Cicero Dems Speak Out Against Bus Garage

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.

Cicero Festival 2019

The annual Cicero Festival and Parade were held on Saturday, June 15, 2019. The quarter-mile parade route route started on Brewerton Road (Route 11) at Crabtree Lane and ended at Sacred Heart Church, the site of the festival. The parade and festivities were well-attended by citizens of the Town of Cicero, with many local businesses showing off their wares and services. Our Democratic committee marched and passed out candy to everyone in attendance.

From left to right: Nate Riley (D, WFP), Judy Boyke (D, WFP), and Joyce Villnave (D)

Cicero Democrats Supporting Other Democrats!

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, our candidates for Cicero Town Board attended a fundraiser at the North Syracuse Community Center. The dessert fundraiser brought together Democrats from all over Onondaga County to share sweets and discuss local issues. The fundraiser focused on benefitting candidates in three northern towns of Cicero, Salina, and Clay. The event was a tremendous success in raising money for local candidates!

Judy, Nate, and Joyce all gave brief speeches about their plans for a more transparent, fair, and fiscally responsible Town of Cicero.

From left to right: Nate Riley (D, WFP), Judy Boyke (D, WFP), and Joyce Villnave (D)

The slate of candidates for all local offices in Salina and Clay also showed up to tell everyone how they would improve quality of life for citizens in their towns. We also heard from many county-wide candidates, including the nominees for County Legislature Jessica Bumpus, Nodesia Hernandez, and Tony Malavenda . Other county-wide Democratic nominees appeared, including those running for District Attorney, Chuck Keller, and Comptroller, Marty Masterpole. Each shared their unique vision for equality, fairness, and responsibility in County government.

The congressional candidates for 2020 appeared as well. Cicero candidates were humbled by Dana Balter offering to help candidates up and down the 2019 ballot. Balter shared with us her gameplan for 2019 and offered her campaign experience and infrastructure to help Democrats in all three towns. Roger Misso and Francis Conole shared their respective visions for the 24th congressional district.

There was great energy in the room and, despite the scary tornado warning toward the end, everyone left feeling #FiredUpAndReadyToGo

If you like to donate to Nate or Joyce, you may do so through their ActBlue pages: Nate Riley (Vote Nate) and Joyce Villanve.

Nate Riley (D, WFP) discussing his plan to reprioritize Cicero’s budget to value re-paving roads over pay raises for politicians.
Joyce Villnave (D) discussing her desire to do away with the “tax and build” policies of the past.

Our candidates making headlines

The Eagle Star Review prominently featured our candidates, unanimously nominated at our committee’s caucus, in the May 15, 2019 edition. We look forward to hearing more from Judy, Nate, and Joyce about how to make our town more transparent, fair, and economically vibrant!

If you would like to meet our candidates, please join us at our Spring fundraiser this Sunday, May 19, 2019, from 100p-500p at the North Syracuse Community Center, 700 South Bay Road, North Syracuse. We will have open discussion of issues important to you, and plenty of desserts and drinks! Admission to the event is $20 to support Democratic candidates in Cicero, Clay, and Salina! Come one, come all!

Joyce Villnave (D) for Town Councilor

 I’ve been a Cicero resident since August 1990 and work as a Systems Consultant for Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES. I’ve been with BOCES for 7 years. Also, I have experience as a buyer, legal secretary, customer service representative, and owner of my own business.

I have the same issues I had in 2017: reining in the budget of the new highway garage, and the budget in general; monitoring Cicero’s growth in an effort to ensure the Town’s infrastructure is not over-taxed and that the growth makes sense; and improving the Town’s communication with the citizens of Cicero. I believe that just because the Republicans are offering a new slate of candidates this year, doesn’t mean they’re likely to change the tax and spend policies of the current administration. It’s time for a change. 

Judy Boyke (D, WFP) for Town Supervisor

         Judy A. Boyke is a life resident of Cicero, living on Muskrat Bay Road in Brewerton. She is married with 3 grown children, 7 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.  Mrs. Boyke retired from General Electric/Martin Marietta Company after 33 years. Judy is a licensed New York State Real Estate salesperson, and is the small business owner of Slick Stitch custom embroidery. She has served as a Director and Chair of the Professional Ethics board on the Greater Syracuse Board of Realtors.  Judy is involved with several organizations, including the South Shore Association, serving as president of the Auxiliary, Divine Mercy Choir, Cicero Historical Society, Oneida Lake Association, Lockheed Martin Employees association, just to name a few.

         Judy was previously elected Cicero Supervisor, serving from 2010-2011, and is currently a Cicero Town Councilperson.   Judy has never lost sight of her pursuit to bring Cicero residents the “Quality of Life” that they deserve.  Judy has attended all but 3 Cicero Town Board meetings since 2011, and has continued to be the “Voice of the People,” bringing the concerns of Cicero Residents to the forefront that would otherwise go ignored by Cicero government.   Judy has also kept residents informed of the impact town government actions would have on them and our community.

          Judy took the initiative to challenge current Supervisor Mark Venesky, and submitted a Petition signed by Cicero voters to force a Public Referendum, allowing Cicero Residents the right to vote on whether the town should borrow $10 million dollars to spend on a new highway garage.  This was the first time in the history of the Town of Cicero that town government was required to let the voters decide, and is only one example of Judy continuously representing the rights of the people. 

         Given Judy’s experience in private business, as a former Cicero Supervisor, and a current Cicero Town Councilperson, Judy is uniquely qualified to lead Cicero government.   Judy has proven that she will not be intimidated, will continue to ask the tough questions, force the town board to publicly discuss the many issues that affect Cicero residents, including the construction of apartment complexes, and the terrible traffic congestion.  It is time for Cicero to get their “Quality of Life and Voice Back” by electing Judy Boyke as Cicero Supervisor this November.   

Nate Riley (D, WFP) for Cicero Town Councilor

Why I’m Running

I’m an attorney that has worked my entire career serving working people. When I came to Cicero 5 years ago, I set to work for the disabled who could no longer work and could not afford to pay an attorney. I fought for and won their disability appeals in federal court for 3 years. Today, I serve poor people in Onondaga County who can’t afford an attorney on appeal.

I’ve worked for the poorest among us not because they deserved or expected a hand out, but because they needed someone’s hand to help them back up. I believe in the ability of every American to change their circumstances for the better if we give them a fair shake. If each client has someone on their side, someone lifting them back up from the side of the road, they can dust themselves off and get themselves back on track to wherever they want to go.

I began my career as a staff attorney to a judge in Chicago working to curb the political patronage! I knew what it felt like to be a political outsider who isn’t connected to the right people and can’t get a job. I wanted to work to make sure others didn’t suffer that same fate.

In Syracuse, I believed in fighting for disabled kids, parents, and veterans, because I have family members that have personally benefitted from a society with a strong social safety net. I believe in fighting to protect the civil rights of the poor because if my colleagues and I don’t take that job fighting for them, no one else will, and they need someone to fight for them.

I got into this race because we need to change our course in the Town of Cicero.

I couldn’t stand by idly while the current Town Board voted on a 2019 budget that included a pay raise for themselves. I couldn’t fathom why no one in the Democratic Party could get onto the Ethics Board when it had a vacancy last year. By law, the Ethics Board must have no more than 2 members from any political party, and today it has ZERO Democrats on it. I couldn’t abide a plan to expand the Planning Board from 5 to 7 members solely so the Venesky (R) – Cushman (R) Town Board could seize more power from this important and independent board despite Planning Board members themselves opposing the proposal.

We can change all of this. I am proposing we adopt a 27th Amendment for the Town of Cicero that says our Town Board members can’t vote to give themselves raises with your tax dollars. This law, similar to the federal constitution, will state that no salary increase shall take effect until an election has occurred, so no member of the board will ever vote to give themselves a raise. If we don’t want to give anyone a raise, we have the opportunity to vote them out! I want to thank Councilors Jonathan Karp (R) and Judy Boyke (D) for voting against last year’s budget that included those pay increases!

I also want to fix the appointment process for the Planning Board by creating a merit-based system for appointees to ensure that only qualified people get these important jobs. It has always been a political appointment, but we can and should change this.

I want to fix the Ethics Board to have a permanent member of the Democratic party, a permanent member of the Republican party, a permanent registered Independent, and a permanent voter registered to no party. The final remaining slot should be filled by third parties (conservatives, independence, working families, etc.) on a rotating basis., thereby ensuring fairness and an Ethics Board free from politics.

But the biggest problem we face is fiscal. Taxes go up yet we don’t fix basic infrastructure issues like potholes. I can’t stand that we only budget to pave less than 5 miles of road every year. This results in ankle twisting, suspension ruining, accident causing potholes on so many of our streets. We can dramatically reduce potholes by budgeting to fix the problem. I want to stop spending money on this budget behemoth of a highway garage that is currently $1.4M over budget with no end in sight. Let’s finish the project immediately so we can instead invest in our infrastructure and beautification of our town through the Highway and Parks Departments.

I hope I will have your support in the coming months because without you none of this will change. I am just a single, frustrated voter, but with your help, I can be the fresh, young face to break through the old guard protecting politics as usual in Cicero!

I need your active participation to make change in Cicero a reality.

I’ve already knocked on many doors and intend to knock on thousands more between now and Election Day on November 5. Please join me by knocking on doors, creating content, and getting the word out about the campaign! I consider it a great honor to have been endorsed and nominated by the Democratic Party and Working Families Party. Now I begin the work of earning every vote.

Thank you.

New Year, New Cicero

You want to rein in reckless, runaway spending in the Town of Cicero. You want your elected officials to create opportunities for your family, not three Cicero Town Board members, all Republicans, that voted for a 2019 budget that gave themselves raises with taxpayer dollars. You want a thriving community in the town you call home, not headlines about Town of Cicero public officials putting down dogs. You want safety, freedom, prosperity, and transparency without disrespectful bickering and infighting.

We want that too. Join us as we work to elect the next generation of leaders in the Town of Cicero and on the Onondaga County Legislature. Contact us via facebook, twitter, or email (links at the bottom of this page) to join our growing movement to tighten fiscal belts and promote safety, prosperity, and open government. With your help, we will elect hard working people like you and work toward our common goal of a diverse, thriving community. New Year, New You, New Cicero!