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June 20, 2012


DiNapoli: Leadership Event To Assist Local Governments

Annual Leadership Institute Focuses On Fiscal Challenges, Economic Growth

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli's Local Government Leadership Institute today brought together officials from all levels of local government to discuss key regional issues and examine potential solutions to the current challenges in government.

The institute's fourth annual event, which was hosted by Cornell University's Community and Regional Development Institute, primarily focused on upstate New York's cities as well as the challenges of the first year of operating under the state's property tax cap.

"When our cities struggle, it reverberates across a larger region," said DiNapoli. "Local officials must work hand-in-hand to identify creative solutions to reinvigorate our urban centers. This event will help them develop new ideas on how to meet these serious challenges."

DiNapoli established the Local Government Leadership Institute in 2009 to help bring together local government officials to increase dialogue and collaboration, share experiences, raise awareness of common issues and provide practical suggestions. At the same time, the institute reinforces key leadership principles – skills that can help officials navigate today's increasingly difficult fiscal environment.

"Innovation should be shared," said DiNapoli. "The goal of the institute is to establish a well-trained pool of local officials who can help cultivate shared services and cost-saving reforms across upstate New York. A good idea in one city or school district could save taxpayers money in another community."

The event featured panel discussions with local government officials, business leaders and educators from across central New York.

"The challenges facing upstate communities are not unique, but they require a new approach," said Svante Myrick, the 25 year-old mayor of Ithaca. "As a newly-elected mayor, participating in Comptroller DiNapoli's Local Government Leadership Institute provides an opportunity for me to share the innovative solutions we are developing to our issues in Ithaca and also to hear first-hand how my colleagues around the state are addressing similar problems."

Peggy Wozniak, superintendent of the Binghamton City School District, delivered the keynote address. Panelists included: Stephanie Miner, mayor of Syracuse; Svante Myrick, mayor of Ithaca; Edward Michalenko, Dewitt town supervisor; Susan Christopherson, professor of city and regional planning at Cornell University; Steve Hyde, president of the Genesee County Economic Development Center; Caroline Williams of Cornell Cooperative Extension; and John Sipple, director of the Center for Rural Schools at Cornell University.

For more information about the institute and cost saving ideas from DiNapoli's Office, visit the Local Government Leadership Institute website at:



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