HARRISON, N.Y. - Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C - Goldens Bridge) spoke Thursday alongside Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council at SUNY Purchase to gauge public interest and debate on economic development both around the state and in Westchester.
"By working closely with the stakeholders of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, the state can better align its resources, streamline funding applications, eliminate barriers to growth and redirect certain services and programs to help spur economic development and job creation," Castelli said. "I will continue to actively support and meet with the Council, in order to achieve our number one priority of restoring New York's reputation as the business-friendly Empire State."
The meeting was one of several public discussions across the region in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.
Mid-Hudson Region Economic Development Council Vice-Chair and President of Marist College Dennis Murray was at the discussion and said the region's seven counties need to work together to reach solutions.
"In order to create a plan that captures the unique needs of each we need to engage with the public. The strategic planning process is a critical part of our work to design an economic development plan that reflects the vision for job creation and economic opportunity of our communities."
The meeting included an overview of the council's purpose and a discussion over the planning process. Those in attendance later collaborated on how to face different issues in the region.
Castelli said the councils can be most successful by soliciting public input.
"Businesses and job creators throughout the Hudson Valley have been fighting to survive in recent years, as our State built its reputation as an impediment to job growth," he said. "It's time for government to get out of the way, and in order to end this anti-business climate, we must hear input from how our local employers are retaining or creating jobs in this challenging economy, and what more that we, as Legislators, can do to help."
The council launched an online public survey and is seeking public input to gauge which regional issues, opportunities and challenges Hudson Valley residents believe are most critical. The feedback received through the survey will help to form the basis for council deliberations and planning.
Email town reporter Phil Corso at PCorso@TheDailyHarrison.com.
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