The Cicero Democratic Party nominees for Town Councilor, Nate Riley (D, WFP) and Joyce Villnave (D), and Town Supervisor, Judy Boyke (D, WFP), showed up alongside 300 town residents to voice their opposition to the Bus Garage proposed on South Bay Road near Gillette Middle School, the site of last night’s planning board meeting.
The meeting began with a presentation from one of the proponents of the bus garage. The presentation downplayed the traffic and environmental impacts from 185 buses parking, starting up, and driving in Cicero to pick up and drop off Syracuse City School District students. They argued that some fencing, trees, and wind patterns would mitigate the sound of 185 buses traveling through nearby neighborhoods. The presentation drew laughs from the 300 skeptical audience members.
The public comments began with a speech from Barb Evanoff, a retired chemist and Democratic Committee member, who spoke out against the harmful effects of carcinogens from bus fumes. Her speech drew raucous and sustained applause by the crowd of 300 concerned citizens who agreed with the points she raised. Her speech was the most powerful of the evening and was featured in an article covering the meeting.
Nate Riley spoke out against the deceptive tactics used by the proponents of the Bus Barn. He noted that people were right to laugh during the presentation in support of the proposal, calling their arguments a “farce.” Nate pointed out that no Cicero jobs would be created from this proposal, that the proposal was environmentally unsound, and that the private traffic study commissioned by the proponents of the “Bus Barn” had been rightfully questioned by Onondaga County Department of Transportation. Again, the crowd cheered for our candidate’s points. Nate also gave a hearty “fist bump” to all of the 31 residents who were brave enough to come forward and speak out against this proposal.
Joyce Villnave connected the proposal to her continued opposition to unplanned, unwarranted expansion in the Town of Cicero. Joyce has spoken out against interests outside the Town seeking to exploit our resources with no plan for the drain it causes on those resources. She argued that the bus garage was similar to apartment expansions or the usual tax and build policies that have only resulted in increased traffic and strain on our ailing infrastructure. The crowd cheered and a snippet of her speech made it onto the evening news (see below).
Judy Boyke concluded the night by speaking out against the proposal. She let her opposition be known in a clear, concise statement that this project would not benefit the Town of Cicero. As a leader on the Town Board, and the current liaison to the planning board, she has followed the proposal from its inception. Like all of the residents that laughed at the presentation, she remained unconvinced by the proponent’s proposal to park 185 buses in Cicero.
This is only one of many issues that our candidates have been talking about as they knock on doors this summer. Please help them get out their message this fall about ending pay raises for Cicero politicians, fixing our roads, expanding the Town’s drainage committee, protecting our environment, and a comprehensive plan for a brighter, better future in Cicero. They need your help this fall as they knock on more doors, call voters, and get out the vote. If you can’t donate your time, please consider donating a few dollars to any of their campaigns, including online to Nate Riley, Joyce Villnave, and Judy Boyke.