Central New York, Government, Politics

Mahoney Officially Supports County Merger Referendum

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney believes that voters should have the chance to vote on the merger of city and county governments. © AP Images 2017

By Regan Spencer SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – In her 10th State of the County address, Joanie Mahoney officially supported a voter referendum on a merger that would create a new metropolitan government. She is now one of the first elected officials to support the plan.

She commented on that fact, saying that her opposition has criticized her but has yet to present a different plan that would benefit the county in the long-term.  Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon, who does not support the merger, said that Mahoney’s position does not change his or his colleagues’ opinions.

Mahoney also disputed claims that that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would withhold financial assistance if the merger did not pass. In January, Cuomo issued a proposal that would require all county executives to send a plan for consolidation to his or her county legislature.  Mahoney does not anticipate this proposal will cause Onondaga County financial problems.

“If it’s a good referendum, I think [voters] will vote yes. If it’s a bad referendum, they vote no,” she said. “There’s not a single thing written in the Consensus report that will spell disaster for anyone.”

After her discussion of the merger, she moved to talking about the tax policies and what her various departments accomplished last year.