'Panhandling' Albany, Washington isn't a solution to Syracuse's financial distress (Your letters)

David J. Valesky

April 30, 2014

By Your Letters

on April 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM, updated April 14, 2014 at 10:56 AM

To the Editor:

Is it really news that the city of Syracuse is in dire financial distress? We hear about the woes of our city seemingly daily from Mayor Stephanie Miner as she explains why roads cannot get paved and pipes cannot get upgraded. Although the financial problems are not a surprise, the lack of leadership coming from City Hall is surprising. Panhandling is an issue being addressed in Armory Square and along Interstate 690 off-ramps, but the worst offender seems to be the mayor around City Hall. Like a panhandler, the mayor seeks short-term fixes with infusion of money, but what is her plan to solve the underlying problems?

As a business person, I cannot simply put my hand out and ask for money. Instead I need to research and write a plan of action for the money. I must show how the money will work to improve the long-term problems. Does Syracuse have a plan to turnaround upside-down finances? Emergency funding from the state or federal government is the mayor's solution, but really is only a temporary fix to a long-term problem.

We can do better, Mrs. Mayor. The citizens of the city of Syracuse deserve better. We need leadership from City Hall that is working with all of our partners from county, state, and federal governments, as well as, our private-sector partners to develop comprehensive plans that will not only repair our infrastructure in the short term but will allow city streets and pipes to be maintained long into the future at a sustainable cost. Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and the County Legislature have shown that good planning and advocacy for sustainable financial models work to cut the cost of government and improve the efficiency of services to taxpayers. Even our long dysfunctional state government in Albany has begun to gain control of our out-of-control spending, thanks to leadership and planning from the governor and our own Sens. John DeFrancisco and David Valesky.

In recent years, the county and region have shown a propensity to building real solutions through innovation, cooperation, strategic initiatives and sound financial planning. All of this while City Hall continues to beg for money for bailouts and short-term fixes. I know there are many of us in the city who are ready for real solutions and are hungry for a plan that we can rally behind. Mayor Miner, let's work to build a legacy for a new, sustainable City of Syracuse poised for vibrancy and growth, and built on a foundation of solid infrastructure and financial stability.

Bob Andrews

Chairman, City of Syracuse Republican Committee

Former County Legislator