The race for Syracuse mayor is heating up with just a week to go until the Democratic primary.
All this week, the Democratic candidates for mayor will be live guests on NBC3 and CBS5.
On Tuesday night, Pat Hogan was a guest on The Talk Tonight.
Asked what his first order of business would be if elected, Hogan says he would re-open the Ida Benderson Senior Center and Fire Station 7. Both closed in the last year due to budget cuts.
Hogan is staunch supporter of consolidation and says there are tremendous opportunities to merge city and county departments. He says he could see one metropolitan government from a combined Onondaga County and City of Syracuse in the years to come.
Hogan is a proponent of Governor Cuomo's statewide proposal to cap pension increases at 2-percent as a way of controlling rising costs.
Hogan currently serves as a Common Councilor in the city. He is the former Deputy Commissioner of Syracuse City Parks & Recreation Department.
On Wednesday night, Mayor Stephanie Miner was a guest on The Talk Tonight. When asked whether she planned to stay for a full four-year term, the Mayor vowed to stay in office if re-elected.
Miner says she does not regret any of the decisions she has made over the last four years, saying she prefers to look forward instead of backwards. One of the issues that has caused controversy recently is the way Syracuse Police handled the case of Brad Hullett. The Syracuse man, who is disabled, was pulled off a Centro Bus after refusing to sit down. The Mayor said she would not apologize, citing the legal action pending against the city.
Miner was also asked about the former DPW worker Mark Carrigan who Syracuse Police have called the most prolific sex offender in the city's history. CNYCentral recently learned Carrigan lied on his job application even though he had been arrested numerous times and had a dozen convictions. The Mayor continued to insist the city will not change its policy related to background checks for city workers, explaining there are city employees who have had past run-ins with the law and deserve a second chance. She says the city does perform background checks on city workers who have contact with children.
We talked with Democratic candidate Alfonso Davis on Thursday night. During his interview on NBC 3 he blamed Mayor Miner for the city's fiscal problems. Davis claimed the mayor is responsible for deficits which are in contrast to a surplus that existed before she took office.
Davis says the city needs to facilitate the growth of small business. The independent insurance agent and financial planner would like the city to offer short term tax breaks to new businesses to help them grow into companies that are fully participating in the local economy.
The lifelong Syracuse resident would also like to bridge a racial divide in the city. He envisions a day when downtown festivals are not separated by color, but instead brought together by cross cultural programs.
If elected he would be the first African-American mayor in the history of Syracuse. It is an opportunity he said he would welcome even though he is running more to be the mayor than he is the first black mayor.