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Summer 2001 Banner 10000140
brought to you by: EspreeNet News Service
Published January 2, 2002

Reflecting back on the last election

EspreeNet News Service

SYRACUSE, NY -- During the last month I had a chance to sit back and reflect on this years election and I am still left wondering. Now, I know I can't be considered an observer politically because I managed a campaign but I will do what I can to be objective.

Just remember, this is my story.

Syracuse in not quite at a crossroads, not quite in crisis, and not at all on the cutting edge. So, where are we and are we better off? That's the question that current and former residents always ask about this city. I guess I will answer the question for everyone by saying, Syracuse is Syracuse.

For those that have been left out, put out, overlooked, disregarded, misunderstood, or just plain on the outside will understand what that means.

There are a lot of issues going on in this city that can have a big impact on our future for many years. The sewage treatment plant, carousel center expansion, and budgetary issues, just to name a few.

Now understand, the democratic sweep in this years election does not mean that we will have leadership, nor does it mean that the city will act in it's own best interest. (by the way I would said the same thing if there was a republican sweep)

Lets use the Carousel expansion issue as a political test case.

Should we help subsidize this mall so the county can reap the majority of the tax revenue? Then we can use the city's small portion to increase the police, fire and other city services to support the mall as a good gesture.

Let me think,............ yea right.

If the city says no to the new deal and the mall is not expanded, it only stands to make about 9 million dollars a year according to the previous agreement (the original mall). Now would it be smart to enter an agreement that would get you less than that and increase your burden?

Now I can go deeper into that situation but I just wanted to make a point. The city makes the county but the county makes the money. No one moves to this area because they heard Onondaga is a good county. It's not a draw. People move to the county to be close to the city.

If there is a deal to be made, it would be renegotiating the county sales tax. No matter what you heard, the procedure is nothing new. For example, drive about an hour west on the thruway and ask Monroe County about the City of Rochester. You'll see that it has been done before.

So why does this city suffer?

Well, I don't know, but it never did while Mayor Alexander was in office. He was a true leader and he did his job by making sure the city was taken care of. It is time for someone to work with the county, with the understanding that city residents are county residents and if the county has access funds, the city should receive what it needs to maintain it's basic services.

If that doesn't make sense then talk about a commuter tax. I know it's a bad word but what can you do.

I was taught that you should play nice with your neighbors as long as they respect you. I don't think that this city gets enough respect from the county, just look at the attitudes around the sewage treatment plant. No one seems to be concerned that no other city in the country has had the nerve to attempt to contaminate a residential area near downtown. Here we clean a contaminated area to build a mall and attempt to treat sewage in a neighborhood park.

Where am I going with this, back to leadership.

We can expect those elected to play politics, but we should also expect them to do the right thing. In this article, I will remain optimistic about our future with this crop of political leaders but I will ask you to tune in through out the year as the results start to come in.

I just want to say for the record don't get your hopes up because there is a lot to be done.

comments about this story: EspreeJ@SoulOfSyracuse.com

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