August 15, 2011
To the Station Community:
I know that many of you have followed the developing local news story about the City of Geneva’s plan to raise new revenues by establishing a transportation benefits assessment district. Most recently, the Finger Lakes Times reported on the lawsuit filed by a number of not-for-profit organizations challenging the local law that is the basis for the district. I wanted to update you of where Cornell-NYSAES, as a not-for-profit organization in the City of Geneva, stands in this process.
We have worked closely with Cornell University’s Office of Counsel and the Office of Government Affairs and Community Relations to determine how these activities might affect the Station. Because all of our land within the City is owned by the state of New York our Cornell offices are investigating who has the authority to act as legal counsel for the Station should that be necessary. Marc Smith and I met recently with Hobart and William Smith leadership together with other tax-exempt organizations and independently with City Manager Matt Horn to understand the City’s stance on the issue.
We support the good faith efforts made by Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Finger Lakes Health to recognize the challenges faced by the City of Geneva and to offer long-term financial support to meet those challenges in a manner that maintains their tax-exempt status. The Station, like the other tax-exempt entities, also recognizes that our success in many ways depends on the success of the community in which we live.
If you have questions please let Marc or myself know so that we can help clarify.