Nader Maroun

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The next piece to the revitalization of the downtown Syracuse area home to the former Hotel Syracuse will soon be in place. Developers and the city of Syracuse have struck a tax deal that will lead to a Hyatt Hotel, across the street from the Marriott Downtown Syracuse.

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The city of Syracuse will enter into a three-year agreement with a company it has been using to boot cars with unpaid parking tickets. The contract was held up over questions about how aggressive the company has been in booting vehicles.

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The Syracuse Common Council has passed legislation regulating how property owners can boot cars parked illegally on private property. Until now, property owners could charge whatever they wanted to have the boot removed.

Any property owners, who are booting in the city of Syracuse, will now have to get a license. They can charge $100 and the booter has to come and release it within 30 minutes from when they are called and the fine is paid.    

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The Syracuse Common Council voted against requiring interior inspections of rental properties, either by consent or warrant, every two years. The measure failed by a 5-4 vote.

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The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority will be reimbursing the city three million dollars in a settlement with the Syracuse Police Benevolent Association for lost wages from 2012-2014. The airport authority did not have the power to hire a private security company when it did.

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The Syracuse Common Council has approved changes to two busy streets on the Syracuse University campus. The council is also preparing for a potential vote on requiring a certain percentage of contract workers to be hired from within the city.  

The council chambers were packed Monday afternoon with striking Verizon workers who cheered when the council passed a resolution supporting their protesting efforts against outsourcing and other issues.

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The Syracuse Common Council voted unanimously to approve a city budget for the next fiscal year. The budget still includes a $12 million deficit from Mayor Stephanie Miner’s proposal, but more money has been shifted toward road repairs.

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There are 191,000 outstanding parking tickets in the city of Syracuse worth about $7 million, according to the city's Parking Violations Bureau. Some cases involve individuals perpetually scamming the system.

The Parking Violations Bureau uses an outside company that can boot a car that has three outstanding tickets, 90 days or older. The problem is when drivers with these violations go to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles and get a new license plate for that car. Councilor Nader Maroun said in some cases, one driver could have 5-10 different license plates.

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Residents on both sides of the issue spoke out at another public hearing on managing deer and ticks in central New York on Tuesday night. Funding will soon be available for neighborhoods to address the problem.

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Syracuse-area advocates of universal pre-kindergarten want lawmakers to include it in the state budget expected to be approved in Albany in the next ten days. Supporters crystallized their argument for pre-K  at a news conference at Delaware School on Syracuse’s west side Thursday.

The call to  include universal pre-K in the state budget came from business leaders, like Centerstate CEO president Rob Simpson

Some seniors are optimistic that a new senior center will rise in downtown Syracuse to replace the Ida Benderson Center that closed last fall due to budget cuts.

They're taking time to thank those who have helped them so far. Specifically, by serenading Syracuse common councilors.