Thursday, January 24, 2008

Empire Liquor Leaving Kingston; Sottile Did All He Could


Empire Liquors is leaving Kingston and taking with it over 200 jobs. I really wonder how this company went from expanding and creating an additional 100 jobs, to leaving completely. The owner is saying he is leaving for economic reasons and that seems to be the case.


A lot of people the next few weeks will be making this into a political story against certain politicians but one person who needs to be commended is Mayor Sottile. Mayor Sottile bent over backwards to keep this company here in Kingston. Whether it be working against the Unions for an IDA exemption, meeting with the school board about tax breaks or trying to work out a PILOT with the City.


Mayor Sottile really put himself out there and deserves credit for doing what he did. Are they leaving? Yes. However, we know and can sleep at night, knowing that our Mayor did everything in his power to try and keep these jobs here in Kingston.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

What you fail to point out is that Sottile knew they were leaving and yet still bragged about the supposed expansion during his campaign. Where I come from, that's called being a liar.

BeenThereDoneThat said...

Is it fair to the other business concerns struggling in Kingston as to why Colony Liquor is assisted by the 'PILOT' program and not them? What about the real property owners in the city who end up paying more taxes to subsidize Colony Liquors because they claim "financial hardship". The metaphor is quite similar to the Little Boy crying "Wolf" just to get a free handout from the government while the vast majority pay the piper. There is no reason for Colony Liquor to be assisted by the City in the first place. Let them move to wherever, as that was their intention to begin with.

Jen said...

Jeremy,

In the same week that you post an MLK quote, you praise the mayor for "working against the unions" in an effort to save these jobs. Do you think that MLK saw the Promised Land as a community in which blacks and whites share equally in working 2 and 3 jobs to make ends meet with the threat of being fired for any reason or no reason at all hanging over their heads? Not so much.

I am very sorry to see these jobs go. Hopefully the final site will be a bearable commute for those that can keep their positions.

But I am sorrier to have had our mayor and his minions convince any of these workers that there was ever a connection between the labor policy of the IDA and the long-term viability of their jobs; a policy neither he nor Steve Finkle ever cared for and was proven on several fronts to have no relevance to the viability of this project. It was a clear attempt my opponents of labor standards to pit short-term workers against long-term workers and now both groups feel abandoned.

sincerely
Jen Fuentes

Jeremy Blaber said...

No Jen, I am not saying that going against the unions was a good thing or a popular thing. What I said was that Sottile did what he had to do to keep these jobs in Kingston, which included hurting his already damaged relationship with labor.

Anonymous said...

Sottile wastes his time and city's resources on projects that are losers from the getgo. Examples are the Noah Hote1, the Teichler condominiums, and now Colony Liquor. He stubbornly sticks to these projects, not bothering with realistic assessments of economic viability or the community's support. (I'll be glad to expand on this if anyone cares.) Then he points to how hard he is working for the city. Bottom line, if you buy a pair of boots so you can keep your cuffs clean while you are out digging a hole, what you end up with is a hole.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mayor for trying.

A Citizen

Anonymous said...

Jimmy, and many others, just don't get it. Union members are taxpayers too. Rather than trying to lower their salaries, we should be doing all we can to raise everyone else's salaries.

Steven Masur said...

My question is for Rickey Cahill.

What did you do as the Alderman of the Ward to try and stop Empire Liquor from leaving Kingston?

Anonymous said...

Jeremy
While your praising our Mayor ask him what happened to the promised Wallgreens, the Teichler project the Noah Hotel, the opening of the Kirkland hotel so many political promises yet in retrospect how many new jobs has our mayor actually created and delivered into the City since taking office and how many have been lost and moved away just like Colony Liquor?,just take a drive down Bway or uptown or down by the river and look at all the storefornts for rent or for sale so many bussinesses that have been in Kingston for years are closing down and who is to blame?, the Mayor or the fools who voted him back in for another four years

Anonymous said...

What a shame. We are becoming a community based solely on the Government for employment.
Schools,hospitals, local and county government. What else is there?

Anonymous said...

8:26
FINALLY...................
Someone who actually sees reality!
I thought I was the only person who visited here that sees what a hole Kingston is becoming, and why!
This administration is a total failure and has never produced a business oriented community, instead they thrive on low incoming housing and social service money from the state, and tax the hell outta the hard workers!
How any tax paying citizen or business in this city can feel like this administraton is working for them, Ill never know?
They are driving us into a low class, dirty crime infested hole, and Capt Jim is the bus driver...
You 3600 fools that voted for him all have a front row seat, and you deserve the filth and failure that he is forcing down you throat!!!!!

Anonymous said...

go jimmy go

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

In response to Steven Masur,

First, my name is Rich or Rick.

Second, I was not in favor of the expansion because the people of my ward did not want it.

Finally, I knew early on that Colony Liquor was leaving. I was told point blank that they were leaving and nothing was going to change their minds. All the public hand wringing and claims of wanting to stay were just ploys to help Sottile avoid the political fallout.

Anonymous said...

The city is falling apart the school district is being run by a Nazi I think it is time to call seven on my side Jimmy and Jerry need to remember that when the dust settles and their reign of destruction is over they still have to face the people of this once great community.

Anonymous said...

I am sure he did all that he could
Did you ever see him leaving the Cozy Tavern late at night? next time you drive home try to stay off of my sidewalk!

Anonymous said...

He tried to keep Empire here one bottle at a time Ha Ha. The new plow for the Jeep is used as a battering ram to get home on those late nights.
Chris & Gerry's Love Child

Anonymous said...

To: Rich Cahill

You were right from the beginning. You announced on your TV show that Colony would in all likelihood leave many months ago.

The problem with Jimmy Sottile is that he wasted all that time trying to get them to stay when he and his ED staff [of one] should have been working to get other businesses here. Or better yet, pushing the AVR project along.

Anonymous said...

They were always leaving and they played the mayor and the IDA as fools. Easy to do it seems. Now what do you do the next time a business threatens to leave....give them the keys to the city.

Steven Masur said...

It is sad that a sitting Alderman
Rick Cahill knew that Empire Liquor was leaving Kingston.
But said nothing, Did nothing.
For political gain. As a member of the Independence Party I was not happy in learning this.

This is why people dont vote

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should put a gps tracking device in our Mayors jeep that we all pay for so we can track him down and see when he's working and when he's down at the cozy taveren or at mariners getting soused.

Anonymous said...

Why would Empire Merchants North stay in Kingston? First of all, it doesn't seem to me it was a merger, Colony Liquors was sold. They are now part of The Charmer Sunbelt Group. If you want to see how big they are, look at http://www.charmer-sunbelt.com/Locations/Locations.htm

Why would a warehouse/distribution business that was serving upstate New York stay in Kingston. I would guess most of their business is in Albany and beyond. With the price of diesel fuel approaching $4.00 per gallon, it costs a lot of money in time and fuel to add 100 miles to the round trip to your cuatomers. Let's say they make 25 trips a day, Monday through Friday, 52 weeks a year, that being 6,500 trips a year, and it costs an extra $40.00 a trip to cover the location disadvantage. Maybe they can save $260,000 per year by relocating to Albany. That's a lot of money to make up with tax abatement. And who thinks that fuel prices won't go up in the next 15 years?