Obstructionist vs. Incompetent

21 Jul

This is how Albany and the unions slowly destroy WNY. In case you haven’t been following, $200 million in construction by non-profits such as W&CH, D’Youville College, and the Medical Campus is awaiting reauthorization of a state law that allows them to take out low interest loans for the projects. In an effort to get the construction moving, despite the Albany gridlock, County Executive Chris Collins is pushing a measure that would allow an arm of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency to do the loaning now. Unfortunately, the County Legislature is using the opportunity to add all sorts of union friendly amendments, such “Prevailing” (i.e. higher union) wage requirements, mandatory internship programs unrelated to the project, and bidder protest options that defeat the entire purpose of the bill!

Photo courtesy Buffalo Rising

Photo courtesy Buffalo Rising

According to Andrew Rudnick of the BNP:

Incentives that save not-for-profits approximately 10 to 15 percent of their construction costs do not offset the 28 percent increase in costs that prevailing wage adds.

This is about the point where Collins calls the Legislature “obstructionist.” Pundit thinks all the screaming and yelling is counter-productive, especially with a legislature that should exist in the first place. He may be right, but I actually think Collins is too fair. The Legislature isn’t just obstructionist; its utterly incompetent.

They do know that 28 is greater than 10 or 15, correct? So if you raise costs 28%, you undermine the entire purpose of saving 10%? I have to ask because the Legislature has a terrible track record of being asleep at the switch. One reason they want to stuff a worker training program into this bill is because Collins pwned them last fall when he successfully suspended the union-monopoly-creating Apprenticeship Law. How did he do that? The Legislature didn’t check their Inbox for 60 days. Seriously.

12 Responses to “Obstructionist vs. Incompetent”

  1. Alan Bedenko July 21, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    Erie County government has been sited at the corner of Failure Street and Incompetent Avenue for years.

  2. WNYResident July 21, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

    And how was the leader of the legislator pack? Mr. Tim Kennedy. Remember that name election time.

  3. Jim Ostrowski July 23, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    Why should we have IDAs again? And why should they be giving cheap loans to non-profits?

    Is there any new building in WNY that doesn’t have government money behind it?

  4. Bill Harmon July 23, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    I’m curious to know how the 28% increase is calculated. Seems to me it’s a false argument, like saying that if we want them to use steel for the construction instead of balsa wood, it will cost more. Well, yeah!

  5. wnyresident July 23, 2009 at 11:38 am #


    Is there any added cost what so ever? If there is that is all that matters. We are not comparing balsa wood versus steal. We are referring to cost per hour for the most part. Codes need to be followed and building plans.

  6. Bill Harmon July 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Cost per hour for skilled labor, or cost per hour for hacks? That’s why the materials comparison… you get what you pay for. Would you maintain that all labor should be paid minimum wage or less? And that to pay for skilled labor is a “wasteful” 28% more?

  7. Mike In WNY July 23, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    The Legislature is practicing class warfare when it favors one labor group over another.

  8. K9 July 24, 2009 at 10:48 am #

    Showing the unfinished casino in a post about bond funding for non-profits? That would fit in with Chris Collins logic, I’m sure. Let’s get some of that low cost money to the Seneca’s so they can finish the casino…

  9. Brian Castner July 24, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    @K9 – that’s not the casino, dumb ass. That’s the unfinished Pharmacy School at D’Youville. Thanks for playing.

  10. pirate's code July 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    Bill Harmon — are you claiming that only high paid labor is “skilled.” If the wage is mandated at a certain level, then I suppose it doesn’t matter who is actually doing the work, because they must be skilled, yes? Most of the time you get what you paid for, but not always, and if I’m running a project, I want the ability to make that decision for myself.

  11. Bill Harmon July 24, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    p.c. -fair enough, but I’ve worked for contractors who cut corners anywhere they thought they could get away with it. It is not a perfect correlation, but if there are no wage standards, I believe it will be truly unskilled more often than not.


  1. Chris Collins’ $200 Million Mirage | WNYmedia.net - July 22, 2009

    […] you’ve seen Brian Castner’s post about Chris Collins’ attempt to jumpstart $200 million in construct… by local non-profits: In case you haven’t been following, $200 million in construction by […]

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