Friday, June 13, 2008

Robert Sullivan: Leading By Example

When word started getting around on Monday that Utica's Economic Development Commissioner Robert Sullivan was being foreclosed on by the city I joked that he was doing an outstanding job of "leadership by example".

Surprisingly, he not only agrees, but thinks the foreclosure demonstrates that he understands the challenges facing upstate business:

But Sullivan said his delinquencies do not affect his ability to promote development in Utica. He works with numerous small business owners who are having a hard time in today’s economic climate, he said.

“Who better to run an economic development department than someone who’s been there and is there,” he said, “someone who understands the struggle of an Upstate New York business owner?”...

“It should be a success story, not a failure story,” Sullivan said.

Let's not forget that Mr. Sullivan is also the beneficiary of the Roefaro "Friends and Family" plan, along with his partner Gary Rizzo. Mr. Rizzo collects a city paycheck filling the city's mandated "bingo inspector" position, a job that requires an absolute minimum of actual work. That hasn't stopped him from nurturing his own real estate interests, a field where he seems to be wholeheartedly embracing his partner's example:

The Hotel Street site that Sullivan and Rizzo own was on a foreclosure list from the city Comptroller’s Office that was published Monday in the O-D.

Rizzo, who is the city bingo inspector, is listed as a co-owner on two additional properties facing foreclosure.

Just another inspiring Utica success story!