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Spitzer Introduces New Upstate Economic Development Czar

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Governor Eliot Spitzer was in Buffalo Monday to introduce his new Upstate Economic Development czar. It was Spitzer's first visit to the area since he took office.

Spitzer's return to Western New was billed as the fulfillment of a campaign promise. Spitzer pledged both attention and resources to the flagging upstate region. He delivered the first installment of that promise in the form of Dan Gundersen - the new upstate economic development czar.

Spitzer said Gundersen will be based in Buffalo where he can capitalize on opportunities quickly.

The Governor said Gunderson has the expertise and experience to make those decisions. He held similar posts in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Both those states saw business grow under his watch.

Gundersen, however, will not act alone. As co-chair of the Empire State Development Corporation, he has a downstate counterpart. But Gundersen said he doesn't see the two of them in competition.

Spitzer reaffirmed his commitment to balance those interests - and not just in the realm of economic development.

In what might have been a small preview of his upcoming budget, Spitzer pledged more aid for Rochester. But he said it won't come at the expense of Buffalo.

Spitzer once again vowed that the budget will include the first phase of a six billion dollar property tax cut. He said that is vital toward correcting the tax structure imbalance that ultimately will attract business to the state.

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