TICONDEROGA - The Adirondack legislators caucus held its initial meeting recently.
The group's goal is to work toward creating jobs and attracting businesses to the Adirondack Park area, as well as other initiatives to improve life in the North Country.
Members of the caucus include Assembly members Teresa Sayward, Janet Duprey, Dede Scozzafava, Jim Tedisco and Tony Jordan, as well as Senators Betty Little, Hugh Farley and Joseph Griffo.
"The Adirondack Park is a very unique area that has very unique needs. Our economy is struggling because of over-regulation, and the fact remains that it is very difficult to attract businesses to the area," said Sayward. "We have a diverse group of legislators with a wealth of knowledge about the region banding together. My colleagues and I plan to work together for the greater good of the North Country."
Among the issues discussed were a number of bills related to Adirondack Park Association issues, land rights, regulations and procedural matters. Sayward and her colleagues aim to create an Empire Zone for the Adirondack Park in order to attract businesses to an area long known to be stifling to economic development due to unnecessary regulations and excessive land purchases by the state. Those involved within the economic shaping of the park would work to develop incentives and programs specific to the park region because of its unique needs.
In addition, they aim to change the manner in which in-park seats on the APA are chosen. While members are now chosen by the Senate, Sayward and her colleagues wish to change the system so that county leaders - those who best understand the needs of the area - create a list of candidates from which the governor would choose five.
"We have a number of great ideas already, and moving forward from this point, I am very optimistic that we will be able to provide the substantial changes that the North Country needs in order to bolster the economy and provide opportunities for those that live and work here," Sayward said.