funky
March 17th, 2007, 01:36 AM
That's delusional if you believe that. How could that possily be true...
Upstate would wither and die(even more) without New York City.

How is it delusional when my area is one of the poorest in the country?

Wheres all this "Stolen New York City money" that you speak of?

If that were true then things would be a lot different arond here.


Dr Funky:
You made the same argument in the Niagara Falls (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3817&page=5) thread. Your example was high property taxes.

Among other things, it was pointed out to you that property taxes are levied by local municipalities.

What proof do you have now?

What about Trump?

He was the one who decided not to allow gambling in New York.

Because of him we cant any casinos because Native American ones.

Not only that but if we were sucking off New York so much then why is this one of the poorest areas of the country?

In all categories, living conditions, income, everything.

If what you said were true then we would be making the same amount of money New Yorkers make.

ZippyTheChimp
March 17th, 2007, 01:52 AM
^
None of the things you mentioned is proof that NYC draws money away from Niagara. I explained it to you here.

The numbers vary, but all show negative cash flow. Estimates are:

NYC sends $2 - 2.5 billion more to NYS than it gets back in state benefits.

NYC sends $6.5 - 11 billion more to the US govt than it gets back in federal benefits.

So if NYC were not part of NYS, Albany would have a revenue shortfall of over $2 billion.

MikeW
March 17th, 2007, 04:30 PM
Okay, if we're theoretically slicing and dicing, should the northeast states secede from the union. Let's say NY, NJ, PA, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, and ME.

Taken together, they'd make a pretty good country, and one that would be more idiologically cohesive than the US as a whole right now. And since it would be much smaller, it would be easier to manage.

ramvid01
March 17th, 2007, 05:15 PM
Okay, if we're theoretically slicing and dicing, should the northeast states secede from the union. Let's say NY, NJ, PA, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, and ME.

Taken together, they'd make a pretty good country, and one that would be more idiologically cohesive than the US as a whole right now. And since it would be much smaller, it would be easier to manage.

Although I can see where your coming from, I think that would be a bit much. I think a better idea is to have a more regional approach to the country, instead of what we have now with individual states. It seems that having so many municipalities is starting to bog us down (well for a while) when it comes to doing this across state lines (say transportation projects and so on). Of course I don't really think that would happen, but it would make some things easier (and others probably more difficult :confused: ).

debris
March 17th, 2007, 05:27 PM
The first paper on this webpage is an excellent study of regionalism by one of my favorite economists, Ed Glaeser:

http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/glaeser/papers.html

(Click on "Do Regional Economies Need Regional Coordination?" at top)


The short answers:

Economic policy (tax breaks...) -- many states are best
Schools -- hard to say
Transportation -- one large region would be best


His rationale is that tax break competition (say, between NYC and JC for financial firms) is healthy and prevents stagnation. Breaking up large school districts also promotes competition between schools, but also promotes segregation. Transportation is best organized on a regional basis, or else you have situations like in Nassau county, where a couple of towns are trying to block the LIRR Main Line third track, which has region-wide benefits, but means more trains going through these towns.

ramvid01
March 20th, 2007, 02:26 AM
Some interesting reading I must say. I suppose that competition is good as a whole, but for certain things such as transportation, a regional approach is something that I would agree is necessary. Of course the Port Authority is already a regional power, but theres just too much beauracracy when it comes to building anything.

naturalized
March 22nd, 2007, 01:02 PM
Is this actually a real possibility being discussed? I'm a naturalized New Yorker (obviously) and ever since I've moved here I've been trying to understand just how New York fits into the rest of the nations government system of Federal-State-County-City... and it doesn't. The city spans multiple counties... the New York City mayor has larger responsibilities than the governors of many states. The existence of New York as a single city doesn't make sense to me coming from an area whose development has been encouraged through specific urban and regional planning based on the state-city-county system. New York city is already large and bureaucratic and basically functions as a state of its own if you include the 5 boroughs and the immediate suburbs. It only makes sense for it to separate from the rest of New York state which maintains completely different economic interests (more focused on agriculture and manufacturing than nyc's financial, media, and business services).

HOWEVER - I don't see there being a 51st state any time soon... just an instinct. Coming from the west it's hard to believe that this is actually a real possibility that exists outside of the conversations of proud New Yorkers. Has it actually been discussed formally by the government?

Eugenious
March 22nd, 2007, 02:01 PM
New York City had long been the largest, and in many ways, most influential city in the United States. Mayor Fernando Wood won reelection to a second term, serving from 1860–62. He was one of many New York Democrats who were sympathetic to the Confederacy, called 'Copperheads' by staunch Unionists. In January 1861, Wood suggested to the City Council that New York City secede and declare itself a free city, to continue its profitable cotton trade with the Confederacy. Wood's Democratic machine was concerned to maintain the revenues (which depended on Southern cotton) that maintained the patronage system.
-wikipediaJust FYI

New York City Compared 2000 Census (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Census%2C_2000)
NY City ,NY State, U.S.

Total population 8,143,197 18,976,457 281,421,906
Population, percent change, 1990 to 2000 +9.4% +5.5% +13.1%
Population density 26,403/mi² 402/mi² 80/mi²
Median household income (1999) $38,293 $43,393 $41,994
Bachelor's degree or higher 27% 27% 29%
Foreign born 36% 20% 11%
White (non-Hispanic) 37% 62% 67%
Black 28% 16% 12%
Hispanic (any race) 27% 15% 11%
Asian 10% 6% 4%

kliq6
March 22nd, 2007, 05:21 PM
Bullshit


Its the other way around.

New York City bleeds out and leeches from Upstate Cities.

Your kidding right?

kliq6
March 22nd, 2007, 05:22 PM
That's delusional if you believe that. How could that possily be true...
Upstate would wither and die(even more) without New York City.

On the money, Upstate if NYC was seperated, would be one of the poorest most economic depressed states in the union

kliq6
March 22nd, 2007, 05:24 PM
Okay, if we're theoretically slicing and dicing, should the northeast states secede from the union. Let's say NY, NJ, PA, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, and ME.

Taken together, they'd make a pretty good country, and one that would be more idiologically cohesive than the US as a whole right now. And since it would be much smaller, it would be easier to manage.

This will sound weird and many may think im nust but ive always thought that the New England States should form one block state called New England. It would give them much more bargaining capability

nycla3
March 22nd, 2007, 11:26 PM
In 1969, writer Norman Mailer and columnist Jimmy Breslin ran together on an independent ticket seeking the mayoralty and City Council Presidentship, challenging Mayor John Lindsay with an agenda to make New York City the 51st state. When questioned as to the name of the new state, they said the city deserved to keep "New York" and that upstate should be renamed "Buffalo", after its largest city.

I actually had for some time the campaign poster proudly proclaiming NYC as the 51st State. Loved that poster. They had fresh ideas outside the political continuum.

lofter1
March 23rd, 2007, 03:16 AM
This will sound weird and many may think im nust but ive always thought that the New England States should form one block state called New England. It would give them much more bargaining capability
Not in the US Senate, where collectively they would lose as many as 10 senators ...

MikeW
March 23rd, 2007, 06:16 PM
Lofter beat me to it. More little states are more powerful than one big state.



Not in the US Senate, where collectively they would lose as many as 10 senators ...

Ninjahedge
March 23rd, 2007, 06:57 PM
I think instead of griping about NYS/NYC we should be fighting more for state rights over federal on many different issues. If we can get the power spread back out again, then we can worry about the picky crap that is in contension between the city and state.

antinimby
March 23rd, 2007, 09:09 PM
All this NYS and NYC bickering is based on ignorance on both sides, just by hearing what Dr Funky is saying and what a few other city forumers said.

Basically, both sides think that the other is using their hard earned tax money unfairly and in the case of Dr Funky, he believes that because of NYC, upstaters have to pay higher taxes.

Both cases are incorrect. The way I see it, the problem lies neither with the city nor Upstate.

The problem is Albany.

Until they run a more efficient ship, the money both places send to Albany will continue to be wasted and the economic problems will linger.

kliq6
March 26th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Not in the US Senate, where collectively they would lose as many as 10 senators ...

True but instead of 100 senators there would only be 90, thus the power structure wouldnt really changes as those two seats would be locks for Democrats anyway. But really who cares, its not happening nor will NYS ever let NYC leave

Ninjahedge
March 26th, 2007, 12:08 PM
True but instead of 50 senators there would only be 40, thus the power structure wouldnt really changes as those two seats would be locks for Democrats. But really who cares, its not happening nor will NYS ever let NYC leave

Um... 2 senators per state = 100.....

brianac
December 30th, 2009, 12:54 PM
December 30, 2009, 11:38 am

On the Road: Should New York State Be Split?

By SEWELL CHAN (http://wirednewyork.com/author/sewell-chan/)

ROCHESTER — Forget all that business about a shared history.

Forget the fact that New York State’s boundaries have been largely unchanged since the Constitution was ratified in 1787. That only two states have been admitted to the Union by splitting off from other states (Maine from Massachusetts in 1820, and West Virginia from Virginia in 1863). And that if the United States were to add a 51st state, the likeliest candidate would be Puerto Rico, or even the District of Columbia — not New York.

State Senator Joseph E. Robach, a Republican who represents part of Rochester, has proposed legislation that would allow each of New York State’s 62 counties to hold a referendum in 2010 to ask voters this question: “Do you support the division of New York into two separate states?”

The referendum – if it is even legal – would be nonbinding.

Four Republican senators — William J. Larkin Jr., Michael H. Ranzenhofer, James M. Seward and Dale M. Volker — joined Mr. Robach in introducing the bill this year.

The proposal has little chance of becoming reality, in a state where Democrats control the governor’s mansion and hold a narrow majority in the Senate and a commanding majority in the Assembly.

Nonetheless, the proposal – which states that “there is a large degree of apparent support for dividing New York into two separate states, so as to separate the distinct social and political concerns between upstate and downstate New York” – reflects longstanding misunderstanding, even animosity, between the various parts of the state.

After all, the state’s rural southern tier, the northern Adirondack reaches and the economically struggling cities of western and central New York don’t always seem even to have much in common with each other.

Add to that the global metropolis of New York City (some eight million-plus people) and the densely packed suburbs of Long Island and the Hudson Valley (another four million-plus, give or take), which together represent nearly two-thirds of the state’s population of 19.5 million and often seem to get most of the spotlight.

The last governor who was not from either New York City or the Hudson Valley was Nathan L. Miller, of Syracuse, who served from 1921 to 1922. (Interestingly, no Long Islander has been governor since Theodore Roosevelt, who served from 1899 to 1900. He lived in Oyster Bay, in Nassau County.)

When Gov. David A. Paterson, who lives in Manhattan, had to appoint a replacement for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (residence: Westchester County) this year, geographic balance played an important role. Mr. Paterson selected Kirsten E. Gillibrand, a congresswoman from the Albany area, to fill the seat.

For now, Mr. Robach, who was said to be unavailable for an interview because of the holiday season, seems to be enjoying the attention paid to his proposal, which has gotten considerable local attention.

Asked whether Mr. Robach really expected the legislation to go anywhere, Kirk Morris, a spokesman, replied: “He has spoken to legislators in both parties who have expressed interest in the concept and will continue to work with both sides on this issue in the upcoming year.”

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/30/on-the-road-should-new-york-state-be-split/

Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

lofter1
December 30th, 2009, 01:10 PM
Upper NYS would wither and die economically without NYC.

dtolman
December 31st, 2009, 11:57 AM
And NYC would find itself scrambling to negotiate with a hostile neighbor for water rights...

NY State splitting up? It'll never ever ever happen. Ever.

MidtownGuy
December 31st, 2009, 03:00 PM
We'll just take all the money we normally send to the moochers upstate, and build a desalination plant.:p

Ninjahedge
January 1st, 2010, 09:36 PM
Jersey would sell them all the water they need... for a price......


Cheaper than Albany, I am sure! ;)

stache
January 2nd, 2010, 12:45 AM
...Jersey water...

Ninjahedge
January 3rd, 2010, 12:43 AM
...Jersey water...

You wince, but some areas actually have artesian well water.

You just have to make sure you do not get the Newark Special! ;)

JCMAN320
January 6th, 2010, 10:48 PM
From wikipedia: "Despite its proximity to the metropolitan areas of Philadelphia and New York City, and the fact that the Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway run directly through it, the Pine Barrens remains largely rural and undeveloped. The Pine Barrens also helps recharge the 17 trillion gallon Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer containing some of the purest water in the United States.[1][2] As a result of all these factors, 1.1 million acres (4,500 km²) of the Pine Barrens were designated the Pinelands National Reserve (the nation's first National Reserve) in 1978, and it was designated a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve in 1983. Development in the Pinelands National Reserve is strictly controlled by an independent state/federal agency called the New Jersey Pinelands Commission. The Pinelands Reserve contains the Wharton, Brendan T. Byrne (formerly Lebanon), and Bass River state forests."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Barrens_(New_Jersey)

ZippyTheChimp
January 6th, 2010, 11:19 PM
Isn't New Jersey running out of drinking water, and I mean soon - like 15 or 20 years?

dtolman
January 7th, 2010, 05:35 PM
Isn't New Jersey running out of drinking water, and I mean soon - like 15 or 20 years?

What? You thinking of somewhere in the southwest or something?

New Jersey gets water from wells, reservoirs, and directly from rivers (Delaware for example). No shortage of water here in the north east.

ZippyTheChimp
January 7th, 2010, 05:44 PM
^
I don't know if it's supply or infrastructure, but I read a report within the last year or two by the NJ Dept of Something.

dtolman
January 8th, 2010, 10:48 AM
/\

I remember reading something about _clean_ water being a problem in the future - maybe it was that.

Seemed more speculation and hand wringing than solid facts...