As part of ongoing coverage of the 2012 General Election on November 6th, Innovation Trail has approached all of the candidates for the Class 1 New York Senate seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand (D).*
John Mangelli is an independent candidate campaigning under the CSP - Common Sense Party ballot spot.
The same five questions have been put to all the candidates. The questions were emailed to each candidate and they are reproduced in full. Any edits have only been made to disambiguate or correct technical errors that may have been made.
The NY Manufacturing Sector
Indicators collected in the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for September 2012 showed that the manufacturing sector in New York was at its lowest level since November 2010. The national trend for the same period showed expansion in 13 other U.S. states.
Q: What is holding the manufacturing sector back in New York State and what specifically needs to happen in upstate to reverse this trend?
We need to continue to crack down on unfair Chinese trade practices. We need to promote buy New York. We need to create an affordable work force and reduce government restrictions on businesses. We also need to cut down on employment litigation.
Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credits
The Federal Production Tax Credits (PTCs) for renewable wind energy are set to expire at the end of 2012, with other renewable categories (solar etc.) expiring in 2013.
Q: Do you believe that credits and other subsidies to the renewable energy sector (including in New York) should continue?, and if so, for how long?
I believe the market needs to control business ventures that succeed and not government credits or subsidies.
The term “Innovation” is often used in discussing the economy of upstate New York.
Q: What do you believe are the cornerstones of a truly innovative economy in the region?
I do believe that we need to foster alternative sources for sustainable energy. I would like to see the development of hydro power. I would like to see the transfer from consumption to conservation. I would like to see the preservation of our environment and natural resources as innovative. I would like to capitalize on tourism by expanding markets of hotels and casinos, outside activities like off road driving, adventure vacations etc. There needs to be a long term plan to put together the private and public sector. Innovative ideas start with understanding the people who live in the local communities and their values and interest. We need to include all segments of the community in the economic development activity. We need to be the resource for economic development by providing the tools necessary to implement innovative programs of wealth generating enterprises.
Small businesses are viewed as a critical part of a thriving economy.
Q: Could you please outline your position on strategies for supporting small business growth in New York State?
Small business must focus on providing for the local community needs and enterprises that export goods and services outside the local economy. It is vital that we facilitate economic development decision making by enterprises and investors in the area. We need to limit government regulations and repeal some taxes. Specifically, I would work on reducing property taxes as a way to improve the construction industry. I believe that if you own your house and you want to add a room, expand the roof, put on a deck etc., you should not have your taxes increased. Even if you could afford the construction cost the rise in your taxes is a deterrent. This is strangling the construction industry. If there is no increase in property taxes for construction on an existing dwelling the construction industry would strive.
Analysis of 2011 U.S. Census/U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed little growth in middle-skill jobs upstate, and a widening gap in the wage levels of those paid the most and those paid the least.
Q: Do you believe this trend is a concern and how should it be addressed?
Education and training are the keys. We must focus on sustainable jobs not jobs that are created by tax dollars.