SYRACUSE COMMON COUNCIL

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Common Councilors Monday made a series of revisions to the Miner administration’s budget proposal that affect the police and fire departments, as well as the land bank.  Councilors are shifting a total of $2 million from police and fire overtime budgets to their salary lines in order to cover the cost of hiring more officers.  Council majority leader Steve Thompson was on the force for more than three decades, retiring as chief.  He says the department is already down 41 officers from 2014 due to retirements…

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A fourth candidate has entered the race for two Councilor-at-Large Seats on the Syracuse Common Council, that will be contested this November.  Progressive politics that oppose a conservative Congress and President might play a role in the local election.  The Green Party locally has run numerous candidates for a range of positions in City Hall, including this year's candidacy for Mayor by Howie Hawkins.  None has broken through to get elected yet.  

Jessica Gorman/WAER News

Syracuse police officers are struggling to keep up with the number of calls coming in...and the department is looking for help from the city budget.  Councilors continued hearings on aspects of the proposed budget from Mayor Stephanie Miner.

Chief Frank Fowler pointed out to Common Councilors the workload is putting a strain on staff.

John Smith / WAER News

A Republican intends to challenge a two-time incumbent Democrat for the City Council’s 2nd District seat.  Edward Ott of Syracuse is challenging Councilor Chad Ryan.  As a driver for a wheelchair transport service, Ott feels his job brings “street-level perspective” to his campaign.  It’s something he feels that most city lawmakers never see, especially if they hold office jobs.

He says that people in the district have expressed issues with crime, the Father’s Day Riot last summer and other items they’re concerned about.

The Syracuse City School Board could soon develop a policy requiring new school district hires to live within city limits.  Syracuse Common Councilors passed a resolution today that asks the School Board to create and enact such a residency policy.  The measure was sponsored by Councilor Susan Boyle, who hopes to build on a similar resolution from 2006.

Scott Willis / WAER News

After six months of deliberating, Syracuse Common Councilors Monday passed a new ordinance that prohibits landlords from turning away tenants who receive federal assistance.  Long-time advocate for those with disabilities Agnes McCray says the measure is a good first step for residents with any disability to get equal access to affordable housing. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Syracuse Common Councilors lent their voices Tuesday to a push to make a renewable energy technology more affordable. Environmentalists are joining with elected officials to have the state take another step to reduce climate change.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The Syracuse Common council will start the new year without one of its long-time members.  Kathleen Joy is reflecting on her time as one of the council’s more independent voices over the past ten years.  Term limits have forced Joy from her councilor-at-large seat, where she says she’s listened, reached out, and tried to understand everyone’s perspective on everything from environmental issues to economic development.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Monday's Syracuse Common Council meeting will include a new member…but he’s no stranger to the council or city hall.  Veteran politician Joe Nicoletti returns as a city lawmaker for the first time in nearly 25 years.  Hiss storied political career began in the 1970’s when he won his first election. 

"I joined the council in 1977.  I was the young guy then."

John Smith, WAER News

An environmental group is making the push for the State Legislature to adopt the Child Safe Products Act to remove tainted toys from store shelves across the State and locally. Members of Clean and Healthy New York made toy purchases in Onondaga County and then used an X-ray fluorescent scanning device to see what they contained. Deputy Director Bobbi Chase Wilding scanned the toys and what she found might surprise you.

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