Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has done something to restore my confidence in candidates for our state's public offices -- he has honored his campaign pledges. In recent years, voters have become so cynical about political campaigns that we tend to discount candidates' promises as campaign rhetoric. That has all changed with Cuomo. He is an agent for transformational change.
In just six months, Cuomo has showed us that things can change in Albany. Both sides of the aisle are working with the governor, who has created a culture of compromise and collaboration. As a result, not only did we have an on-time budget, it was early. It also included a 2 percent reduction -- for the first time since 1995. The property tax cap that will allow the state to become competitive again -- done. An ethics bill that deals with the cronyism and corruption that has long been an Albany hallmark -- discussed and passed. Especially important to the Buffalo Niagara region was the UB 2020 project and, true to his promise, Cuomo saw that NYSUNY 2020 was moved.
Under Cuomo's visionary leadership, the negative concept of "three men in a room" has been eliminated. We now have a transparent and inclusive body that truly represents the interests of all New York State residents. Compromise was achieved and, hopefully, will continue as a benchmark of the governor's administration.
Cuomo's latest initiative, "A New State Government Approach to Economic Growth," is a further example of his thoughtful and deliberate dedication to correcting the systemic challenges we have faced as we try to grow our economy. Regional councils will be created to establish a community-driven rather than a top-down approach to economic development. Both the public and private sectors are supportive of this new operating model, which will produce comprehensive, sustainable development that addresses needs in a holistic fashion.
While all of this legislation is certainly noteworthy and sends a message that New York is working to regain its national competitiveness, it is only the beginning. Having proven that he can create consensus around issues that benefit the majority of the New York population, Cuomo has laid the foundation for a history-making term of office where, for the first time in memory, things are getting done.
Cuomo is championing a paradigm shift in New York State with sweeping reforms and effective public policy changes. Based on his actions in office thus far, I am confident that New York will once again reclaim its motto as the Empire State.
I for one am looking forward to seeing the policies and initiatives that Cuomo's administration comes up with next. I know that I am not alone in saying thank you, keep up the great work -- it is appreciated and will serve your public well for many generations to come.
Paul F. Ciminelli is president and CEO of Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.