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Upstate New Yorkers Now Told to Beg From One Another

landowners and laborers - Vic FurmanVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner Shale Gas Activist


Vic Furman exposes the reality of life in Upstate New York after Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fracking decision condemning the region to perpetual decline.

The latest New York budget gimmick is a state initiated program encouraging towns and counties to come up with ideas for saving taxpayer money by sharing more services. Sounds good but is it? It’s nor readily apparent exactly how this fits into Andrew Cuomo’s plans to reduce taxes but, as I see it, these theoretical savings from sharing services are little more than groveling for scraps, the Governor having already sold us out at the behest of the Empire State’s aristocrats when he denied us the economic benefits of gas drilling. We’re left to being told to beg from each other.

Here is a video from WBNG Action News 12 out of Binghamton, New York that tells the story (I’m the guy in the red shirt):

Action 12, in my experience, never quite tells the whole story. Rather, they give the side they want us to hear. The shared services meeting was open to the public. Other then me and Stan Scobie, however, the only people who were there (nine in all) were the Broome County Executive and his staff, three town supervisors by my count and the media. This was a room equipped to hold 75 or more individuals. Where were the people?

As the only citizen with something to say, I did. I pointed out to County Executive Jason Garner that government was the 3rd largest employer with over 15,300 on the public payroll.  I suggested maybe his multiple appearances on the Radio 1290 Bob Joseph Show during the week, to campaign, indicated he didn’t have enough to do and respectfully  suggested he might not need all six assistants he has on the payroll.


Upstate’s Decline – Downtown Binghamton (Broome County) in 2011

I then went on to discuss Governor Cuomo’s plan to spend billions of state taxpayers’ dollars on bailing out a Chicago based nuclear energy company to the tune of $7.8 billion dollars costing taxpayers almost $200,000 a day for years to come. Can you imagine the tax reductions possible in our counties if that money went to them, or perhaps was just cut from the budget at the start?

I pointed out that, had Cuomo not stopped gas drilling in the state of New York, our county would be looking for ways to spend the ad valorem taxes each gas well would have paid into the county. We wouldn’t be groveling for pennies. Ad valorem taxes are taxes on well head production of natural gas and it has been suggested each well drilled could have contributed over $1.5 million over a 20 year period.  Imagine if Brome County had just 400 wells. That would mean $2 million a year added onto our tax rolls, making Windsor. New York’s pipeline residential tax break of 6% look like chump change.

Here’s the conservation I then had with Jason Garner, the Broome County Executive:

GARNER: “Vic, I am the County Executive and I am aware of how many county workers are on the payroll…about 2,200.”

ME: “Jason, before I came to this meeting and made the statement of 15,300 people I looked it up on the county website… and it is 15,300.

GARNER: “Well, yeah, but that includes teachers…”

This is the politics of today. The lack of citizens at this meeting shows the lack of heart the community has for itself, The discouragement of being economically ignored by Governor Cuomo has taken a big toll on the life long residents of Broome County. We are at the point in history where our elected leaders follow Cuomo blindly into the cow drops of complicity by condemning our community to a crime ridden, drug infested, hopeless, jobless stain on the earth that is losing population to greener pastures in other states.


I blame the yes men who wear the suits of lawmakers continue to let Cuomo get away with this travesty; the theft of our best economic opportunity. These spineless politicians were afraid to stand up to Governor Cuomo, not realizing that doing so would have made them more re-electable, not less. Instead, they decided to play it safe. They, like Cuomo, let the Park Foundation and the Rockefeller family have their way with Upstate New York.

I also blame the supposed “Mountainkeeper,” a Rockefeller enterprise, the riverkeepers and other groups financed by these aristocrats, plus groups such as New York Residents Against Drilling, for putting our region into the spiral decline it is in now. They’re snake oil salesman, liars and authors of fake peer-reviewed studies. They’ve stolen our inheritance and now here we are groveling for pennies, nickels and dimes supposedly to be obtained by sharing services when what we ought to be doing is hearing in the wealth denied to us by Cuomo and the feckless politicians who live in fear of him and his masters, those New York aristocrats who want Upstate New York for themselves.

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6 thoughts on “Upstate New Yorkers Now Told to Beg From One Another

  1. The antifracking pipeline resistance movement likes to bill itself as a movement of love and rightousness, but it leaves a real trail of destruction in its wake doesn’t it? It’s still hard to believe that the fracking decision went the way it did in late 2014, and when you throw on the consitution and no the napl pipeline fiascos, it’s unfathomable to me that the press isn’t looking at this much more. And editorial by the post is not what is called for if you asked me. There is something profoundly wrong happening with the fracking, natural gas and pipelines issue within the environmental and progressive worlds and the press in large part seems incapable of reporting. Mind blowing.


  2. This is precisely why having lived in New York for 70 years I moved to Texas 8 years ago where a growing conservative state doesn’t cower to the likes of Park, Heinz and Rockefeller groups.

    • You are not by yourself; four people a day are leaving Broome County. Talk that the jobs are coming and things will get better is all BS. The word hope her has become a foriegn language that only politicians can speak.

  3. Contrary to what you might think “shared services” have been used townships, incorporated villages and cities, and counties for years; not invented by Cuomo as a cover for his mismanagement of NY. The village in the township I live in buys fuel from the town and saves the cost of fuel storage, etc. Economies of scale can also be realized from not building several small facilities like salt and fuel storage and getting better bulk buying deals on the commodity and delivery. Eliminating those and other overlaps just helps local governments.

    The nuclear plants you go on about produce about 20% of all of the state’s electricity and, as much as I want to see natural gas used, replacing that much generating capacity can’t be done overnight with huge and more expensive imports of electricity. Cuomo said the subsidies were because nuclear plants don’t emit green house gases, but that suits his vision for the future, not the bind he is in now. If natural gas is unacceptable to him because it can and has delayed renewables and with very little renewable energy on line, the nukes and all those upstate NY jobs had to be saved.

    Cuomo’s closing off the benefits of natural gas to the Southern Tier certainly has something to do with our economic and demographic decline, but there are other reasons. Two catastrophic floods damaged areas both on and far from the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers, the decline or mismanagement of several large local employers, the decline of the dairy farming and it’s processing industry and the outflow and deaths of the baby boomers all contribute.

    The counties I follow and care about, Chenango, Otsego and Delaware, are in a similar demographic bind. But because their combined population is less than Broome’s and spread over an area about 4 times larger, we will hit a tipping point where it becomes uneconomic to provide utilities and services sooner.

  4. Vic its great to see your articles on a regular basis.
    I would like to defend Broome co. residents though.
    The sad truth as I see it is a lot of good folks are afraid.
    A lot of big money players from down state are taking over.
    Think about it , in Binghamton if they call the cops to report criminals on their property a few times they lock it down and often condemn it? The property owner cant pay their taxes and mortgages and lose it ! They say it fights crime and protects a neighborhood.
    Just try to do something as simple as calling the dog catcher. If you are lucky they call you back right away but more often than not it takes days for a response. Ya see the local towns share that service. Please understand though, its not the dog catchers fault they are just trying to cover multiple towns on a part time basis! A lot of the locals just shoot them now.
    Sharing services sounds great but more often than not it just creates a pass the buck routine.
    Too bad King Cuomo sees things in terms of votes instead of decency and fairness?
    Remember boy and girls friends don’t let friends burn imported energy,the job the job you save might be your own ?

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