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Posts Tagged ‘central New York’

Our Snow Defines Us

We might as well stop fighting the funk and own up to it; the snowfall the central New York area gets defines who we are and the type of people we all. It’s not just regionally, but across the nation. I applaud the area for its prominence. lol

Syracuse Liverpool snow

You won’t believe this but last year the Syracuse area got around 73″ of snow, which was our lowest snowfall since the 2002-2003 season. That low and Syracuse still finished 2nd nationally; curse you El Nino!

So far this year Syracuse is sitting at 67.4″, most of that coming during the big storm in November, which counts towards the season. The last week temperatures have been in the 40’s… in January! Very un-CNY like, if you know what I mean.

Yeah, I know the north country gets a lot more snow than Syracuse does, but there aren’t any cities up there with a population of over 100K so that doesn’t count nationally. Still, I remember all the major snowstorms that used to hit Oswego when I went to college there, including one horrific day when I got on a bus just as a winter storm hit on the day before Thanksgiving that ended up being a 6 1/2 hour ride covering, what, 35 miles or so… and ending up at Wegmans on Route 57 and having my dad sitting in the car waiting for me (we didn’t have cellphones back then); win!

You want to know a secret? Have you ever thought about how Syracuse got to be known for its snowfall? It’s all about… sports!

Syracuse wasn’t on anyone’s radar as a destination before ESPN started broadcasting Big East basketball on its network back in the early 80’s. It quickly became a Monday night staple in basketball fans lives, and led to their having Big Monday games with other conferences across the country. Those early commentators often led with tales about the weather, which either mentioned the amount of snow or how cold it was and a legend was born.

Syracuse has won the Golden Snowball, which is a New York state fun competition for the snowiest city on a yearly basis, 11 out of the last 12 years, and 47 out of 75 years, although we get to throw out the first 11 years because, believe it or not, since the snowfall totals weren’t captured at the airport none of them are considered official for the contest. Winning 73% of the time isn’t all that bad. 🙂 Syracuse is also the 5th snowiest city in the world; now that’s saying something!

There are a lot of people in the Syracuse area who hate being known for snow. I’m one of those people who basks in its glory. It’s better to be known for something that ignored and thought of as… well, not something special. 🙂

Enjoy it people; unfortunately, this year I don’t see an NCAA visit for either basketball team… sigh…  

The Village, Town, City Problem

A few days ago, the Village of Depew, which is near Buffalo, voted to keep themselves a town instead of merging with towns of Cheektowaga and Lancaster. The vote was overwhelming for this period in time when it’s hard to get almost anyone to the polls. Around 42% of eligible voters cast their vote, and it won by 258% (72% of the vote); that’s pretty emphatic!

village dissolution Onondaga County

This type of thing keeps happening all over the state of New York, including here in the Syracuse area. There’s this constant battle between villages, towns and the city of Syracuse, with those supporting mergers looking at cutting expenses and (yeah, right) taxes, while those opposed to it not only don’t trust those other entities (even though they’re actually still a part of them) but want to remain a big fish in a little pond.

I understand it and I don’t.

I wrote a post about people ignoring stop signs and not even slowing down and complained that the town of Clay doesn’t care because we’re not revenue generating; I didn’t say that specific thing but that’s the reality of it all. Yet, if I were in the village of Liverpool I could probably at least get someone to talk to, present my issue, and someone would actually come out to take a look to see what I was talking about… and then possibly do something about it. Villages seem to take the taxes it collects from you more seriously than the other entitles and shows a bit more care to its residents.

I say “bit more” because of the part I don’t understand as well. Often the tax base is pretty low for a lot of villages, and Depew was no exception. The residents were told that they could save upwards of $1,050 a year in taxes while adding that the village is $8.2 million in debt. To make up that sum the village would have to tax every resident an extra $516.12 a year… that’s including children, retired people, etc. Even though the village residents are economically more sound than the residents in many communities across the state, even they don’t make enough to cover this.

You know the last village to be dissolved in Onondaga County? Eastwood… in 1926! The last vote for dissolution of a town in this area that I can recall was for Camillus in 2011, which was overturned by 59.17%. That doesn’t stop the talk around the area… especially from the top.

That’s because the Onondaga County legislature not only wants to dissolve villages, but wants to dissolve a lot of the towns as well. We don’t trust them much because a lot of the talk has been to move more of the money that could be potentially saved into the city; where would that leave the rest of us living in the suburbs?

There’s no guarantee that anyone’s taxes would be decreased either. An outgoing mayor of Clay years ago proclaimed that as the result of some action he’d taken that the town residents would be getting tax cuts of at least 10%. That didn’t come close to happening because those who followed him “found” shortfalls… and of course that’s passed on to the taxpayers.

Let’s see… big fish in small pond; can’t trust politicians; not enough money to go around… is this even potentially fixable? I’m hedging my bet on the side of doubt. Then again, the village of Macedon in Wayne County did vote to dissolve last year, and it takes place in March. That should be an interesting model to follow closely, even though they don’t have a large city like Syracuse to worry about.

What are your thoughts on this one?  

Fascinating CNY People I’ve Interviewed

I figure that since it’s a Sunday and, for some, the day before a holiday, that many people might not want to read a long article. Instead, I thought I’d give you a break and instead put together a post highlighting people from central New York that I’ve had the opportunity to interview on this blog, other blogs and my video channels. This is prepping you for a big time interview I’ll be posting here on Tuesday; that should get you hyped!

Isaac Bidwell

The first interview I ever did on this blog was with a local artist named Isaac Bidwell. He used to be a server at Julie’s Diner, but he’s since gone on the road publicizing both his art and his plush dolls. It also turns out that Isaac’s the only person I’ve ever interviewed three times, twice on this blog and once on my I’m Just Sharing blog. When I get a chance I’m going to interview him one more time because of the strides he’s made since the last interview in 2013.

The next interview to highlight was with Rich Kudlick, the owner of Reid & Zutant Insurance. Rich is a local insurance agent and probably my best Liverpool Chamber friend, always trying to encourage me to go to the luncheons. He’s an independent insurance agent, and I was glad to interview him because up until then I had no idea exactly what these people did.

The next one is probably one of the two strangest interviews I’m going share. This one was with Maria Snyder, who at the time was a CPA with her own consulting company who was also doing social media, and that’s how I met her. Now she’s a partner in Dimarco, Abiusi & Pascarella, P.C. and is a full time accountant. I’m sharing this one because the things she says concerning social media are still good things to read about.

The final interview I’m sharing from this blog also is with the second person I interviewed more than once (I’m talking about local people), but not twice on this blog, like Isaac above. She’s also probably the most famous at this juncture, so I honestly get to say “I knew her when”. 🙂 This one is with Lauren Greutman, who used to go by I Am That Lady but has now become her own brand. Her specialty is helping people get out of debt and save money, which is why she made a great person to be the only one I ever interviewed for my finance blog.

On my business blog, which is called Mitch’s Blog (that makes sense, right?), I used to do a 5-question survey with multiple independent business owners. About half of those I interviewed are from out of town, but half of the rest are still in business, so those are the only ones I’m going to share. At that time I always asked the same 5 questions; I still think they gave pretty good insight. Those folks are:

George Chapman GW Chapman Consulting Danny Chawan Srim Enterprises Jill Hurst-Wahl, Hurst Associates Sean Branigan, Communigration Robert Whipple Leadergrow

As far as interviews go on my IJS blog, only two local people have ever been featured there. One was Isaac above and the other is Mark Dyson of Spinland Studios. This was one of those times when our Twitter accounts converged, and once I realized he was a local guy I thought he’d be a fascinating person to interview.

Now it’s time for the video interviews. Instead of making you go to YouTube I’m going to pop all the videos up here. If you still want to go to YouTube you can highlight and paste the link underneath the video & watch it there.

I’m starting off with the second strange video I mentioned above. What makes it strange is that one, I think the company has dissolved, and two, one of the stars is my buddy Joe Cunningham. This interview was for Swell Communications, and it was still both fascinating and entertaining:

https://youtu.be/9mxeBrRKy2Q

This next interview is with my longest friend from this area, Chuck Price of Measurable SEO. He’s often a featured writer on Search Engine Journal and even though I’ve been in this world for a long time I’m always amazed at his level of expertise:

https://youtu.be/MBfcEyj6rXk

Next on the list is Steve Borek of End Game Business. He’s a certified business coach who now lives in the Philippines, but when I interviewed him he was living in central New York and he was my wings and hamburger buddy. 🙂

https://youtu.be/paXEk-1Mu_0

Now we have Jesan Sorrells, president of Human Services Consulting and Training, which is geared towards conflict resolution. This was one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever had, one that even my wife laughed a lot at.

https://youtu.be/099tVM-QomM

Last but not close to least is my ice cream buddy Joanne Del Balso, who owns No Fuss Accounting but is big into both social media (she’s presented at multiple organizations around town on the subject) and is big into local women’s organizations, most specifically the WBOC.

https://youtu.be/0TdUwCeoXjE

Well… maybe I lied about not having to do a lot of reading, but this particular post should be easy for everyone to consume. I hope you enjoy learning more about local business people and be sure to think of them if you’re even in need of any of their services or products.  

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