Stephanie Miner

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse is putting a technology called SQUID into use this month, which is meant to help city hall make smarter choices when it comes to fixing crumbling streets.

SQUID – or Street Quality Identification Device – is a tiny contraption that sits on the bed of a pickup truck used by the Syracuse Department of Public Works, designed to measure the quality of the streets of Syracuse.

Varun Adibhatla is project director of ARGO labs, which came up with the technology. He says Syracuse is the first city to use it.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton won resoundingly in New York's primary Tuesday, including in Onondaga County. But a look at the numbers shows that the county's results stand out in central New York.

Hearings will begin today at Syracuse’s Common Council on Mayor Stephanie Miner’s 2016-17 proposed budget. The budget is a mix of costs and revenues rising in some areas and shrinking in others.

“Government is always challenging, but no more so than today,” Miner said.

In a video and letter to the Common Council released with her proposed budget, Miner said Syracuse will face financial challenges in the year ahead. Her proposed budget faces a $12.1 million shortfall that will be balanced using reserve funds bringing the reserve total down to $42.9 million.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse has struck a deal with Syracuse University to provide $7 million in revenue over the next five years. It extends an earlier service agreement that would have expired later this year.

One of the issues that impacts a cash-strapped city like Syracuse, is the amount of tax-exempt property within city limits -- things like churches, universities and land owned by other governmental entities.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said there are too many unanswered questions about the proposed government merger between her city and Onondaga County. Miner weighed in on the Consensus CNY recommendations for the first time since they were revealed earlier this year, telling Onondaga County's Conservative Party over the weekend that she cannot definitively support or oppose the consolidation plan without more information.

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The city of Syracuse is taking action in the wake of stories about lead in drinking water in some central New York schools. 

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says the city will be testing for lead in water in each of the city’s public schools to make sure no high lead levels are lurking that could harm children.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has become the target of political flak from both Democrats and Republicans in published reports this week. Miner, a Democrat, sees it as hyper partisanship run amok.

The first complaint comes from the central New York Area Labor Federation, AFL CIO. Leaders criticized the mayor for not publicly challenging fellow Syracusan and Republican State Senator John DeFrancisco for his opposition to the proposal to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse swore in a new class of police officers on Monday. The new recruits are filling spots being vacated by retiring officers and helping to cut down on overtime.

Kimberly Dishaw of Syracuse is one of the 25 new officers.

“I’m just overwhelmed, excited, ready to start class,” Dishaw said.

The officers now begin 26 weeks at the police academy before another 12 weeks of field training. Speaking to the new recruits, Police Chief Frank Fowler told them it is a challenging time to be an officer.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council has approved the installation of video surveillance cameras in a high crime area of the city. The councilor with the only dissenting vote is advocating for more community policing. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

In her State of the County address, County Executive Joanie Mahoney announced that $20 million dollars from the region’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative will go towards Syracuse’s Say Yes to Education endowment. The program provides college tuition to public high school graduates in Syracuse and was facing a fundraising shortfall until the announcement.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney says the recent lawsuit between the city of Syracuse and the developers of the Inner Harbor project hurts Central New York. The city sued COR Development after COR went to the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency for tax breaks on the project. The city said the developer agree to not seek tax breaks from the county. But earlier this week, a judge dismissed the suit, saying there was no proof of an agreement.

Mahoney says ultimately litigation like this, sends a negative message to anyone that wants to do business in Syracuse.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

A State Supreme Court Judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the city of Syracuse against COR Development.

At the center of the legal action -- tax breaks, and whether the developer promised the city that they wouldn’t seek any. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Education activists say New York state has been under-funding schools since the 2008 recession because it did not have enough money to comply with a 2006 ruling from the state’s highest court. Now that the state has a surplus, local officials are calling for more funding for schools to be added to this year’s budget.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Truce is a collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement to go after gun and gang violence in the city. Their most recent effort in the past three months resulted in 27 gang members being arrested on charges varying from murder to parole violation.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Amid innovations that address crumbling infrastructure, creation of new low income housing and plans to synchronize traffic light timing, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, in her State of the City address Thursday night, announced plans for new fire and police classes this year.  

Matt Coulter / Syracuse University

The conflict between the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County over tax abatements for the development of the Inner Harbor of the city has raised questions about the working relationship between the mayor and the county executive.  On this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher discusses this conflict with both Mayor Stephanie Miner and County Executive Joanie Mahoney, in their first joint appearance to discuss the issue.  In a spirited but respectful conversation, the two executives set forward their views of what was done, what should have been done, and why.

Matt Coulter / Syracuse University

After listening to WRVO's Friday news excerpt from the Campbell Conversations interview with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, the Post-Standard's Chris Baker wrote that it embodied a "a more civil approach to the dialogue than previous exchanges."  I want to expand on that impression.  

Matt Coulter / Syracuse University

Note: The full interview will be broadcast on The Campbell Conversations, Saturday at 6 a.m. and again Sunday at 6 p.m. Audio and transcript of the full interview will be posted online Saturday morning. 

Luke H. Gordon / Flickr

Some Syracuse Common Councilors still have no access to the city’s computers. The legislative body begins a new year with some new members, and their computer access still in the hands of the courts.

Common Councilors filed a second lawsuit asking the city to turn on computers in early December, and it has languished there since.

Common Council President Van Robinson says he is doubtful a local judge wants to rule on the case, which asks that computer access be restored to councilors, their staff and the city clerk’s office. 
 

Matt Coulter / Syracuse University

WRVO Public Media will air the first joint interview with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney this weekend during "The Campbell Conversations." This is the first joint interview between Mahoney and Miner since a public dispute (and lawsuit) over county tax breaks given to a developer the city of Syracuse alleges it had previous arrangements with.

Court denies Syracuse bid to regain Inner Harbor land

Dec 31, 2015
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The city of Syracuse will not get back the Inner Harbor land it sold to the real estate development company COR. That was the ruling Wednesday from New York State Supreme Court Justice James Murphy after the city sued COR for the $44-million PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) agreement it signed with the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner announced that the city has filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the COR Development company for seeking a PILOT agreement with the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency. PILOT agreements are payments that a company makes to the development agency in exchange for tax breaks. The county agency voted yesterday in favor of giving COR a 15-year PILOT agreement to construct residential and commercial properties along Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A dispute over internet use at Syracuse City Hall is again headed to the courts. The issue over whether lawmakers should sign a city computer use policy hasn’t been able to be resolved through negotiations.

Councilor Kathleen Joy expects the Syracuse Common Council to file court papers in the next few days asking a judge to settle the issue of whether lawmakers should be forced to sign that computer use policy which is required of and agreed to by all city employees. A majority of councilors believe it would allow the Mayor’s office too much access to Council business. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says the city will welcome Syrian refugees despite security concerns prompted by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.  Miner says she has been assured by the White House that the screening process is thorough and detailed, and she’s confident these refugees will be vetted properly, and no one dangerous will make it to American shores.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

A report on government consolidation in Onondaga County will be released early next year by a Consensus, a commission looking at the modernization of local government. One potential recommendation for saving substantial tax dollars could be the creation of a county-wide municipal government.

Whenever Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney starts talking government consolidation, it generally begins with a story about snow and the 19 towns, 15 villages, and city, county and state snowplows that clear the streets after a snowstorm.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council voted down a motion supporting Mayor Stephanie Miner’s decision last week to raise the minimum wage for city employees to $15 an hour. Some Common Council members said there are still too many unanswered questions about the plan.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner are lobbying for more money from New York state to pay for infrastructure improvement. Standing in the shadow of the Evans Street Bridge in Syracuse that the state calls deficient, DiNapoli called on Albany to help localities fix bridges and roads that are falling apart. He said a recent report shows that local government spending on infrastructure has dropped dramatically.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The American Society of Civil Engineers issued gave New York’s infrastructure and gave an overall grade of C- on its 2015 report card. Syracuse officials hope infrastructure funding will come soon from the state and federal governments.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The aging infrastructure across upstate New York has created another problem in the city of Syracuse: sinkholes in the streets. The city is expected to pay for the majority of these repairs.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

A lack of email access still dogs some Syracuse Common Councilors. A dispute over a computer use policy continues, although negotiations between city hall and lawmakers could bring the story to a close.

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