On Tuesday the city of Oswego will decide whether it wants to bring back a five percent property tax cap, but many of the city's elected officials warn that it could come with some unintended consequences.
The proposed property tax cap would force Oswego to keep any tax increases to less than five percent. If the city raises taxes more than that, Oswego residents would have to vote to approve the budget. If that fails, the city must reduce the budget to keep the increase below the threshold.
With less than a week to go until Election Day, candidates in one of the highest profile races in central New York are in the midst of a debate blitz. Democrat incumbent Dan Maffei and his Republican challenger, John Katko, are both running to represent the 24th Congressional District, and outlined their stands at the Thursday Morning Roundtable in DeWitt.
The candidates offered up views on foreign policy to kick off the latest debate, specifically whether American troops should be used to deal with the advancement of ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, in the Middle East.
An experimental public campaign finance system for the state comptroller’s race has fizzled, after the lone candidate who applied for the program failed to meet the minimum threshold to obtain public monies.
The pilot public campaign financing program was limited to just the state comptroller’s race as part of a state budget deal.
It was widely condemned at the time by reform groups as fatally flawed. Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group called it cynical.
As WRVO profiles congressional races in central and northern New York this week, we turn to the 24th Congressional District. It features a well-known Democrat who has struggled to hold onto the office, and a political neophyte. Today, we profile John Katko.
When John Katko decided to quit his job as a federal prosecutor in January to run for Congress, his sister was surprised.
"I’m like really, are you serious,” Cindy Hoyne said. “He’s like yeah. He’s not your typical politician; I think that’s what floored me the most.”
Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins is joining the growing criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a comment Cuomo made about teachers. The governor said the public education system is a monopoly.
Earlier this week, Cuomo told the New York Daily News the state’s public education system is the last great public monopoly. He says he’ll try to push for a new round of teacher evaluations if reelected.
West side of Syracuse residents are again fighting to keep a halfway house for felons re-entering the community out of their neighborhood, saying the current facility is just fine where it is, far away.
The federal Bureau of Prisons' contract with non-profit Firetree, LTD. to operate a re-entry facility on the eastern edge of downtown Syracuse is up. Firetree, which is from Pennsylvania, has submitted a bid to have the contact to run the three-dozen bed facility renewed.
The future of an amphitheater project on the western shore of Onondaga Lake comes down to a vote by Onondaga County lawmakers next week.
The amphitheater is part of a $100 million project to revitalize the communities on the western shore of Onondaga Lake. The state will pay for infrastructure improvements and housing projects in Solvay and Geddes but Onondaga County will have to pay for the $50 million amphitheater, by way of a 30-year bond.
The race for attorney general is the closest of all the statewide contests. Democrat Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he wants another four years to continue what he says have been numerous successes, while his Republican opponent, John Cahill, says the incumbent has not been aggressive enough and is too cozy with the political establishment in Albany.
As WRVO profiles congressional races in central and northern New York this week, we turn to the 24th Congressional District. It features a well-known Democrat who has struggled to hold onto the office, and a political neophyte. We begin first with our profile of the incumbent, Rep. Dan Maffei.
Maffei has spent the better part of the last decade running for Congress. He’s lost, won, lost, won and now, at 46 years old, he’s running for re-election.
A week busy with debates for the 24th Congressional District candidates continued last night with their first live televised debate.
The Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger fielded questions on infrastructure, and cuts to carbon emissions, taxes and the Affordable Care Act.
In the Syracuse Media Group/WCNY debate aired live, neither Rep. Dan Maffei nor Republican challenger John Katko supported raising the gas tax, which the federal government uses to fund bridge and road repair.
Last year's long winter is still fresh in the minds of many upstate New Yorkers. But for local governments, the above average snowfall left behind a bigger problem than bad memories -- depleted supplies of road salt.
When Oswego County started looking for rock salt for this upcoming winter season, purchasing director Daniel Stevens says the county discovered it would have to pay more than normal in order to replenish its stockpile.
This week, WRVO is profiling candidates for Congress in central and northern New York. Today we take a look at Elise Stefanik, the Republican running for the open seat in 21st district in the North Country.
Stefanik hopes to return the North Country’s seat in Congress to the Republican side of the aisle as it had been for decades before Democrat Bill Owens won three times. She would become the youngest member of the House at 30 years old.
They are in products people use every day to help get grime off their hands, keep their faces acne free and even make their teeth pearly white. But environmentalists and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) say plastic microbeads are polluting the country's lakes and streams.
While standing in front of Lake Ontario, Gillibrand announced her push to get companies to remove microbeads from personal care products like hand soap, facial scrubs and toothpaste, citing the harmful effects they have on the environment.
Republican John Katko and incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei largely stuck to the issues in their latest television debate Tuesday night. The two candidates took stands on the economy, Common Core and U.S. military action in Syria on the half-hour debate on CNY Central.
But on the issue of what to do about the aging span of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse, neither candidate had a definitive answer.
Katko said the options that have been presented are good ones, but he needs more information.
Syracuse city councilors are hoping to convince state-level lawmakers to change a law that allows police, firefighters and sanitation workers to live outside the cities they work in.
A non-binding resolution issued by the council comes after they learned only about three dozen of the city’s roughly 450 police officers actually live in the city. Firefighters and sanitation workers are also exempt, though a higher percentage of those employees live in the city.
That results in tens of millions of dollars in city salaries leaving the city, the council estimates.
The Nov. 4 ballot includes an amendment to borrow $2 billion to buy new technology for school children, like iPads and other tablets. Fiscal watchdogs are against it and the reaction of the education community has been lukewarm. But with one week left to go before Election Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who came up with idea, has finally started to push for it.
With only a week left until Election Day, the Republicans running in two of upstate New York's historically more contested districts lead their Democratic opponents, according to newly released polls.
The 24th Congressional District showed the most dramatic shift in favor of the Republican. A Syracuse.com/Post-Standard/Siena College poll released early Tuesday, shows Republican John Katko with a ten point lead over Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Maffei. Katko was down eight points when the last poll came out Sept. 21.
Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) is courting senior voters as Election Day approaches. He stood with some local seniors in Syracuse, promising to protect Social Security. He admits there are some changes that could be made to the federal program.
“But it’s not in crisis," Maffei said. "It’s a program that continues to make sure that seniors can continue to live a dignified life, even if their private savings didn't work out, or something like that. And that’s the whole point of the program that Roosevelt put in.”
The first of a series of televised debates in the race for the 24th Congressional District kicked off last night. Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei and Republican challenger John Katko sparred in the studios of Time Warner Cable News.
This week, WRVO will profile candidates for Congress in central and northern New York. We begin with Aaron Woolf, the Democrat running for the open seat in 21st district in the North Country.
New York's North Country Democrats surprised everyone when they chose Aaron Woolf to try to succeed Bill Owens after he announced his retirement. Woolf is running against Republican Elise Stefanik and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello.
In the waning days of the election, Republican congressional candidate John Katko is focusing on poverty.
Katko, a former federal prosecutor in Syracuse, says he’s seen up close the poverty plaguing the 23rd poorest city in the country.
"I remember many times walking up a dark stairway, trying to find a witness with one of the agents, knocking on the door, not knowing what’s going to happen when the door happens," Katko said. "But when that door opens, you see unbelievable living conditions in the city of Syracuse. Where is the outrage? Where is the concern?”
Andrew Miller had finished his second tour in Afghanistan for the U.S. Army, but he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it before being thrown back into the world, now labeled a veteran.
"Nobody gave us the time or the room to figure out what it meant to us," he said. "We caught planes, hipped and hopped and skipped and jumped. And the next thing we do, we were having a parade shoved down our throat."
Miller had a bad experience being asked to headline a Veterans Day parade he didn’t feel he earned for the right reasons.
An old television sitting on a curb in Syracuse has been there so long weeds are starting to grow through it. Trash scrappers already came and smashed it in two to remove the valuable items inside, like copper wiring. All that’s left is the plastic frame and glass screen.
"TVs are not supposed to be out on the curb anymore," said Syracuse Public Works Commissioner Pete O'Connor. "However, the dilemma we have in the city of Syracuse is, we all know they’re out there."
The race to represent the 24th Congressional District has been marked largely by negative campaign ads, character attacks and a variety of powerful politicians coming to central New York. With eight days before Election Day, Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei and Republican challenger John Katko are now making their final pushes to attract prospective voters.
The national political parties have invested money and sent party leaders to stump for their candidates in the district, which has flip-flopped between going Republican and Democrat in recent elections.
For the first time in two decades, Onondaga County will have a new sheriff next January. The two men vying for the opportunity to succeed longtime sheriff Kevin Walsh, who’s retiring, are making the rounds across the county this fall, trying to convince voters to pay attention to the race.
The candidates are Republican Gene Conway, currently the police chief in the town of Dewitt, and Democrat Toby Shelley, a 16-year veteran of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, who retired in 2011.
The Utica City School District's Board of Education unanimously rejected $4.1 million in state funding to extend the school day in five city schools.
The grant would have allowed the the school district to increase classroom time by 25 percent. An additional hour and a half would have been tacked onto the end of the school day from Monday through Thursday, and summer classes would have been added. District officials hoped extra learning time would raise Common Core test scores.