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Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says she will veto Syracuse Common Council budget

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Should Mayor Stephanie Miner veto the budget, the Common Council can overturn her veto with a two-thirds majority.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said on Monday she will veto the Syracuse Common Council’s 2017-18 city budget after the council voted to eliminate funding to the Greater Syracuse Land Bank and make $2 million in cuts to the police and fire department budgets.

“Today’s disheartening actions from the Common Council demonstrate a lack of understanding for the serious challenges affecting the city of Syracuse,” Miner said in a press release. “I will be vetoing the disingenuous and fiscally irresponsible budget passed today by the Council.”

In the statement, Miner highlighted her belief in the importance of the city’s continued support for the Land Bank, which she said helps revitalize Syracuse neighborhoods. The Land Bank — aided by more than $1 million in annual funding from the city — acquires vacant, abandoned and underutilized properties seized by the city and either renovates or demolishes the property, according to its website.

Land Bank Executive Director Katelyn Wright, who learned of the budget proposal last Friday, said she was blindsided by the cuts, according to Syracuse.com.

The new budget gives the Syracuse Police Department $1.5 million to hire 15 new police officers, but cuts the overtime budget for SPD and the Syracuse Fire Department by $1 million each. The cuts drew rebukes from Syracuse police Chief Frank Fowler and fire Chief Paul Linnertz.

“The thought of having a class of new recruits is very attractive; however, to do so at the expense of cutting our overtime budget would have a crippling effect on our current operations,” Fowler said in a press release.

According to Syracuse.com, Common Council Finance Chair Nader Maroun said the cuts to the budget are being made in an effort to ensure the city’s short-term financial survival.

Should Miner veto the budget, the Common Council can overturn her veto with a two-thirds majority. Six common councilor votes are needed to secure a two-thirds majority. Eight common councilors voted to approve the budget proposal Monday.

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