Astorino sees 3 Orleans success stories

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 May 2014 at 12:00 am

GOP candidate for governor says state is biggest enemy to business

Photos by Tom Rivers – Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, talks with reporters this afternoon after touring Precision Packaging Products in Holley. Astorino is the Republican candidate for governor against Andrew Cuomo.

Precision Packaging Products VP of Sales Steve Langdon, left, and Andrew Moreau (chief financial officer for Precision) show some of the plastic packaging the company makes for bakeries and the produce industry. Rob Astorino, second from right, toured the factory with State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, right.

Rob Astorino, front left, gets a tour of Precision Packaging Products from Steve Langdon, the company’s vice president of sales.

HOLLEY – Rob Astorino said the state’s high taxes, burdensome regulations and costly worker’s compensation in the state are causing an exodus of residents out of New York.

The Westchester County executive is making a more business-friendly state a focus in his run for governor against incumbent Andrew Cuomo.

Astorino made three stops in Orleans County today and he saw three success stories: Precision Packaging Products in Holley, Western New York Energy in Medina and the Olde Pickle Factory in Medina. The three have all made major investments in the county.

“They’re winning despite the odds,” Astorino said. “Businesses are begging for relief. New York is the worst in the country for taxes and corruption. The state policies that have been enacted are driving out residents and businesses.”

The state ranks 50th or dead last in taxes in the country, and Astorino said 400,000 New Yorkers have fled the state in the past three years.

“It’s no secret it’s very hard to do business here,” he said. “The state has become the enemy.”

New York needs to get its tax burden to be less than other Northeastern states, which are competitors for businesses and residents, Astorino said. Then NY needs to push to have its tax burden below Texas and North Carolina, he said.

At Precision Packaging the company has done four major expansions in Holley in 12 years. The company now has 110 employees and 180,000 square feet of space. The company was acquired in March by the Waddington Group in Kentucky. The new owner has the resources to grow Precision in Holley, perhaps doubling the workforce in the next five years, said Andrew Moreau, the company’s chief financial officer.

He said the state can be a challenge for the company, particularly working through the “maze” of worker’s compensation. But Holley has proven a good site for the company, providing lower-cost municipal electricity. The company has room to grow in Holley and the local workforce has stepped up to meet the company’s personnel needs, said Steve Langdon, the company’s vice president of sales.

Astorino has twice been elected as county executive in Westchester where Democrats are far in the majority. He said the county dropped unemployment, added jobs and is in a much stronger position now that he’s in his second term as county executive.

“In Westchester County we lowered taxes,” he said. “We went from losing to winning.”

“We’ve had a net job loss in Western New York,” he said. “I’ll ask Western New Yorkers: Do you think we’re winning?”