“Rowing in the Same Direction”: Regional Economic Development in NYS

By Nick Herubin, Albany Government Law Review

An ongoing problem in economic development is getting the municipalities in a particular region to work together to grow the area’s economy.  New York’s “home rule” essentially gives towns and cities complete control over planning and zoning.[1]  This can create problems including sprawl and a general lack of a coherent economic development plan.  When an economic development plan is effective, it can allow a region to capitalize on its strengths and boost the entire area’s economy.  When there is no regional plan or an ineffective plan, however, economic development can lead to haphazard development as towns and cities squabble over state funding for the latest big project.  The key is for state leaders to get local officials around a particular region working together, or as one local development official in Schenectady puts it, “rowing in the same direction.”[2] Continue reading ““Rowing in the Same Direction”: Regional Economic Development in NYS”

drvN yl txtN: Susan Savage and Schenectady’s Text Messaging Ban

Robert Magee, Staff Writer, RMagee@albanylaw.edu

      Schenectady County Chairwoman, Susan E. Savage, recently announced her intent to align three other New York counties to ban the practice of text messaging while driving.1  Ms. Savage’s compatriots aren’t confined to New York; California recently enacted a similar state-wide ban.2

     Through a certain lens, this might appear as the beginning of the slippery slope anti-cell-phone-ban advocates warned about.3  This slide might seem all the more precipitous when taking into account a ban on the use of iPods or Blackberry’s proposed by State Senator Carl Kreuger, representing the 27th District in Brooklyn.4

     These sorts of bans, especially as they are enacted by lawmakers in different New York counties and even districts, highlight two considerations that must come into play when governing any defined geographic area with different people leading different lives in different environments.   Perhaps nowhere on Earth is this more important to account for than in New York State, where a half hour drive up route 684 will take you from places like White Plains5 to North Castle.6  The first consideration is the risk of unnecessary overlap in lawmaking posed by high profile, headline-grabbing legislation, and the second is the striking disparity in efficacy between laws from different kinds of political environments. Continue reading “drvN yl txtN: Susan Savage and Schenectady’s Text Messaging Ban”