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Ken Adams confirmed in Senate as ESDC head

Missed the meeting of the New York Senate's Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee yesterday?

The big news item to come out of committee was the confirmation of Ken Adams as head of the Empire State Development Corporation, which runs all the state's economic development initiatives.

Also on offer in the above video is Adams dishing about his plans for the Empire State.Adams notes (at around three and a half minutes) that as the head of the Business Council of New York State over the past four years, he's been introduced to "the unique challenges of upstate, which was important to me as someone originally from Brooklyn."

Tackling state policy

Adams said he plans to do more than wield the items in his ESDC toolkit on the job - he also expects to help tackle policies affecting the business climate in New York State, including regulations and high taxes.

"Like the governor," Adams said, "I believe New York has no future as the tax capital of this nation."

Adams expressed optimism about Governor Cuomo's proposed regional economic councils.

"These regional councils can be transformational at the local level," said Adams.

Clarifies "woodshed" remark

Adams responded to a questions about what he called his "awkward and inartful comments," when he told a reporter that regions that don't stick to their state-designated clusters, like Syracuse moving into Albany's turf on nanotech, should be taken "to the woodshed."

"Every now and again you do an interview with a reporter and just wish you could hit the reset button and do it over," Adams remarked.

Given the opportunity to restate his position for the committee, Adams said that "limited resources can't do everything in every community ...  we need to back away and recognize regional strengths and assets and play to those strengths ... the principle was we just have to be disciplined."

Adams declined to jump into the contentious topic of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. He said right now the ball is still in the Department of Environmental Conservation's court, as the agency crafts its regulations for the extraction process.

Former WRVO/Central New York reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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