By Jon Campbell
July 26, 2011
In the midst of an upstate swing that will bring him to Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse when the day is through, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the makeup of economic development councils in the Finger Lakes and Central New York regions this afternoon.
The announcement came after Cuomo had announced the Western New York regional council this morning.
After naming the president of the University at Buffalo one of the co-chairs in WNY, Cuomo went with the heads of a pair of private universities for the next two councils: Joel Seligman, president of University of Rochester, for the Finger Lakes; and Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University’s chancellor, in the CNY region.
Danny Wegman, CEO of regional supermarket chain Wegmans Food Markets, will serve as co-chair in the Finger Lakes, while Rob M. Simpson, president of CenterState CEO, will help lead the Central New York economic development plan.
Wegman, a Cuomo supporter, donated $35,000 to the governor’s campaign last year.
Some advocacy groups have already called for greater diversity on the councils, pointing to the Western New York region, which they say is too business heavy.
“The Council could have been much more diverse and inclusive of the community, labor, environmental and small business stakeholders that are directly impacted by economic development decisions,” Nathalie Alegre, an organizer with ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York said in a statement. “We are pleased to see some reform-minded individuals among the appointments made today and strongly advocate for more diverse voices to be included in working groups for each region.”