Common Council Delays Vote

Neighborhood group wants legislation passed

Courtesy of Syracuse United Neighbors

By Brianna Couture

Originally reported on February 27, 2012

Syracuse (NCC News)- A community organization came to Syracuse City Hall to give support to the new land bank proposal, Monday but Councilors delayed voting saying the language was too vague.

Two Syracuse United Neighbors (SUN) walked across the room in front of the councilors with a large banner reading, “Rebuild Our Hood” while other SUN members sat in the audience. This demonstration was meant to influence council members to advance the legislation before the May 20th deadline.

Despite the push for unanimous agreement, “We would rather get it done right then done fast” said Majority Leader Lance Denno. The Onondaga County Legislature voted 16-1 to create a county-city land bank but is waiting on the city common council to follow suit.

A land bank is not a literal bank, but a state authorized way for local authorities to obtain tax delinquent properties so that they can be sold to responsible developers and generate tax revenue again. This proposal could revitalized nearly 2,000 abandoned property. If land bank legislation passes in Syracuse/Onondaga County, it will be the first in New York.

“We’re p***sed that once again the City of Syracuse has not moved forward with this legislation which has been before them since November” said SUN Executive Director Rich Puchalski on behalf of Syracuse United Neighbors. Puchalski said Denno is the most supportive member of the council.

Councilor-At-Large Jean Kessner, the sponsor of the proposal says there is a good chance that council could approve the legislation by next week. “It is not and easy thing… and past delays have produced a better bill”. Seven of nine counselors are leaning that way, Kessner said.

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