1) Choose the issue you find most important, crime, education or jobs. State what your priorities are in that area.
These issues are inter-related.
The main goal for our region must be to foster innovation and adaptation in all infrastructures and in all institutions- public and private.
I propose that the County create a Department of Science and Technology, and appoint a nationally recognized scientist to lead its efforts to identify sectors of our economy that have strong growth potential in high wage jobs.
I want the County to spearhead a public-private venture capital partnership, with at least $125 million in capital, to fund emerging technological businesses which do not meet the narrower lending criteria of banks and traditional venture capitalists.
I advocate regional planning and funding of secondary education, and hope over time to extend the infrastructure of Onondaga County College to all schools in our region.
I support County crime fighting ordinances: seize property involved in drug buys and prostitution solicitation; use eminent domain to seize and either rehabilitate or demolish abandoned structures; employ modern technology to quickly spot new crime patterns and target and respond to gun shots fired; put any substandard house or building run by an absentee landlord into receivership; and sensible zoning of zone adult entertainment facilities away from local businesses, neighborhoods and churches.
2) What will you do to get young people to come to Syracuse and stay there?
Onondaga County is a much better place than the image would suggest. It has powerful colleges and universities. Remarkable intellectual and technology resources. Strong arts. Dynamic recreation. Loyalty. Extraordinary architecture. Abundant natural resources.
Despite these attributes, the magnitude of the population loss among the young is unprecedented in our history. The time for “business as usual” has passed.
I believe in aspiration goals: increasing city population to 200,000 people, county population to 600,000 people, by 2025.
Every public and private sector action that we take must do what is necessary to provide the capital and support for creative people with ideas.
This begins with modernizing county and local government and then tackling, on the local level, the intractable problems of taxes, public sector employment growth, energy and Medicaid which hamper our prosperity.
I intend to lead efforts to reinvent our outdated, overly expensive county and local governments and to promote growth inward again. Specifically, I support the following actions:
• Merge Syracuse City and Onondaga County into one government.
• Encourage mergers among towns, villages.
• Centralize key local government functions (e.g. economic development, land use planning, transportation, creation of regional wireless and broadband internet access).
3) The county seems to have had a city government will take care of the city kind of attitude, but if we are to lure young folk and businesses to come to CNY, I think they'll think of it as coming to Syracuse. In my opinion, if we are to really boost CNY, we have to have the county work with the city, because as Syracuse goes, so too does Onondaga County. What do you think of this? What will you do (or have you done for incumbents) to change this attitude.
I see in Syracuse the microcosm of the unfinished, evolving American dream.
For our County to be great again, we all must see each other as brothers and sisters. This means supporting the City.
There are natural constraints on continuing sprawls away from our city. Prime agricultural land shouldn’t be covered with cement. Extended commute times have a negative impact on children and families.
Reversing this run to the suburbs requires better schools, safer streets, a new village-like ambience, and new thinking from Central New Yorkers about where and how they should live.
New urban development does many good things- it’s good for the environment, good for the vitality of the region and it protects agricultural land. By putting people in face-to-face contact with each other in city neighborhoods, you create the basis for real democracy which is conversation and interconnectedness among people: hopefully planting the seeds for further growth.
We have the strength and character to affect all those aspects of life in our county and city that are within our grasp. Given the riches of our community, there should be no excuses, and under new leadership which I intend to offer, there will be no excuses.