Last week, we saw many celebrations and ceremonies to honor our veterans and those currently serving in our military. I had the pleasure to participate in the Cicero American Legion’s open house on Veterans Day and was honored to speak with many local veterans. They have done so much for us and deserve our respect and support.
To the editor: I wish to thank each of the voters of the 129th Assembly District for allowing me to continue to represent you in the New York State Assembly. Please know that I will return to Albany committed to working in a bi-partisan fashion to represent all of my constituents. My office remains open to hearing from you on any concerns, problems or issues you have with state government. I truly believe that New York State is on the right path to restoring economic viability to upstate New York and I will do my best to continue bringing resources back to our district that enhance the quality of life for all our residents. Again, thank you for electing me your assembly member.
Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci has failed in his attempt to become the state’s next comptroller. Antonacci, a Republican, earned 55,155 votes in Onondaga County to Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli’s 66,602. Statewide, Antonacci said he earned more than a million and a half votes, setting a record for an Onondaga County candidate.
DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway has beaten out Toby Shelley for the Onondaga County Sheriff’s seat. Conway, who earned 66,569 votes to Shelley’s 58,829, said he was honored to have been chosen by the people of Onondaga County.
Neither John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) nor Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) had an opponent this election season. The lack of opposition allowed both state senators to coast easily back to the state legislature, earning 65,967 and 35,515 votes, respectively.
Longtime Judge Brian DeJoseph will return to the New York State Supreme Court bench, having beaten Republican challenger Robert O’Leary by a margin of 76,907 votes to 46,540.
Democratic incumbent Sam Roberts has once again beaten back a challenge from Republican John Sharon.
Longtime Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli easily beat a challenge by Republican Rick Zaccaria, holding onto his seat as the 129th District assemblyman by a margin of 18,732 to 7,262.
Incumbent Assemblyman Al Stirpe has beaten back challenger Rob DeMarco by a margin of 22,308 to 19,772.
Republican John Katko has ousted Dan Maffei from the 24th Congressional District seat. Katko claimed victory on Election Night by a margin of more than 18,000 votes. Though Maffei had obtained a court order impounding absentee and military ballots, it’s unlikely they’ll change Tuesday night’s outcome.
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.
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.
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.
Republican Congressional candidate John Katko has received the backing of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.
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.