One of the faces that will be leaving the Syracuse Common Council as the year ends has been in City Hall over decades. Joe Nicoletti did not run for his council seat, instead making an unsuccessful bid for mayor. Over two council stints and other positions in city hall, he spanned five different mayors. And Nicoletti says he’ll miss most the unsung city employees.
“The people that pick up the trash, that answer the phones, the fireman than fight the fires, the police officers that go out on patrol, that was my family. It was the DPW workers on a cold morning when here was a foot-and-a-half of snow, or fixing up a boarded up house. It was the spirit of the people that worked for the city.”
He recalls working for laws that changed the city and how the business of politics is done.
“I am proud of the two-term limit. I know it cost me some political capital in my own party because people said, ‘well, we’re in charge. Why would you do it?’ You need to do it because the city’s changing and you need to be able to have people that are elected that reflect the changes.”
He adds the Women and Minority hiring ordinance, economic development and affordable housing.
He says he tried to work across party lines, … and is disappointed at the current political partisan divides. Nicoletti also never liked the city’s naysayers who complain about any development.
“I’m so upset when I hear people say negative things about Syracuse. And I’m so excited about the new mayor coming in, that we will have the ability to do things. We don’t need no more divisive politics. We need to work together.”
Nicoletti admits to being a little melancholy … and does not know what might be next for him. Tomorrow, another long-time city official, Van Robinson on one of his quests to change Syracuse.