common council

5:48am

Thu April 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

Amended taxi cab law passed by Oswego Common Council

Oswego City Hall (file photo)
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego Common Council has voted five to zero to amend its taxi cab law, after working on it for more than a year. The law originally barred people convicted of felonies from driving taxi cabs within Oswego city limits, but sparked a lawsuit from the Workforce Advocacy Center, a group opposing job discrimination.

Read more

8:14am

Tue March 11, 2014
Politics and Government

Oswego city reporting app still a success, even with drawbacks

The home screen of Oswego's City Sourced app.
Credit Jason Smith / WRVO

It's been about six months since the city of Oswego launched a mobile app allowing residents to report problems directly to city departments. The app, which cost $5,000 to build and $2,000 to maintain, has had a reduced number of reports recently, but Common Councilor Eric VanBuren said it has still been helpful for the city.

VanBuren helped get the app passed by the city last fall and said there are more than 400 users of the program.  He said the app has been a good investment even though the winter season has reduced the number of reports received.

Read more

8:22am

Wed January 22, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego Common Council hoping for rebound after difficult 2013

The Oswego City Common Council is pushing a more aggressive agenda to help prevent a repeat of last year's 43 percent property tax increase.

Common Council president Ron Kaplewicz says the prospect of another year with massive tax increases scares everyone at City Hall, and is prompting the council to get more creative with the decisions it makes and the revenue sources it taps.

Read more

9:22am

Tue December 24, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego Common Council passes 2014 budget

More than 100 people attended last night's budget vote.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego Common Council passed its 2014 budget plan last night, including a more than 40 percent property tax increase. But instead of the boos and anger seen last Thursday night, councilors heard cheers from the hundred or so people who watched the event.

In a seemingly surprise announcement to the crowd just prior to the vote, council president Ron Kaplewicz broke the news about the city's 15 Department of Public Works jobs that were placed on the city's chopping block.

Read more

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.

Read more

8:30am

Fri November 1, 2013
Politics

Oswego's 5th Ward Common Council seat pits youth versus experience

William "Billy" Barlow, Jr. says age has not been a major factor during his campaign for Oswego's fifth ward Common Council seat.
Credit Gino Geruntino/WRVO

Two candidates from vastly different backgrounds are attempting to become the new voice of Oswego's 5th ward, after Common Councilor Dan Donovan's retirement. It's the only open Common Council race in the November 5 election.

One of those candidates is William "Billy" Barlow, Jr., 23, who is a small business owner and recent graduate of Arizona State University. Barlow, a Republican, says the city could benefit from making Oswego's downtown more vibrant and welcoming to out-of-town visitors.
 

Read more

7:41am

Fri August 16, 2013
Politics

Syracuse councilor-at-large candidates focus on crime and the economy

A view of Syracuse's city hall.
Daniel Lobo/flickr

The September 10 Democratic primary for two city-wide councilor-at-large seats in Syracuse puts the spotlight on crime and the economy.

The four-way race pits two incumbents, Lance Denno and Jean Kessner, who were not endorsed by the city's Democratic Committee and who have been at odds with the administration of Mayor Stephanie Miner at times, are running against two party favorites, Pam Hunter and Jeff Wright. Three of the four joined Grant Reeher for a forum on the Campbell Conversations.

Read more

8:20am

Fri August 9, 2013
Politics

Syracuse Councilor-at-Large candidates discuss city government

Three candidates running for Syracuse Common Councilor-at-Large in a September primary joined Grant Reheer's Campbell Conversation to talk about the role of the city's legislative branch of government.

Read more

12:12pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Government

Council wants to kick-start land bank operations

The Syracuse Common Council has proposed loaning the newly formed city-county land bank money so it can begin operating in earnest, but questions remain on the availability of those funds.

Read more

5:39am

Tue December 4, 2012
Regional Coverage

North side hookah lounge will not be allowed to reopen

A hookah lounge on Syracuse's north side will not be reopening for a second time. The Common Council has rejected a permit for the business to do so.

Read more

6:08am

Tue October 23, 2012
Government

Council supports decrease in use of Syracuse hiring practice

The Common Council's finance committee asked for answers about how the city pays the employees who are on SURA's payroll in a meeting on Monday.
Joseph A Flickr

A few days after a state audit criticized a long-used Syracuse hiring practice to get around civil service laws, the Common Council probed the issue, but councilors came down more on the side of the mayor's office than the auditors.

Read more

9:58am

Tue May 8, 2012
Regional Coverage

Common Council passes budget, but added spending in limbo

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, left, talks with reporter Bill Carey following the Common Council's approval of the budget Monday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Money the Syracuse Common Council added to Mayor Stephanie Miner's budget for a new downtown senior center, a small business loan program and teaching assistants may never get spent, despite Miner saying she'll sign the budget as passed.

The council OK'd $2 million in additions to Miner's proposed budget and then approved the spending plan Monday afternoon.

But following the vote, Miner said she won't authorize the additional spending.

Read more

5:11pm

Mon April 9, 2012
Politics and Government

Tax exemption for Syracuse bookstore hinges on public access

The Syracuse Common Council is inching closer to approving a proposed tax break for a new bookstore and fitness center.
Cameron Group, LLC.

A new bookstore and fitness center on University Hill in Syracuse may get a tax break after all.

The margin needed for approval has narrowed.

Members of the Syracuse Common Council and an economic development official confirmed Monday that new terms on the deal have been reached, at least in principal.

Read more

4:52pm

Mon March 26, 2012
Regional Coverage

Tax break for Syracuse University bookstore lives to fight another day

The Syracuse Common Council has decided to negotiate more on a proposed tax break for the building of a new bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University.
Cameron Group, LLC.

A tax-break deal for a new off-campus bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University has gotten a reprieve.

The deal was slated for a vote in the Syracuse Common Council today, which, based on a whip count of the councilors, would have voted the deal down.

Instead, the council withdrew the legislation from the agenda, giving the project a shot to revise and resubmit.

The road ahead is far from certain though: Many councilors still have serious issues with a request from a private developer for a 30-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) deal to build a complex that it would then rent out to the university.

"I don't see where you would grant a PILOT in the most commercially viable area of the city and [for] a brand new building," said councilor Pat Hogan.

Hogan added he'll likely remain "a solid no" on the project.

Read more

6:02pm

Tue March 20, 2012
Education

Syracuse bookstore is flash point in debate over development

The Syracuse Common Council has decided to negotiate more on a proposed tax break for the building of a new bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University.
Cameron Group, LLC.

The make-up of the Syracuse Common Council was different when Thomas Valenti and his firm, Cameron Group, first approached it six years ago, but the opposition to the proposed project is still the same.

Valenti wants to develop a new off-campus bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University.

In order to do that, he's requesting a 30-year property tax break from the city.

And therein lies the sticking point.

"If you have all of these grand ideas, then you should be able to finance this project," councilor-at-large Helen Hudson says. "We just can't keep excepting all of these entities."

Read more