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Cardillo and Cerminaro face off in Republican mayoral race

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Cardillo and Cerminaro face off in Republican mayoral race
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Republican voters in Utica will decide Tuesday who they want to represent their party in this year's race for city mayor. Our Sarah Blazonis has more.

UTICA, N.Y. -- The candidates vying to compete as Utica's Republican mayoral candidate this fall were both born and raised in the city and both say it's time for a change.

"The City of Utica is a great city. It has great opportunity, but it needs to move forward," said Bob Cardillo.

"People on all levels feel that government is not working for them," said his opponent, Michael Cerminaro. "Whether you want to talk on the federal level, whether you want to talk on the state level and even here on the city level."

Cerminaro has held a number of positions in City Hall during the past 25 years, including Common Council Member, DPW Commissioner, and, currently, city comptroller. It's that experience he says has given him insight into how to run Utica in the most efficient way.

"We are going to work to really bring the same level of city services but in a much more streamlined way. There are certain departments that I feel can be restructured," said Cerminaro.

Cardillo also has experience working in public service. He served as a disaster recovery coordinator for HUD and managed federal disaster money that assisted in September 11 recovery.

If elected, he says he plans to get right to work with a 100 Day Plan.

"Having a no tolerance policy for drugs and crime, by working together with our economic development authorities to create a city of opportunity," said Cardillo.

Both candidates agree the city is going in the right direction on some projects, such as the revitalization of the Harbor Point area.

"We also need to make sure with Harbor Point that we have a theme of what we want to do at Harbor Point, and then have that theme carried through so it's not a hodge podge," said Cardillo.

"I firmly believe that Harbor Point is the number one initiative in this city that can have lasting ramifications for job creation, for downtown development," said Cerminaro.

Polls for the mayoral primary will be open from noon until 9 p.m.

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