Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo raised eyebrows after telling the local media Tuesday he is not familiar with one of the biggest development projects in Rochester.
The Midtown Plaza project has been one of Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy's pet projects since he's been in office. During a stop in Pittsford Tuesday afternoon Cuomo was asked if he was familiar with the project.
Here's what he said, “No, I am not."
The answer was unexpected. In the past Duffy has characterized his relationship with Cuomo as one of "soul mates." According to city spokesperson Gary Walker Tuesday, that's still the case.
"The two men are very close. They talk all the time,” said Walker.
But why did it seem as though the pair didn't talk about the former Midtown Plaza or the performing arts theatre? Walker says why would they?
"There would be no reason to have a conversation about the Midtown project because it's done in a sense," said Walker.
And as for Cuomo not knowing about the Midtown theatre project...
"He doesn't know about the theatre why would he, half of this community doesn't know about it," said Walker.
Walker says Cuomo and Duffy have a nine billion dollar deficit to tackle and it takes priority.
“We're talking about a nine billion dollar deficit. We don't have the money, so no; you're not going to be in a position to fund any project that a local official would like to fund," said Cuomo.
"Whether or not the governor elect knows which project is on board, my impression was like...really," Walker said.
Cuomo did say he would like to familiarize himself with local projects. Perhaps next visit he'll have a more definitive answer.