Cicero Town Board Meeting

by Joyce Villnace

If you left the virtual Cicero Town Board Meeting of February 10, 2021 after the nearly 2 hour public hearing on the Horner Farmstead proposed zone change run by Mr. Bragman, you left way too soon!

Along with a third public hearing that didn’t make the agenda, there were “two late breaking items” Councilman Jonathan Karp brought up at the end of the meeting. One was a donation for ballistic shields for the police department, the other was to reestablish the Deputy Supervisor position the same board abolished in the September 9, 2020 meeting.

Councilors Boyke and Becallo seemed stunned that the Deputy Supervisor resolution was on the agenda. The resolution was read by Mr. Karp and seconded by Councilor White.

Ms. Boyke opened the discussion saying this resolution needed more discussion and that she felt pressured to vote before talking with the Town Attorney or going into executive session for further discussion.

Mr. Becallo said he preferred the resolution be put up as a public referendum in November and asked what the real reasons were that this was being proposed at this meeting. You could almost hear a chorus of “good government” coming from Karp, White, and Meyer. Ms. Boyke mused that Ms. White seemed to have been informed, implying that Ms. Boyke and Mr. Becallo had been left out of the loop. 

Mr. Becallo insisted the real reasons be disclosed. Ms. White asked Mr. Becallo to enlighten us as to the real reasons.

When pressed, Mr. Karp said it was a “reasonable request” of Supervisor Meyer in order to get him to sign the Police Contract. Mr. Becallo reiterated that Mr. Meyer has refused to sign any contracts until his demands were met. The resolution passed 3 (Karp, White, Meyer) to 2 (Boyke, Becallo).

So, who will be the new Deputy Supervisor? Most money is on Mike Mirizio being appointed Deputy Supervisor since he has already chaired a meeting (January 13, 2021) in order to enhance his candidacy for Town Councillor. However, since Mr. Mirizio is an ad hoc member of the Planning Board, and they can already have him sitting on the Zoom meetings, even though he doesn’t participate (as they have the last several meetings), my money’s on Mike Aregano who’s the Republican candidate for Town Supervisor.

We’ll know soon enough and then Mr. Meyer can be “unavailable” and the entire slate of Republican candidates can be front and center through November.

Relieved, but not Resting

We’ve never been happier seeing this image of the *former* President leaving the White House for the last time.

Yet our resolve remains firm that we should never again endure him or his sycophants in any position of authority at any level of government (including those that supported him here in Cicero). The new Congress must ensure that supporting a violent insurrection is met with swift consequences.

Dana Balter Virtual House Party

The election is 28 days away and tonight Ciceronians heard from Dana Balter during a live event on ZOOM!

Dana Balter speaks directly to you about the strategic importance of Cicero in the upcoming #NY24 congressional race

As our next congresswoman, Dana will uplift communities like ours that have been overlooked in Congress for far too long. She’s fighting alongside Joe Biden to secure affordable healthcare during a pandemic and to restore science-based policy making to fight coronavirus. We need leaders like Dana that will formulate real plans to keep us safe and tell us the hard truths of what’s going on.

The virtual room was filled with engaged citizens looking to regain control of their government! We also had a very special guest: the Roman Senator and consul member Cicero himself showed up to warn us of the dangerous threat to our democracy posed by Katko and other sycophants siding with Trump to score political points instead of dedicating the resources our local governments need to survive.

Marcus Tullius Cicero looks an awful lot like retired teacher Rob Santucci

Join the campaign without spreading the virus by joining an event to safely make calls or send texts via the campaign website or by simply emailing the Cicero Democratic Commitee today to ask how you can get involved.


Help us by getting people to sign the petition.  Many people are going out right now getting designating petitions.  The great thing about this petition for fair maps is that you don’t need to go off a list!  Anyone can sign regardless of their party ID! We all want fair elections in Onondaga County, right?

You can return them by sending an email to or for instructions on where to send them. Thanks everyone! Let’s end gerrymandered maps!


Cicero Democrats Giving Back

Dana Balter and others join the Cicero Democratic Committee for their regular meeting and holiday donation drive!

Your local Cicero Democratic Committee gave back to three families in our community. Two of the families have served their community, and their nation, by enlisting in the armed forces. The third family came to us at the suggestion of the Cicero Canteen.

Nate Riley and his daughter, Keira, delivery holiday gift baskets to 3 Cicero families (Keira carried the turkeys)

Nate Riley, our chairperson for this effort, organized the donations, decorated the baskets, and delivered them with his family. The Committee’s donations to the holiday gift baskets included a complete dinner for the holidays: a 20 pound turkey, stuffing, sausage, and all the fixings! The baskets also contained $25 gift cards for Price Chopper so each family could pickup anything they wanted to add to their holiday feast.

Nate, Keira, and two veteran families

The Democratic Committee wishes everyone a blessed, warm, and safe Holiday filled with fond memories!

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 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.

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.