On Friday, December 8, Syracuse Mayor-elect Ben Walsh announced that Sharon Owens was to be his Deputy Mayor. This is the first hire for the Walsh administration. Owens will oversee day-to-day operations and will be sworn in on January 1, 2018.
According to Syracuse.com, Walsh released a statement regarding the hire.
“I’m thrilled to have Sharon Owens join the team as my go-to person in City Hall,” Walsh said in the statement. “Her leadership experience in the public and non-profit sectors combined with her passion for serving the people of the city of Syracuse make her uniquely qualified for this position.”
Since May 2013, Owens has been the CEO of Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility. The 54-year-old manages about 100 employees and is in charge of the Southwest Community Center. She’s also the chairman of the state-funded anti-poverty group called Greater Syracuse HOPE.
In the past, Owens has worked with and for many non-profits around Syracuse including, Home HeadQuarters and Jubilee Homes. Owens has a passion for helping people and has helped many people in the past. Doing so is huge, as 75% of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck. Twenty-seven percent of them have no savings.
She and Walsh worked together as deputy commissioners for the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development. Walsh was in charge of taking care of the business side while Owens handled neighborhood-related duties.
Owens shared that she is very excited to take on her new role and released a statement about the hiring.
“I am honored to join the Ben Walsh administration and serve the citizens of Syracuse in this capacity,” Owens said. “The Walsh campaign developed an inclusive coalition of individuals and I’m excited to be a part of that continued vision for our great city.”
During the final weeks of the Walsh campaign, Owens became an important figure. She endorsed him later in his campaign but was by his side as the results came in on Election Night. In November, Walsh named Owens as one of the co-chairs responsible for building his administration.
The hire of Owens for the Walsh administration is the first major announcement. However, the team plans to focus in on hires immediately, as they want to get more people in the other various positions.