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Old 11-03-2010, 04:15 PM
Location: Florida
1,668 posts, read 2,380,754 times
Reputation: 1679


Onondaga County reduces number of legislators by two - YNN, Your News Now

I think this is a good move, there are County's (and City's) with similiar populations across the country represented by fewer elected officials than in Onondaga County. I find it ironic that the City of Syracuse still does not get the message. If there were a need for a reduction in members of an elected body, it is the Syracuse Common Council.

The City of Orlando has six!
The City of Fort Lauderdale has five!

Also, I am getting sick of hearing about population declines, anticipated or otherwise!!! I am in Syracuse and meeting people who have recently moved here, or returning. Of course, I do not have any empirical data to support whether there is population growth, but I find this odd. I notice a number of new housing developments across the area, including Baldwinsville, Morgan Road near 31, Cicero near 11, homes along Taft Road across from Wegmans, not mention new units downtown.

If the population is continuing to decline or stagnating, I am a bit baffled. I get the same question, who are buying these homes? I cannot believe that all are former City residents. Perhaps there is sprawl without growth, or a decline. If so, you would not know it (well, maybe if you drive the near northside of the City).

In any case, even if the population is growing, I still think the number of elected members needs to decline.

BTW: Camillus has really changed for the better, it seems very vibrant with tons of restaurants, retail, offices, etc. Drove to OCC, the campus looks awesome! I see the SRC arena is underway. The only thing I did not like was the new gateway sign that "adorns" the Onondaga Road entrance. I did not see the marker at Seneca Turnpike.

Last edited by urbanplanner; 11-03-2010 at 05:00 PM..
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:22 PM
4,244 posts, read 9,677,700 times
Reputation: 3778
Cortland County also has 19 legislators, part-time salaried, together with the full-time clerk's salary and health/dental insurance for the 20, and photocopying, the budget just for the Legislature is $396,000 in 2010, or about $8.25 per county resident, before any services are rendered or functions performed. http://www.cortland-co.org/Legislature/2010Budget.pdf (broken link)

A Pennsylvania county typically has 3 elected commissioners. A NY county has more responsibilities (there aren't county roads in PA, for example), but if there were 5 districts would there really be much less diversity of opinion in a county like Cortland, than 19?
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:32 PM
56,247 posts, read 80,408,935 times
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Personally, I think that Syracuse should have maybe 7 in the Common Council( 1 for the Valley, Eastwood, Downtown and 1 for the North, South, East and West Sides).
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:28 AM
Location: Washington, D.C.
580 posts, read 1,013,651 times
Reputation: 650
I must respectfully disagree - if anything, Syracuse could benefit from more legislators. I'd like to see a return to the practice of having one alderman elected from each ward.

The stance that Syracuse has too many councilors is especially curious given that some on this board routinely deride the city for bad governance due to the influence of parochial "hick" career polticians. (I'm often inclined to agree with that sentiment, though I don't think this problem as severe in the city as it is in other municipalities within the county and region.)

Reducing the number of councilors would likely enable a select few - potentially career hacks - to control a larger slice of the pie. As it stands now, districts are broken up in such a way as to dilute the voting power of the demographics who have the most to gain from a change in the status quo.

Enacting legislation that would give each ward a voice, however, would put some real progressives into office - look at Wards 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, (I'm sure I'm leaving a couple out). These are all great neighborhoods, populated nearly exclusively by people who are politically active. They're also less dense and less historically tied to the typical Syracuse politician. If there's one way to break the old, blue-collar mindset in this region, it is by increasing the voice of the people who have progressive ideas and a long-term stake in the success of the city.
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