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EDITORIAL: Vote yes on Prop. 1

For too long, New York’s system for drawing electoral maps has been broken. Under current legislation, members of the New York State Legislature draw the lines for legislative and congressional districts. Those lines are redrawn every 10 years by a committee made up of sitting legislators. That means that the people responsible for drawing the lines are the very people who benefit from how the lines are drawn.

Clay budget proposes 3.38 percent tax increase

If the town of Clay’s 2015 budget remains unchanged, residents will see a 3.38 percent increase in their property taxes, which amounts to $10.21 per household on a $100,000 house outside the village of North Syracuse. Residents inside the village will see a decrease of $5.58 a year.

Onondaga County budget cuts taxes

This year marks my fifth working on the budget as an Onondaga County legislator. In that time, the economy made a dramatic downward turn, and has shown signs recently of a slight recovery. Fortunately, our county has been able to weather the economic changes fairly well. As I spent the past few weeks combing through the 2015 budget from the county executive, I am pleased to share the budget as presented proposed to keep the property tax levy flat, and even reduced spending by $6 million. In dollars and cents, that is a proposed tax rate of $5.17 per $1,000, a new historic low for our county.

On the campaign trail: Mahoney endorses Katko

Republican Congressional candidate John Katko has received the backing of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.

Cicero hears residents’ comments on budget

The Cicero Town Board held a public hearing for the preliminary 2015 budget Oct. 8. Consultant Jim Rowley presented the budget in detail and members of the public offered their comments on the proposed budget. “While no one’s excited to raise taxes, the town is working hard to provide services without breaking the bank and creating strain,” Rowley said.

LETTER: Towns cannot accept partial payments on school taxes

To the editor: Please be advised that we cannot under New York state law accept a partial payment at the present time, since your first partial must be made in the penalty-free time, which ended Oct. 3.

OCHD seeks public input

I need your help. A major focus of mine in the legislature is health care and, as vice-chair of the Health Committee, I invite your input on our health future. The Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) is seeking your feedback on two documents: the 2014-18 Strategic Plan and the 2014-17 Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan. The documents and surveys are available at ongov.net/health/publicfeedback.html

Cicero unveils first draft of 2015 budget

The town of Cicero has released the preliminary draft of the 2015 town budget, it was announced at the town board’s Sept. 24 meeting. Town Supervisor Jessica Zambrano said the budget was “hot off the press” — Town

On the campaign trail: DeJoseph will have a ballot line

Judge Brian DeJoseph has earned the Conservative Party nomination in his bid for reelection to the New York State Supreme Court. DeJoseph’s name will appear on Row C this year along with other highly qualified Conservative candidates. This position will appear on ballots in Onondaga, Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and Herkimer counties.

L’pool Village Board also updated on roadwork, recent police incident

At the Aug. 18 meeting of the Liverpool Village Board, Mary Rhea, of 204 Brow St., cited five problems she wanted the trustees to address.

Landfill debt will impact Salina’s 2015 budget

The time has come for Salina residents to start paying back the debts incurred for remediation of the town landfill.

On the campaign trail: Maffei agrees to debates

During the 2012 season, Rep. Dan Maffei participated in just two debate. He's upping that number this time around. The Democratic incumbent running for the 24th Congressional District has announced a series of debates and joint appearances with Republican challenger John Katko. Four debates will be televised by local stations, and two will be broadcast on public radio.

On the campaign trail: First responders endorse Maffei

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) announced last week that he had earned the endorsement of local public safety officials in his campaign to keep his seat in the 24th Congressional District. Several first responders joined Maffei at a press conference to announce their support for the incumbent, who is running against former federal prosecutor John Katko of Camillus.

Three dozen residents attend public hearing on therapist’s plan for Birch St. home

It’s a gorgeous three-level, 14-room home at the base of Birch Street facing Onondaga Lake Park. Since it was constructed by Liverpool businessman Val Lamont two decades ago, the house has remained vacant. Lamont initially planned to move his family into the mini-mansion at 101½ Birch St., but when his late wife, Victoria, decided against it, he put it on the market for more than $500,000. Known by many as “the Christmas Tree house” because a holiday fir stands year-round in one of the home’s many expansive windows, the property attracted interest but no serious offers. Now a potential buyer, Janet Marie Urban of Nedrow, says she’ll purchase the house if she can secure a special permit from the village to allow her to operate a home-based business there. A tobacco treatment specialist, Urban’s permit application is presently under review by the Village Planning Board.

Village police get grants

At the Aug. 18 meeting of the Village of Liverpool Board of Trustees, Police Chief Don Morris updated the board about recent grants and donations he has secured, totaling more than $17,500. Grants received from the State Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program have equipped each LPD vehicle with digital cameras, binoculars and flashlights. The funds also paid for the installation of a license plate reader on the department’s new patrol car and for enhancement of security at the Village Hall, at 310 Sycamore St., where police headquarters is located.

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