As the Mayor touted accomplishments and laid our her agenda for the new year, dozens of Syracuse firefighters were standing together as a demonstration against the city's proposed closing of a fire station.
The mayor announced plans to target vacant properties which are not tax delinquent through a registry. It will require owners to register vacant properties with the city and develop a plan for the sale or rehabilitation of the property or pay an increasing fee each year the property is on the list.The mayor also announced new proposed state funding for the second phase targeting new schools.Miner highlighted the work being done downtown and across the city. She unveiled the final 2012 value of construction for which permits were issued, totaling more than $329 million, the highest year on record and more than $80 million higher than 2011.The mayor also created the new position of Director of Facilities Management to begin inventorying city buildings.Last year, the city passed an ordinance requiring pawn shops to keep more detailed records of who sells merchandise at their stores. As a result, the city says some pawn shops moved just blocks outside the city to avoid the reporting requirement. The city now plans to work with the county to ensure the same reporting requirement is in place county-wide to deter criminal sales.Miner also discussed the city's fiscal status, saying the 2012-2013 budget year will end with a surplus of $8 million. Earlier this year, Moody's Investors Service, a Wall Street ratings agency, gave Syracuse a negative general obligations bond outlook. They cited Miner's statements regarding municipal bankruptcy. Moody's retained Syracuse's A1 credit rating.In August, Mayor Miner asked for legal research on municipal bankruptcy, which Moody's used in putting Syracuse in the 'negative outlook' zone. Miner says she was just doing her homework, and that she has always been honest about Syracuse's financial issues. Miner also said negative outlooks are common in many cities across the country.
The members of the firefighter's union wore T-shirts that read "Save 7s. '' Click here to watch our report from earlier is month when it first became public that the city is considering closing the station because it needs costly repairs.