Thursday, December 18, 2014

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State of the County address: Messages that seemed aimed at an audience of one

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: State of the County address: Messages that seemed aimed at an audience of one
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Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney's annual state of the county message had its moments of drama Tuesday. The county executive telling taxpayers their tax bills will go down in the year ahead. Governor Cuomo making a surprise visit to announce a new nano-tech project in DeWitt, important messages for people across the county. But, as Bill Carey reports, there was a subtext to both Mahoney and Cuomo's comments. Messages that seemed aimed at an audience of one.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The mayor of Syracuse had to notice a theme to the evening.

In recent weeks Stephanie Miner has clashed with the County Executive and Governor over a proposal to bring a billion dollars in development to the Kennedy Square neighborhood.

Then, in recent weeks, as Destiny USA developers bypassed the city to request county help in building a new hotel; Miner seemed to launch an effort to build public sentiment to block any county aid.

In her speech, Joanie Mahoney made clear she disagrees with the mayor's read on the Destiny project.

"Like it or not, Destiny generates millions of sales tax dollars for the state, the county and the city of Syracuse," said Joanie Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive.

Money that Mahoney says is a major boost for the city budget.

The mayor's opposition to the stadium plan was based on claims that before any large scale development, the state first needed to step in to aid with services and infrastructure costs.

A position that both the County Executive and Governor seem to reject.

Mahoney added, "The message was we can't take on the big projects because we have to fill the pot holes. And what I think is a more accurate representation of the facts is that we need the growth to have the resources to fix the potholes."

Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "I want to get the state out of the business of subsidizing insolvency. We're going to get the costs down, but you have to get the revenue up. And the way you get the revenue up is by growing.

Cuomo has now stepped in to provide state backing for new projects along Onondaga Lake as well as the new film nano-tech center in DeWitt.

And, when he spoke of the attitude of county officials, it seemed like another message aimed at the city.

Cuomo went on to say, "The good relationship between the County Executive and the county board where they actually work and work together and they work together quickly. Right? Which makes all the difference.

The county says it will not allow the city to be penalized for the ongoing strife.

Mahoney said, "I am very much committed to the city as a whole. Ryan McMahon as chairman of the legislature is. The Governor is. So, where appropriate, you will see development in the city if I have anything to do about it."

The mayor left the speech, quietly. No discuss with Mahoney or Cuomo. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP