Joanie Mahoney presents positive news at 2013 State of the County address

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney delivering 2013 State of the County address

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney presented the 2013 State of the County address at the John H. Mulroy Civic Center in Syracuse Tuesday.

Mahoney touted recent economic development, attributing much of the sales tax growth to Destiny USA.

"There's been some confusion about the deal but I'm here to tell you that the project is in fact spinning off millions of new sales tax dollars to our city and to our county. Today Destiny USA is open and thriving and our whole community is benefiting," says Mahoney.

While presenting a positive outlook, Mahoney highlighted one area where she hopes to see improvement. She encouraged towns and villages within Onondaga County to be open to modernization and change. Citing a successful consolidation of the Clay Police Department five years ago, Mahoney encouraged other local governments to follow suit.

"I appreciate that voters in Clay took the bold first step and I hope by sharing the five year results we can encourage taxpayers when they're given an opportunity to vote on a consolidation referendum to vote in favor of a more modern and efficient local government," says Mahoney.

Mahoney delivered good news
about the county's fiscal health. According to an analysis by county officials, which was affirmed by the State Comptroller's Office, when it comes to finances, Onondaga County is fiscally sound.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently developed a Fiscal Stress Monitoring System to evaluate the financial health of local governments and school districts.

Mahoney's team ran the numbers on Onondaga County and had DiNapoli's office check their work. The result was an extremely positive outlook. In DiNapoli's model, which includes two parts, Onondaga County scored low enough in its financial position and general environmental climate to show the county is not in financial distress.

By comparison, more than 400 other municipalities, counties and school boards have failed the Comptroller's test so far.

As she praised the county, Mahoney earned the respect of her colleagues, such as CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson and Syracuse Mayor, Stephanie Miner.

"Having a local government that is doing what it can to control its costs and keep property taxes as low as they possibly can in what is otherwise a high cost state I think those are steps in the right direction," says Simpson.

"In a time where you hear of government restraint and cutbacks and governments failing all around us, the County Executive has done a great job at fiscal leadership and being a great fiscal stewart of our community," says Miner.

At last year's address, Mahoney talked about closing a $20 million budget gap and the rise of construction jobs in Central New York.