Today marks the first visit by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to Syracuse since early October -- and the first public meeting between Cuomo and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner since a widely-publicized difference of opinion between the two.
The disagreement was over how the state should help cities like Syracuse deal with financial stress. Miner calls it nothing more than political soap opera, fueled by the media.
"I think this got blown way out of proportion, and it sort of became a fun thing for people to cover, because they could say, how many days has it been, how long has it been. I was at the [Executive] Mansion last night. The governor had a professional and cordial conversation. I was able to rearrange my schedule to be here today," said Miner.
Last night was the first time Cuomo and Miner, who is also co-chair of the New York State Democratic party, have spoken since October. Miner wrote an editorial in the New York Times in mid-February that criticized Cuomo's proposal to help ease municipal budget problems by smoothing pension costs over time. Miner said it wouldn't help struggling cities, calling it a budget gimmick.
Miner says even though she hasn't personally spoken with the governor in almost eight months, doesn't mean he is ignoring Syracuse. She says city officials have been in contact with the governor's staff on a number of issues.
Cuomo was in Syracuse to make an economic development announcement today at the SUNY Upstate Medical University.