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Mahoney Backs Group’s Report Supporting Syracuse, Onondaga County Merger

By Staff


Joanie Mahoney Onondaga County Executive

Joanie Mahoney
Onondaga County Executive

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney stood in support of a consensus group, Jan. 26, which recently released a report evaluating the economic feasibility of merging city and county governments.

“The city is not able to financially survive without the entire county, and the county will not survive without a strong healthy city,” Mahoney stated.

The group, which has been awarded $25 million by the state from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative to implement strategies for merging the two governments, released an 80-page report Jan. 25, which detailed the efficacy of combining the infrastructure, municipal operations, public safety, economic development, and governance of city and county governments in the region.

Relative to the city’s failing infrastructure, which has been a sore spot with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner due to a lack of state funds to fix the problem, “there is great potential for shared services and cost savings,” the report stated.

In addition, until now, according to the report, there has been “only informal and inconsistent cooperation between municipalities.”

However, Mahoney’s call for city officials to support the consolidation comes amidst a recent controversy between the Syracuse, and Onondaga County, following a dispute over whether COR Development Co. should have sought a tax deal from the county’s industrial development agency for the reconstruction of Syracuse’s Inner Harbor.

Mayor Miner has since stated publicly that she did not see a merger between the two governments as possible in the foreseeable future, after filing a lawsuit against COR.

Still, Mahoney said Tuesday she thinks she and the mayor could settle their differences, as they have done several times in the past, and re-establish a working relationship in order to complete the consolidation of the two governments.

“It would be tragic if we let the negativity, and the personalities in this current moment in time, drag down this region for our kids and our grandkids,” Mahoney reportedly stated.

Currently, the Consensus has requested public input via its website, at www.ConsensusComment.com; its Facebook page, at Facebook.com/consensuscny; or email, at info@consensuscny.com regarding the governments’ consolidation.

The group has also announced a list of open community meetings which it said will be available, and updated as additional meetings are added, on its website.

The commission will be accepting public input until March 16, and will publish its final report May 1.

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