An open letter to Buffalo News editor Stan Lipsey, from Carl Paladino, as Andrew Rudnick steps down as head of the Buffalo/Niagara Partnership:
Hey Stan, it’s your turn to leave now. Your newspaper is a disgrace to the people of Western New York.
Andy says his accomplishments were behind the scenes. You must admit that like you, he has an enormous ego to go along with his condescending arrogance. The similarities are amazing. For Andy it’s been 20 years on the job and he has absolutely no legacy. The only difference with you is that it’s been over 30 years. Andy’s sole purpose has been to keep his thumb on elected officials and various board appointees so he can feed information to the group of 18 pompous blowhards who keep a lid on the community so they can enjoy the status quo which suits their pocketbooks just fine. You have used your newspaper to accomplish the same end.
The many good former employees who left the Partnership over the years say they left solely because of Andy’s tyrannical ways. They have nothing good to say about the man. Those who left the News say the same thing about how you interfere and editorialize.
Andy touts leadership but never led. He has purposely avoided the publication of a list of dues paying members, other than those who seek only medical coverage, because you can count them on your toes. Most small businesses have left. In the same respect your readership has declined significantly and if it wasn’t for the sports, classified and crossword puzzle you would have slipped into the abyss by now. Those car dealers and grocers will figure out eventually how disengaged from the News those in their 20s and 30s have become and how onerous your advertising rates are considering cost/benefit.
Andy also plays with numbers counting as members individual employees of key Executive Board members like Moag and National Grid which have financially propped up the pathetic organization to create the illusion that it represents a wide range of businesspeople in the community. He and his Executive Board of second string lackey yes-men like John Dandes have held the Partnership and Rudnick out as the representative and spokesperson of the private sector.
On the watch of you and Andy, Buffalo has become the second poorest city in the highest taxed state in the nation where the residents have been relegated to such a complacency and acceptance of failure that they sit idly by while our totally dysfunctional and incompetent Buffalo Board of Education, while spending over $26,400 per student per year—the 4th highest cost on the nation– deprives the great majority of 33,482 students of their right to an education.
Goodbye Andrew and goodbye Stan.
20 years ago this month, the boards of the Greater Buffalo Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Buffalo Development Foundation approved the amalgamation of the two business/regional development organizations and elected me to head the new, united entity. Six months later, in June 1993, the amalgamation process was completed and what’s now the Buffalo Niagara Partnership was launched.
A lot has happened since that time; much of it good; some of it not. In the midst of it all, there has been a significant rebuilding of our region’s economy and a marked improvement in Buffalo Niagara as a place to work and to live; and at the forefront has been much more and much better private sector initiative.
Partnership member investors can take pride in the various roles (many of them very much behind-the-scenes) this organization – our staff, member volunteers and paid advisors – has played in bringing about so many positive changes. I know I do; and we will be recognizing the people who have worked with us as we celebrate the Partnership’s 20th birthday – 20 years of expertise@work – throughout 2013.
For me, the organization’s first and only CEO, the past two decades haven’t always been easy or fun; but there certainly have been exhilarating occasions and lots of satisfaction. Overall, it’s been a fascinating ride.
It’s also a ride which is about to end, as I will be stepping down as Partnership President and CEO in June 2013, the end of our current fiscal year.
It’s time – my head, my heart and my bones all tell me that. Moreover, I sincerely believe this organization, our Buffalo Niagara community and the employers in it are at a particularly positive point to undergo a leadership change.
This decision will be released to the media tomorrow. In anticipation of that public announcement, I want you to know this directly from me, as there is no Partnership without our member investors, and none of what we have accomplished would be possible without your ongoing support in a wide variety of ways.
There’s a lot to be done during the next six months before I turn out the lights in my office here for the last time. So, you will continue to see and hear from me regularly (for better or worse!) between now and then. You also will be hearing later today from board chair, Tim Loftis, about the transition process.
In the meantime, sincere best wishes for a joyous holiday season and for a happy, successful, and safe 2013.
Andrew Rudnick I President & CEO