Support STEVE HERZ for
Second District
Broome County Legislator


Serving the towns of Kirkwood, Sanford, Windsor and the villages of Deposit and Windsor

I served as Legislator for Eastern Broome from 2007-2012.
As you read over these highlights of my accomplishments during those three terms, consider what has been done at the county level for Eastern Broome lately.
I need your help to return to the position where I have a proven record as
a dedicated advocate for ALL of our district's consituents:

Bringing Revenue into our District

During my six year tenure as the County Legislator for Eastern Broome, our district saw a very significant increase in revenues brought to our area. For instance:

1. Soon after I was first sworn in as legislator in 2007, I was informed of the miscalculation in a formula that had been used to determine PILOT payments from Central New York Railroad Corporation to the towns and villages of Eastern Broome County. A PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes), is a payment made to local governments for some or all of the tax revenue lost because of the nature of the ownership or use of a particular piece of real property.

After careful review and research that was undertaken at my behest, it was determined that the Central New York Railroad Corporation did indeed owe an additional PILOT payment of $21,741.62 to communities in Eastern Broome.

On December 7th, 2007, those payments were sent to the municipalities with the Town of Windsor receiving $1,460.09; the Village of Deposit $2,196.51; the Town of Kirkwood $1,315.91; and the Town of Sanford the largest payment of $16,742.10.

2. and 3. You'll find more details on these next two completed initiatives below but to tally up some of the numbers, the Broadband partnership I forged is a multi-million dollar project directly benefiting our area while the Second Street drainage project in Deposit applied $265,000 of county funds to sorely needed repairs.

4. I also initiated projects beneficial to the whole of Broome County, most notably the Broome County Regionial Farmers Market Project, which I spearheaded, a plan which was awarded $400,000 in state funds through a competitive New York State Parks and Recreation Grant. Plans had been drawn up and preliminary site work had begun when my opponent took over the district seat, but since that time, little progress has been made. A project like this needs a strong legislative advocate to bring it to fruition and for the past two years that component has been lacking and as others have noted, the project currently seems "lost in the weeds." I hope something will change on that front after all the work that has been done; this is one of a number of initiatives I would love to get back to work on.

Broadband Partnership with TDS

I know from personal experience the importance of access to High Speed Internet in underserved areas such as Eastern Broome had been so working to expand that access for my constituents was a top priority for me when I came into office in January of 2007. Working closely with TDS Telecom and the Eastern Broome Internet Advisory Committee, which I formed for this purpose, we succeeding in bringing high-speed broadband to virtually all of eastern Broome.

Deposit Telephone Co. Inc., a subsidiary of TDS Telecom, received $3.14 million in federal funding to deploy high-speed, digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband service to the farthest reaching rural areas of Broome, Chenango and Delaware counties.TDS Telecom invested an additional $1.05 million for a total project cost of $4.19 million.

Second Street Drainage Project in Deposit


For years, the Village of Deposit had struggled with drainage problems on Second Street, problems so untenable and long-standing even from an ordinary rain storm that in frustration residents were looking to relocate the village post office.

When the Village succeeded in their application to the state for Community Development Block Grant funds for this project, I was then able to lobby successfully on my constituents’ behalf to have the County include $265,000 in the county capital improvement budget to see this project to completion. I was gratified to have worked with professionals from both the Village and from the County, to assist in bringing resolution to this long-standing problem.

Eastern Broome Economic Development


When I was first elected County Legislator, one of my immediate goals was to try to create opportunities for the incubation of effective and responsible economic development in eastern Broome.

One effort in pursuit of this goal was to gather together with other willing citizens to create a group we dubbed the Windsor Partnership. The Partnership is an umbrella group that oversees a variety of initiatives but our signature accomplishment so far would be the now seven-year-old Window on the Arts Festival, which has annually attracted appreciative crowds to enjoy music, arts, locally-prepared foods, and the beauty of the Susquehanna River valley where Windsor nestles.

I am delighted that the partnership model has been replicated in the Village of Deposit and also that the Windsor and Deposit groups are working together on mutually beneficial projects. I am extremely thankful that we have citizens in eastern Broome who understand what it takes to improve our region. Information on the Windsor Partnership can be found at http://www.windsorpartnership.org/

If there is interest to expand the model to Kirkwood, that would certainly be one of the initiatives I would hope to have a hand in should I get re-elected as County legislator.

Advocacy for Agriculture

Agriculture is a $30 million industry in Broome County and Eastern Broome is a vital component of that. Accordingly during my tenure as County Legislator I acted as a strong advocate for agriculture. Some of my accomplishments included:

  • When the Broome County field office of the New York State Farm Services was slated for closure, I was a fulcrum for organizing the interested parties in a successful bid to keep our office open;
  • I served on the Broome County Work Group for Agriculture for the Governer's Regional Economic Council and was subsequently invited to represent Broome County at the state-level for the NYS Association of Counties Blue Ribbon Task Force for Agriculture;
  • I formed a county-wide task force for agriculture.
  • As mentioned above, I was a driving force for the Regional Farmers Market, a project I still see as vitally important to our area both for the farmers who will vend their produce there, and the consumers who will shop there for healthy, locally-grown farm products.
Support for Jobs Creation

Job creation is a critical issue for our area, and for the Northeast in general. In 2012 I personally organized and coordinated a Career Exposition on the grounds of and in cooperation with Broome Community College. Over 50 firms interviewed approximately 2,300 potential employees at that event.

I am going to address a bit about Shale Gas Exploration under the Jobs Creation heading, though I am acutely aware that that is only one aspect of this complex issue. Shale Gas Exploration is perhaps the issue of our times in this area. I grew up on one of the dairy farms that once lined the Susquehanna River Valley here in the Southern Tier and I have lived all of my life on land that has come down to me through my parents and grandparents. I became aware of the developing issue of natural gas exploration as early as 2006 and by the spring of 2007 had already organized the area’s first educational forum to help educate our citizens and landowners on an issue of such vital importance to our area. I persist in my belief that we need to be armed with the best information we can amass.

Natural gas industry jobs just across our state line have been attracting some of our young people back to the area for some time now so those jobs were an important focus of the 2012 Career Exposition but recognizing the complexity of the issue I made a point of including not just gas company representatives but also environmental consultants with expertise in wildlife management, water reclamation, and site restoration. Both the enormous turnout for the event, and the broad-based approach attracted the attention of media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Associated Press, Albany-area radio programs The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter and Fred Dicker Live from the State Capitol, as well as excellent area cover in press and broadcast media. I am proud that this event broadened not just our region’s understanding of the issues but at least for a time widened the conversation on both a state and national level.

 

 

STEVE HERZ WORKS FOR YOU

last updated 10/26/2014

Copyright Stephen Herz All rights reserved.