Hundreds of people packed the newly renovated Dr. Weeks Elementary School to hear Mayor Stephanie Miner's fourth State of the City Address. Our Iris St. Meran was at the address and has insight from community members about what the mayor did and did not say.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Construction work might have been a headache for some. But Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner called it a sign of progress in her fourth State of the City Address on Thursday. She highlighted a number of places that have been renovated like the Weeks school ,where the address was hosted and the projects currently under construction.
Miner said, "More than $265 million is currently being invested in our Downtown. The Pike Block project, located at the intersection of South Salina and Fayette Streets, is making visible and consistent progress."
Miner also talked about work being done to the Connective Corridor, as well as new grocery stores coming to the city and reopening others that had been closed.
Despite the development, she acknowledged the need to do something about the 1,200 vacant properties in the city. The solution: A vacant property registry for building owners.
"The idea is to have property owners focus on taking care of those properties and making decisions about it. So they don't become dilapidated eyesores in our neighborhood," said Miner.
The police department's accomplishments were another highlight, including surveillance camera initiatives. But Common Councilor Patrick Hogan says his constituents would like to see more from the department.
"We have the second largest police force for a city our size in the country,” Hogan added. “Many of the complaints I get from the neighborhood groups is that they don't see enough police in the neighborhoods."
The budget was also mentioned briefly. The good news is the city has a $8 million surplus, but the not so good news is the city has a $20.9 million budget gap. The mayor says cuts will be made, however she didn't go into specifics.
ThefFirefighters' union had a big contingent of people in bright orange to express their concerns about the possibility of closing Station 7.
Syracuse FF Local 280 President Lonnie Johnson said, "Our workload is the most we ever had. Closing the firehouse would jeopardize the community and it would jeopardize firefighters."
Miner says the city is still in the early stages of the budget process and plans will be finalized in the coming months when the budget is presented before the council.
State of the City Address
On Thursday, January 24, 2013, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner delivered her State of the City Address. You can watch it in its entirety below (approx. 1 hour).
CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Syracuse Mayor Miner delivers State of the City Address
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