Onondaga County Exec putting her vision for sustainability into action

Onondaga County Exec Joanie Mahoney says an overview of development will save rural land, and taxpayer money

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is pushing for a county-wide approach to development, that she says will 'infill' places that have already been developed once, such as in the city of Syracuse and inner suburbs with financial incentives.. She points out that the county's population has not increased in several years, and that expansion is not truly growth, just development in different directions which are not necessarily economically or ecologically sound.

Mahoney says that most towns have development plans, but she hopes to weave in a bigger picture, by enforcing regulations already in place, like non-expansion of existing sewer districts. Mahoney says that because she's elected, she has the mandate to enforce the regulations, which, she says, will save taxpayers money by not expanding government-provided infrastructure like roads, power and water lines.

Besides controlling where the development happens, Mahoney says she has a commitment to the rural parts of the county, and wants to financially help farmers---and a new generation of farmers-to-be---hold onto the land for agriculture.

The County Executive, talking with us on the CNY in Focus segment of Weekend Today in CNY, says we're not talking about stopping development, just being smarter about it. And, she says, if there is an economic spurt, actual growth into new areas is not precluded.

Mahoney says public comment on her direction has been positive and encouraging, and she welcomes ongoing comment.

Go to the website and click on the green 'Sustainable Development Plan' link to see more, and to comment.

There's also a blue 'Save the Rain' link with more information and resources.