Syracuse mayor says everyone must sacrifice

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner discussed Syracuse’s financial condition July 31 on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter, rebuffing claims that cities are relying on the state to solve their problems.

The mayor again called on Gov. Cuomo and New York state legislative leaders to join with Central New York business, industry and government leaders and Wall Street to make tough decisions and sacrifices to keep cities like Syracuse from declaring bankruptcy like Detroit.

“Binding arbitration and pension smoothing were steps in the right direction by the governor, but more is needed to keep Syracuse and New York municipalities from bottoming out,” Miner said.

“The bad news is coming twice as fast, and the steps need to be twice as fast in order to avoid another Detroit,” said Miner, who pointed to pension and retiree benefits as primary targets for reform by state leaders.

“We are creatures of the state,” she said. “We live by their rules and regulations; we simply don’t have the flexibility or reform necessary to bring those things in line.”

Miner’s appearance on The Capitol Pressroom came two days after an op-ed column she wrote called on Cuomo and state leaders to do more for the cities of the Empire State. A week earlier, Cuomo criticized cities and suggested they stop asking for state money to balance their budgets.

“He can separate himself from other others governors by saying, `Look, we’re going to take care of our people before this harm visits them,'” Miner said. “State leaders, from the legislature to the state comptroller, need to come together with our local leaders, and those on Wall Street. Everybody must be heard. Everybody must sacrifice.”

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