Mike Krusen has proven time and time again that the key to successfully managing issues or challenges is to turn them into opportunities: create the right partnerships, be efficient, be responsive, eliminate waste, maintain or improve infrastructure without adding to the tax burden, and most importantly, think out of the box.
Mike knows we have a challenging Upstate economy and the hurdles of a highly regulated state business environment that works against us, but these challenges are and can be met if we have a plan to move us forward.
That is why Mike, through his efforts at STEG, is working to meet these challenges by creating opportunities. Those opportunities come by aggressively competing for grants and assisting local businesses with their expansion plans. Whether it is competing and winning the $10 million dollar downtown Revitalization Initiative grant that has the promise to transform Elmira or the $40 million dollar grant for the rehabilitation of the Elmira Corning Regional Airport into the 21st Century Gateway to the Southern Tier, Mike is ready to fight and compete for our community.
Mike Krusen is working to make sure Chemung County has the diverse economy we need and the support our businesses need to grow by:
- Helping local businesses obtain millions of dollars in grant money through the Governor’s competitive Consolidated Funding Application process to meet their expansion plans and create jobs
- Reorganizing and streamlining economic development efforts by creating a one-stop-shop in the Chemung County Commerce Center to ensure easy access to businesses looking to grow and expand in Chemung County.
- Partnering in a regional effort to strengthening our economy through the development of an Integrated Workforce Development Strategy
- Providing local business access to various workshops and educational opportunities to assist them with competing in a global economy
IMPROVING COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Mike Krusen’s career highlights include his desire to make government more responsive. As a solution-driven leader who consistently delivers exceptional results, the record shows that those results are impressive:
- The County tax rate is over 40% lower since Mike has worked for the County and is lower than the regional county average by nearly 16%.
- Chemung County is the “leader” throughout New York State in the implementation of shared service solutions to make local government more efficient and effective.
- Mike has worked with county department heads to provide state-of-the-art solutions to drive better results for those residents most in need of services to include keeping the county nursing facility publically owned and promoting our County as an ‘Age Friendly Community’ to promote successful aging.
- Under Mike’s leadership, the county has strengthened programs for veterans who received nearly 11,000 contacts in 2016 that increased benefits received by our deserving veterans and their families.
- Mike continues to work with our Public Works Department to ensure our roads and bridges meet the highest safety standards by securing millions of federal and state dollars to complete important projects.
- Mike also knows there is a time to fight against a wrong, and along with County Executive Santulli, lead the charge to get New York State to lessening the burden of unfunded mandates and the unfair expense it places on county taxpayers. This effort resulted in New York State freezing the county share of funding for Medicaid, which reduced the amount of the local property tax levy needed to fund this program by nearly 10 million dollars.
These are troubling statistics and that is why Deputy County Executive Mike Krusen has worked so hard to decrease the county property tax rate. Mike is fully committed to continuing the effort to holding the line on county property taxes and this will require experience and a vision for how we can reshape local government.
Mike has a proven record of accomplishments by providing innovative solutions that save money and result in improved services. He has:
- Reduced cost by millions by streamlining duplicative services
- Maximized state and federal reimbursements to programs to reduce the local tax burden
- Advocated for privatizing certain government services that has reduced expenses, eliminated debt and provided substantial benefits to many community projects.
- Negotiated fair but taxpayer friendly union settlements
Mike has made the tough choices and county government is a better operation because of it. His steadfast commitment to efficient and effective county services has resulted in outstanding results for all. Here are the facts:
- Chemung County property tax rates are lower by over 40% since 1992
- 2018 marked the 13th year in a row that the property tax rate was either lower or remained the same
- Chemung County property tax rate is nearly 16% lower than the regional county average
- Moody’s rating agency continued Chemung County’s 2017 bond rating at a solid A-1
- The “new hire plan” for employees will save millions of dollars
That is why Mike works hard with our highway professionals to provide the types of resources needed to keep the County’s road, bridges and culverts functioning properly to ensure safe passage to our residents. The County commits millions of dollars a year to maintain our road systems and partners with our other municipal highway departments to assist with meeting their needs as well.
However, Mike also knows that infrastructure is much more than roads and bridges. It is about airports, sewer and water systems and digital infrastructure as well, and Mike’s involvement in these areas is paying huge dividends.
Mike served as one of the founding board members of the Southern Tier Network (STN), a three county public/private partnership that established a $10 million dollar 200 plus mile dark fiber backbone stretching across our region that has promoted last mile solutions for both business and homeowners to allow for upgrades to internet access, reliability and speed. The STN made great strides in addressing the lack of broadband access that we need to expand coverage and provide resources that can meet 21st century technology requirements of our businesses and residents so we can succeed in a competitive national and global environment.
Mike’s work through Southern Tier Economic Growth positioned the Elmira/Corning Regional Airport as part of the I-86 Innovation Corridor to receive a $40 million Upstate New York grant, which will allow for a complete $58 million dollar transformation of the terminal to ensure our airport remains the leader in passenger enplanements in the Southern Tier. The renovations have started, with substantial completion by November of 2018. The new terminal experience is being described as a “walk in the woods’ and will provide for a more comfortable experience for the traveling public and improve terminal functionality for the airlines and enhance other airport amenities. These new improvements have already encouraged expansions to current airline services, as well as the addition of United Airlines that will make daily flights to Newark.
Mike knows it is important to make investments in our large infrastructure systems and is working with our wastewater experts at the Chemung County Sewer District to ensure our aging treatment plant facilities receive the resources to meet the needs of our many communities that rely on this system. He also knows that these necessary upgrades cannot financially overburden the users of the systems and to do this you must have the facts. So, he is working with the staff at the district and a consultant team that will perform an evaluation of treatment upgrade and consolidation options and determine next steps.
Mike Krusen has been instrumental in making Chemung County a “leader” throughout New York State in the development of mutually beneficial shared service agreements between our local governments. Agreements include the merged County/City/Big Flats Department of Public Works, the County/City Department of Building and Grounds, the Municipal Financial Services Division and the Information Technology Department covering several jurisdictions and a multitude of other partnerships that promote efficiencies and effectiveness with our limited tax dollars. Mike also knows that there are services best managed by the private or non-profit sectors and he has also provided leadership in this effort by negotiating operating agreements that have lowered costs and increased revenues for services as diverse as Solid Waste Management to the provisions for community mental health services. Through Mike’s involvement, the privatization of Solid Waste Management lowered taxes and debt service by millions of dollars and brought over $30 million dollars of additional revenue to the County since the execution of this agreement with the private sector.
Mike also knows that not all paths lead through county government and the very uniqueness of our municipalities and their missions dictate that some shared service arrangements should be between our towns and villages with only minor county assistance. Mike is committed to working with our municipal partners to assist with the consolidation of assessing and code enforcement functions to ensure trained personnel are available to perform this complex work as well as ensure fairness in our property tax and code enforcement systems.