Here’s a surprise for you. I’m casting my WFP Proxy for Andrew Cuomo at the State Committee meeting on Wednesday this week.
I worked on the Cynthia Nixon Campaign. But he won. We can’t have the slightest chance of a Republican Governor. And Cuomo has taken a hard tack to port.
However, there’s one thing that’s bothering me.
In a speech last week at the Business Council of New York State's annual conference at Lake George he told reporters that “the weather” was the reason people were leaving Upstate in droves but that his work on economic development was vaulting the State beyond new horizons.
So I’m inviting him to join me on my morning walk with my Retrievers, Ace the Golden and Lila the Lab as we walk along the North Coast of America in the incredible Fair Haven Beach State Park.
I’ve done a little work on Upstate Economic Development when I served on the Board of Greater Rochester Enterprises.
It was led then by Mark Peterson an incredibly able Director, who brought speakers in monthly to talk about their projects and why they were in the Upstate Region. One morning, he brought in a Brit who, while wanting to locate his data storage business in Toronto, as it was part of the British Commonwealth, had landed in Rochester for one very important reason.
So when the peels of laughter from the audience subsided, he went on to explain his reasons. “First, you need to understand that in my business – backing up data for huge banks and financial institutions – I can’t be out of business even for a day,” he said. “So, I picked Rochester because of the weather. You don’t have earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados, Tsunamis, mudslides or volcanic eruptions. In fact you have some of the most stable weather in the world.”
He then went on to explain that we also had an infrastructure, educational institutions, educated workforce and more than reasonable real estate prices that made Upstate and in particular Rochester, NY an ideal place for anyone building a business.”
So this is why I want Governor Cuomo to walk with us.
If he did, he would gain a whole new perspective on the weather up here.
To start with, he would be awed by the incredible painted sunrise, popping up over the eastern bluff. And, his hard heart would soften by the panoramic view of the horizon on the North Coast, dotted in the early morning with fishing boats, sails, and the occasional lake freighter.
If that isn’t enough, there’s the morning show brought to you by the critters on the ground and in the skies.
First, there are the families of deer standing on their hind legs to get the delectable apples off the trees just past the entrance to the park. And, on the Park entrance road there are wild turkeys pecking the ground with their poults. Up in the sky as we pass the pond with the morning mist rising gently, there will be the dozen or so swans gliding just above the glassy surface, long necks stretched out and honking with every flap of their enormous wings. Straight up in the sky, there are the hunters, a brilliant blue Kingfisher chirping and dotting from tree to tree, and always, a mystical Osprey soaring above, looking for breakfast.
Back on the ground along the shore will be a hundred or so Canada Geese mixed in with gulls and terns, gathering to get their formation orders for the flight south. At least once a week, there’s a red fox who pops out in front of us just 50 or so feet ahead, and struts confidently away just out of reach of the hounds.
There are the vultures and hawks playing dramatically on the air currents off the lake. And last … but certainly not least … the majestic Bald Eagles who do their own brand of hunting.
It’s beautiful here. Simple and beautiful.
After the walk, we’ll stop at the Hardware café on Main Street for a little conversation with the locals. And maybe, just maybe he’ll take with him a different perspective on the weather and people along the North Coast of America.
Lastly, I hope he will understand how putting one of his massive, obnoxious brilliant fluorescent blue “New York Experience” signs at a park’s entrance may not be exactly in keeping with the beauty of Upstate.
Hopefully he will take away good thoughts ... and take the sign with him.