Fellow Candidates for Cicero

On this Early Voting eve, I’d like to say a few words about the other candidates on the Town of Cicero ballot.

To start with, I hope you’ve had a chance to speak with Matt Johnson. Matt is running for County Legislature in the 3rd District. Matt has vitality and enthusiasm. When you speak with Matt, you feel like he was meant to serve; that people are and always will be his first priority. I believe Matt is someone who will put people before profit in his decision making process. And, if you message Matt on Facebook, he will answer you. I know because he answered me – quickly.

The other County Legislature candidate appearing on the ballot in Cicero is Jana Rogers who’s running for the 5th District. Jana is an educator and still finds time to be so involved in her community that she felt a need to run for the County Legislature. She has the drive and energy to do an excellent job.

If you look at the endorsements Matt and Jana have accumulated, you can tell I’m not the only one impressed with them!

Judy Boyke is running for re-election as Cicero Town Councilor. Judy has years of experience with our town government and has lived here all her life. Her opponents have spent a good chunk of change throwing shade at her.

It appears the Cicero Town Board Republican candidates’ entire campaign strategy is to spread innuendo and scare people rather than talk about issues, or plans for the future of our town.

If you haven’t had the chance to speak with us and you have questions, please contact us.

Matt Johnson (website) (facebook)

Jana Rogers (website)

Judy Boyke (facebook)

Joyce Villnave (facebook)

Contractors Coming Home to Roost

Contractors have been very busy at Town Board and Planning Board meetings lately.

Guy Hart, Jr. of the Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club who has proposed an unspecified number of housing units on the golf course on Lakeshore Rd, as well as folks proposing the Montroy PUD on Rte 31 were back in front of the Town Board on October 13.

The Hoerner Farmstead is back before the Planning Board on Wednesday, October 20.

Trey Jay (Marina Development) was in for a subdivision on October 6.

You may remember that Judy Boyke was working on a Comprehensive Plan, when the other board members voted to do it in-house. That was on June, 21, 2021 and the Comprehensive Plan died there and then.

On August 25, 2021, during public input at the Town Board meeting, after they had missed their own deadline to report back, I called for the Board to enact a local law prohibiting large developments until such time as the Comprehensive Plan is complete. They did not even bother to comment.

If the voters of the Town of Cicero continue to elect officials who ignore what the citizens are saying, we’ll end up like Solvay…just an extension of the city.

A comprehensive plan does not just deal with zoning and planning. It includes building and maintaining infrastructure and revenue building. It includes all aspects of town government. Cicero is in dire need of review and direction.

Really, the choices are clear – stay with the same old, same old – or vote in different priorities and vision. #VoteVillnave

A Couple of County Issues to Think About

 County. The Syracuse Common Council passed a resolution to form an independent committee to redraw district lines after the 2020 Census. Although 9 of the 11 Republican County Legislators signed this pledge: “I pledge my support for non-partisan and independent redistricting in the County of Onondaga. If elected, I will work to ensure fair and representative County Legislature districts.”. 

Why was this vote important? Take a look at the County Legislative District Map. Some of those districts weave and wander in all directions. This is done to keep as many districts as possible mostly Republican and/or Republican leaning. 

Of the 11 Republicans (9 pledge to support this measure before they were last elected), not one republican joined the 6 democrats and the measure was defeated 6 yes, 11 no. Is your legislator one of them? May, Holmquist, Bush, Jordan, Rowley, Burtis, Tassone, Code, Abbott-Kenan, and Knapp.

The other issue, close to my heart, was the vote that allowed Ryan McMahon to let go up to 250 county employees in the midst of a pandemic. There was no looking for other solutions – like Syracuse’s 4 furlough days. Syracuse employees shared the burden and saved jobs. But 9 county legislators voted to cut up to 250 jobs. I wonder if they’ve used any of the surplus to bring them all back? 

My guess is many of those jobs were union jobs. The employees and unions were never given a chance to negotiate. At the same session, the legislature made several appointments. 

Just a couple of things to think about. 

Vote Local

 Over 156 million people voted in the 2020 Presidential Election. Of them, 237,736 were in Onondaga County. That’s beyond fabulous!

Too many of those folks will not even think of voting again…at least not until the next presidential election. And, that’s too sad.

While presidential politics has all the hoopla, local politics effects daily life so much more than national. School, village, city, town and county elections determine who will put forth school budgets, property taxes, laws that limit the height of your fence, and who picks up the garbage. This is where the pavement hits the pothole!

Knowing what’s happening at town hall can save you from nasty surprises down the road. In Cicero, attending town hall meetings is as easy as logging onto YouTube. There’s a link in the agendas for the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board, and the Town Board meetings that will bring you to the meeting. If you don’t feel comfortable attending in person, or would prefer to listen for your comfy chair, this is a great way to monitor town hall happenings.

The North Syracuse Central School District also broadcasts their Board of Education Meetings on YouTube, which you can access on their website

Don’t live in Cicero? Many towns, villages, and school districts are broadcasting their meetings. Google the entity’s name to find their website to check.

Wherever you live, connecting with the village, town, or county committee of your party is a great way to get involved – even if it is only to be added to an email list and see what’s going on.

Town and County

In New York, we finally have early voting. In Onondaga County, we have 6 early voting sites. The republican lead county legislature refuses to increase the number of sites, even though the funds are available. Why is that?

When the issue first arose, I asked my town supervisor, at the time it was Mark Venseky, why he was not advocating for a spot in Cicero…a town with approximately 20,000 registered voters. He said he had not been approached. Really? You have to be approached to advocate?

Councilwoman Judy Boyke brought a measure before the town board to make the town available as an early voting site. She was shot down. 

As a result of our republican lead town board consistently refusing to ask/allow a site in the town of Cicero, we get to travel to the town of Clay – the closest early voting site – to cast our votes. Since Clay is also a large town, this often leads to long lines. 

Last year, on a Saturday morning, I brought my sister who lives in Baldwinsville to vote at the Clay Town Hall. We were there well before the building opened and the line was already through the parking lot and to the Clay Town Highway garage.

I ask again. Why would our republican lead county and town governments not want to service their constituents by making voting convenient?