How’d you like to be a county executive, legislator or member of a board of supervisors and have to decide the future of a financially-troubled county-owned nursing home? Often one of the area’s major institutions and employers, it provides an important community service, even though typically costing the county taxpayers significant amounts of money. No matter what you decide, you’re likely to be criticized from one or more directions. That is the unpleasant reality currently being faced by public officials in counties throughout all regions of New York State.
As recently as 2005, more than 40 counties outside New York City owned and operated public nursing homes containing some 9,900 beds. Now those numbers are closer to 35 counties and 8,100 beds, and those totals are likely to dwindle further over the next few years. Why the sharp declines in such a short period of time? Rising costs and declining revenues combine to force county taxpayers to plug steadily-rising deficits. Read more »
Tough times have spurred a renewed interest in collaborations among nonprofit agencies – everything from co-location to formal programmatic partnerships to organizational mergers. With fewer public dollars available to support programs, and the economic pinch slowing private contributions, it makes sense to rethink how the nonprofit sector operates.
The nonprofit sector has certainly grown in both numbers and scale over the past few decades. The National Center for Charitable Statistics reports, for example, the number of registered nonprofits in New York State nearly hit 104,000 this year, up 50% compared to the mid-1990s. The human service sector alone (excluding health care) represents over $25 billion in annual revenue in NY with nearly $40 billion in total assets. In Rochester, Guidestar reports 245 human services agencies with income over $100,000—from Hillside Family of Agencies with revenue of $100 million to Bethany House women’s shelter with income under $130,000. Read more »
For most of 2009, Rochester ranked in the Top 20 in the Brookings Institution’s regular reports on the impact of the recession. Indeed, for 2009, Rochester had the 15th best job report among the nation’s 100 largest metros. New York’s job creation record was the best of the 15 largest states.
By the end of last year, Rochester had slid to #41 and New York State to #11. What happened? Well, not much. In Rochester, at least. Our job performance over the last decade has been quite consistent from year to year: We lost jobs, but never more than 2% in a year. The Great Recession was triggered when the real estate bubble burst, the construction and real estate sectors suddenly cooled and millions found their jobs gone or at risk. Having missed the boom, Rochester also missed the bust and continued the trend of the early part of the century—slow shrinkage as the economy struggled to absorb cuts at Kodak and other large employers. Read more »
Every day we see more evidence of the buckets of cash Congress has made available through the stimulus bill. Eager to see public dollars replacing lackluster business and consumer spending, our elected representatives have filled the pipelines of countless federal programs.
Public projects that were hopeless dreams in September have been reborn. One that has garnered particular attention in New York State is high speed rail.
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