Stop this power grab

Common Council attempting to change City Charter to diminish powers of the Planning Commission.

Please write letters to the editor and contact your City Councilors (links below). Tell them to leave our city charter alone!

The Council is making a power grab against our City Planning Commission.

o   Legislation would give Council the ability to reverse ANY decision made by the Planning Commission, even items unanimously denied by them.

o   This would open a Pandora’s Box of the worst kind of planning and development in our city. (See why here.)

o   The reason they give for power grab: city is anti-development. But the mayor and Kinney Drugs are communicating just fine and development is moving forward.

The Council is attempting to avoid public discussion and scrutiny of this legislation.

o   The Council is attempting to sidestep the required public referendum (see below)

o   The Council is trying to ram this through in a lame duck session by scheduling a committee meeting with less than 24 hours notice, and by calling special voting meetings between now and the end of the year so the incoming Councilors have no chance to participate.

Here’s how they’re doing it – watch the timing on all this:

  1. The Council couldn’t immediately vote on this item at their regular Monday meeting on November 21 because it’s a local law. But they could vote as soon as seven days later.
  2. Normal procedure for local laws is to table them at one meeting – in this case, the November 28 meeting – but not vote, thus giving councilors time to consider all the ramifications. Then they would vote on it at the next regular Council meeting, which would be December 5.
  3. However, according to Andrew Maxwell, Director of Planning and Sustainability, in their haste to pass this charter change before the end of the year, the Council intends to hold a special meeting to vote on this item on November 28 – the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  4. As the Mayor has 30 days in which to veto any legislation, the latest she could take such action would be December 28.  This would allow the Council to call yet another special meeting just prior to the end of the year to override her veto.

Folks, I don’t know about you, but I well remember when developer Guy Hart used these tactics to try to ram through bad Walgreens designs – holding really important meetings when people were away on vacation and/or distracted by holidays - we in Eastwood thought very ill of him and his scheme. We also packed the planning commission meeting on December 27 so it didn’t work anyway.

What’s the hurry? The Kinney’s project is doing fine. If they’re proud of what they’re doing, they should do it when their constituents aren’t focused on the holidays and their families.

ACT TODAY: Send letters to the editor at the Post-Standard (click here to see how), and contact all of your City Councilors: contact information here. Tell them the Council must leave our city charter alone!

You can copy and paste these email addresses of council members: vrobinson@ci.syracuse.ny.us, ldenno@ci.syracuse.ny.us, phunter@ci.syracuse.ny.us, kjoy@ci.syracuse.ny.us, jkessner@ci.syracuse.ny.us, mrayo@ci.syracuse.ny.us, phogan@ci.syracuse.ny.us, ryanmcmahon@ci.syracuse.ny.us, tseals@ci.syracuse.ny.us, nmaroun@ci.syracuse.ny.us

 

3 thoughts on “Stop this power grab”

  1. This is inconsistent with the statutes and so I wonder if it is even legal. This is unfortunately too bad. The easier route would have been what Mayor Minor suggested and that would have been revising the procedures. Every applicant has a right to an impartial decision maker and procedural due process. I believe that this amendment will be burdensome to the applicant and will definitely position the city for a big court challenge. They can’t be legislators and judges too. That is your verbatim fox guarding the chicken coup.

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