Even with Election Day in the books, Syracuse City government still has at least one more seat to fill. Helen Hudson has been elected Common Council President and the public won’t get to vote on the seat she’s leaving behind. A similar situation was met with controversy in 2015. The Green Party’s recent Councilor-At-Large candidate, Frank Cetera wants to make sure that it’s handled differently this time around.
"In 2015 we had a furtive process for appointment of Joe Nicoletti, that was obviously a political play lining him up for 2017 mayoral run. We knew this was going to be the situation again and we wanted to make sure that the candidates who had been elected and the candidates who ran but also the public has access to this process."
One of the key factors on the Green party’s platform for a long time is proportional representation. Cetera says this Councilor-At-Large appointment could be a stepping-stone towards making that a reality if the council is open to it.
"There has been no public notice, there has been no indication that it is going to be on the agenda. If they are open to this idea of proportional representation as a legislative act in the future then putting it into practice now, which could be done with this appointment, would be a good first step."
Despite the fact that there is no requirement for the council to change its procedures, Cetera says that it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try implementing small changes to get the public involved.
"You could have a timeline that the council puts in place for when they're going to be accepted interest, whether it's an application or a resume or a letter and maybe a period of time for comment from the public. It's going to be their final call no matter what but that doesn't preclude having some sort of resident citizen input."
Cetera is calling on the Council to further discuss the open Councilor-At-Large Seat on its study session agenda on November 20th.