city budget

4:37pm

Fri May 30, 2014
Politics and Government

Veto override means Syracuse will get small property tax increase

A 1.5 percent property tax increase will stand in the City of Syracuse after the Common Council overrode Mayor Stephanie Miner’s budget veto today.

Finance Committee Chairwoman Kathleen Joy says the city can’t continue to cut it’s way out of yearly budget deficits, so lawmakers felt the time was right for this increase.

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3:45pm

Tue May 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Common Council wants nonprofits to be accountable for city funds

Syracuse common councilors will be asking for more information from not-for-profits that get funds from the city budget.  The city contracts with several agencies to provide various services to city residents every year.

But Councilor Pam Hunter says there needs to be more accountability about what these nonprofits are doing with city funds.

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2:49pm

Thu May 1, 2014
Regional Coverage

Petition calls for return of Oswego's 5 percent tax cap

The Oswego City Council was presented with 500 signatures calling for a tax cap during its Monday night meeting.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Oswego's Common Council was recently presented with a petition seeking to add a five percent tax cap back to the city's charter, which was removed in 2011. The city of Oswego continues to deal with resident complaints about last year's 43 percent property tax hike, and struggle with balancing its budget.

Lawyer Kevin Caraccioli got more than 500 people to sign the petition. He says the tax cap would work in the same way as it does in school budgets, requiring city voters to approve budgets that surpass the tax cap.

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6:08am

Thu May 1, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse budget hearing highlights need for first responders and literacy

Virginia Carmody, with the Literacy Coaltion of Onondaga County, speaks during Syracuse's public hearing on its annual budget.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Pleas for funding for a literacy program, and concerns about public safety spending rounded out comments at last night’s public hearing on the city of Syracuse’s proposed 2014-2015 budget.

In all, six people spoke to common councilors about Mayor Stephanie Miner’s proposed $660 million spending plan last night. Among them was Felicia Salley, a mother of three from Syracuse’s southside. She says the Imagination Library, run by the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County, has helped her kids prepare for school by providing each of her children one new age-appropriate book a month.

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6:37am

Tue April 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse considers adding more police, firefighters

Mayor Stephanie Miner flanked by the police and fire chiefs and some members of Common Council as she announces her proposal to include a new class of police and firefighters in the fiscal year 2014-15 budget Monday.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

If Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s proposed budget is approved as is by the Common Council, the city will soon beef up its police and fire departments.

Miner says even as the city budget continues to be tight, it’s time for the new officers, with more than 200 potential police and fire retirements looming this year.

"You always are trying to manage, and manage and looking at how many retirements you're going to have and how many you’ve already had, where your needs are and how you can balance those needs,” Miner said.

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7:19am

Thu March 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego exploring all options to cut costs, generate revenue

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen has looked at every department in the city, and is making changes to certain cost structures. That includes raising the price of some city fees.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Many upstate New York municipalities are struggling with higher taxes and are scrambling to find additional revenue sources. The city of Oswego is no different and the mayor is trying several approaches to raise money.

Mayor Tom Gillen says the city is examining every nook and cranny of the budget to try to find ways to save money or bring in revenue.

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7:25am

Fri January 31, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego decides against employee furloughs

Doug Kerr Flickr

The city of Oswego is making some changes to the budget it passed in December, by moving away from the city-wide furloughs it had previously imposed.

The furloughs included in this year's budget would have equated to about a four percent pay decrease to every city employee in Oswego. But now those mandatory days off aren't taking place, following the Common Council's decision to dip into the city's enterprise fund.

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7:10am

Tue January 28, 2014
Politics and Government

Mayors testify at annual Tin Cup Day in Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talk during a panel discussion.
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo Flickr

Mayors from around the state -- including Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner -- testified before the state legislative fiscal committees. In what’s traditionally known as Tin Cup Day, many asked for more money, while others asked for authorization to collect more money from their citizens.

First up was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who came armed with a new report that he says shows how he could enact universal access to pre-kindergarten at a “rapid pace,” in an expansion that he calls one of the largest in the nation’s history.

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8:09am

Mon January 13, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego officials support Cuomo's 2014 agenda, but question Cuomo's tax cap

Parks commissioner Rose Harvey talks to attendees about Cuomo's agenda.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Oswego's Common Council, mayor and department heads saw firsthand what Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2014 agenda will look like, during a recent presentation of his State of the State address at city hall.

The mayor of the city of Oswego says in general he supports Cuomo's budget plan for 2014, but the city's Common Councilors say rising costs and unfunded mandates make it hard to stay within the state's two percent tax cap.

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6:52pm

Tue December 31, 2013
Politics and Government

Syracuse elected officials sworn in, look to challenges ahead

Syracuse Common Council members just before they were sworn in
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Two Syracuse City Council members and three city school board members were sworn in at city hall on Monday. The new and returning office holders acknowledged there will be many tough issues for them to face in their terms.

Friends and family members cheered on as their elected officials took the oath of office in the packed Common Council Chambers.

President of the Syracuse Common Council Van Robinson was sworn in for a second term. He says it's his job to assure the people that Syracuse will not go down the road of bankruptcy, and that the city needs to grow.

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10:34am

Fri December 20, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego residents speak out against proposed budget increase

A large crowd filled out the Oswego Middle School gymnasium.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Hundreds of residents from the city of Oswego packed the gym at Oswego Middle School on Thursday to voice their concerns about the city's proposed budget. The $34 million budget originally included a property tax increase of more than 80 percent. But the Common Council cut $2 million from the budget earlier this week, dropping the possible tax increase down to about 43 percent.

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4:02pm

Wed December 4, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego lawmakers face decision on property tax rate hike

A view of downtown Oswego from the Oswego River's east bank.
mtneer_man Flickr

Although Oswego's residents are facing a nearly 82 percent increase in their property taxes, the city's lawmakers say there isn't much fat left to cut from the proposed budget. They say the changing economic atmosphere in the city is weighing heavily on this year's budget.

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7:51am

Tue November 12, 2013
Regional Coverage

Fulton reaches out to Cuomo's Financial Restructuring Board for help

Earlier this year, the city of Fulton was placed on New York state's list of fiscally distressed communities. Now it's the first municipality in the state to sign up for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recently created Financial Restructuring Board. The ten-person board offers cities management recommendations and grants to help them implement financial changes and get back on their feet.

Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward, Sr., says the city's struggles are the result of several factors, including the loss of two large employers in the area.

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4:34am

Wed November 6, 2013
Politics

Watertown City Council: incumbent Macaluso, newcomer Jennings win seats in four-way contest

Teresa Macaluso, left, says goodbye to her final guests - her mother and sister - after a small election-day party at her home. She retained her seat on City Council.
Joanna Richards

Watertown's City Council contest pitted two fiscally conservative incumbents against two political newcomers who want city government to think more broadly about its role. The voters went for one of each.

Small business owner Teresa Macaluso led the pack by a comfortable margin to keep her seat for a second four-year term. She says good budget management will always be her top priority. "Without a budget, a balanced budget, we don't get any of the services that we want, things fall behind, and then before you know it, you're in trouble," she said. 

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4:47pm

Wed May 22, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo and Miner together for first time since disagreement

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, left, listens to Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his first visit to Syracuse since October.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

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.

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11:39pm

Wed May 8, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Common Council restores fire department cuts, but that may not last

Syracuse Common Council receives a standing ovation after restoring budget cuts to the fire department.

The pleas of Syracuse firefighters pleas were answered by the city's common councilors as they voted to restore cuts to the fire department.   But, the vote by the council to shift money in the mayor's proposed budget, doesn't mean the Syracuse Fire Department will get that money.

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10:23am

Tue April 30, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse firefighters make last gasp to save Station 7

Syracuse firefighter Pete Conover speaks at the budget public hearing Monday evening.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Syracuse firefighters have made a last gasp attempt to save Engine Company Number 7 from the Mayor's budget ax. Mayor Stephanie Miner's proposed budget would shutter the crumbling station, as well as cut four members from the ranks of the firefighters. 

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8:56am

Fri April 26, 2013
Politics and Government

Governor to push for local government restructuring board

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he hopes to soon create a statewide board to help fiscally strapped local governments restructure.

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2:12pm

Tue April 9, 2013
Government

Council gets earful on proposed closure of Fire Station 7

Syracuse firefighter union representative Lonnie Johnson, left, speaks to the Common Council.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Syracuse lawmakers Tuesday got an earful about the pros and cons of closing down a fire station as the Common Council held a hearing on the future of Station 7 on the city's east side.

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6:09am

Tue April 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Proposed Syracuse budget includes cuts, consolidations

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner's proposed election year budget includes no increases in taxes or fees; there are also no proposed layoffs. But despite spending cuts and consolidations, the city's fund balance takes a big hit, in order to fill a multi-million dollar budget hole.

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4:40pm

Mon April 1, 2013
Government

Syracuse council approves "booting," wants more fiscal input

Syracuse will contract out some parking enforcement to crack down on drivers with several unpaid tickets.
quinn.anya via Flickr

Syracuse will begin going after the roughly 19,000 drivers with multiple unpaid parking tickets in a few months thanks to a new deal to ramp up "booting."

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2:19pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Regional Coverage

State report shows Utica in fiscal decline

A new state report describes the city of Utica as a city in fiscal decline. The state Comptroller's office has released a fiscal snapshot of the city as part of its new fiscal monitoring system.

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4:25pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Politics and Government

Common councilors try to better understand Syracuse's fiscal problems

Syracuse common councilors are trying to get a clearer snapshot of the city's fiscal problems. Lawmakers have been holding a series of meetings to try to figure out how the council can take a more proactive approach to dealing with an impending budget implosion.

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