More than slogan needed

It is great that our local counties have come up with a united slogan for economic development, but now comes the hard part.

Fulton and Montgomery counties will need to do a better job of working together, which will involve long-range planning and compromises, if they want to truly be “connected for business.”

Fulton County recently released details of a new brand, which includes the “connected for business” slogan and a logo. The brand and logo will be used for marketing purposes and could be used on advertisements, billboards and other promotions.

That’s all well and good, but the counties – and their respective municipalities – are not necessarily on the same page when it comes to economic development.

Consider that in August, Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort and District 4 Legislator Ryan Weitz said they would oppose a proposed highway that would go from the Thruway to Fulton County and bypass Route 30A. Officials in Fulton County, meanwhile, view the proposed bypass as a potential boost for economic development.

While the counties appear to be comfortable with a revenue-sharing concept regarding the proposed regional business park, the town of Mohawk and city of Johnstown have been unable to get a deal done.

It will help the counties lure economic development if they figure out ahead of time which projects they, and their respective municipalities, can agree on – and what compromises may be needed to make them palatable. Essentially, the counties will need to consider their individual projects as part of a larger, regionwide plan. That will be more work, but the payoff will be bigger if they manage to work together effectively. Businesses will find the area more attractive when the counties show they have the same long-term vision.