The Difference a Governor Makes

The Empire State Development Corporation used to send out meeting notices to the press that read:

Meetings are open to the public for observation, but not for direct participation.

Earlier this week, the state economic development agency sent out one for Thursday morning’s board meeting–the first under Gov. Sptizer’s co-chairmen Patrick Foye and Dan Gundersen–that read:

The meeting is open to the public for observation and comment.

And indeed, before every vote, Mr. Foye would ask if the public had any questions. For an agency that had gained a reputation as one of the more inscrutable deliberative bodies, well, that’s worth a blog post at least.

Also, Mr. Foye said he would try to attend the public hearings on ESDC projects in person as much as possible. In the past, just staff would attend and relay the gist of it to the board members, who were the ones voting on this stuff.

(By the way, no one did have any questions at Thursday’s meeting. Only three members of the public actually showed up.)

Let’s see what happens when something controversial turns up on the agenda (which, by the way, ESDC hopes to post on the agency’s Web site three days before each meeting.)

- Matthew Schuerman