Under public pressure OCC turns over financial records at budget meeting

President Debbie Sydow (right)

OCC has turned over financial information about its not for profit organizations.

Onondaga Community College administrators went before legislators Monday with their hands out for more taxpayer money.

The college wants $9.5 million to subsidize a total budget of $77.8 million. But OCC came under a cloud of suspicion last week when it refused a Syracuse Post-Standard request to turn over contracts for events at the new SRC Arena and three other not for profit organizations.

President Debbie Sydow did turn over the financial information to County legislators today but excluded the confidential contracts for SRC Arena events.

Sydow told reporters, "We had a few threats in that regard about lawsuits that would have come to us if we released information that we had committed in a contract we could not release."

Legislator Judy Tassone last week threatened to hold up the OCC budget if she did not get the financial information. She said she wanted to make sure revenue would be used to offset the taxpayer cost of running the institution. After today's meeting, Tassone says she's satisfied with OCC's response to her demand.

"I am 99 percent satistified. I still would like a complete breakdown of where the revenue from the events is going." she said.

Lawmakers are not only concerned with how the money from SRC Arena events is being spent, they also want to make sure that those events do not take business away from the financially troubled OnCenter which has received taxpayers bailouts in recent years.

Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon feels the controversy over the SRC Arena will cause OCC to work closely with the OnCenter in bringing major events to Central New York.

"The idea is for both organizations and entities to succeed and we have a better chance of succeeding if we're actually working together." McMahon told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon

On May 29th, you'll get a chance to air your views on the OCC budget when the Legislature holds a public hearing.

OCC turns over financials on SRC Arena. Legislators satisfied but want more specifics. Some info still confidential

â?? Jim Kenyon (@JimKenyonCNY) May 7, 2012