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Tension between Syracuse Common Council and Mayor Miner's administration

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Tension between Syracuse Common Council and Mayor Miner's administration
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Tensions continue to flare between democrats on the Syracuse common council and the democratic Miner administration.

Mayor Stephanie Miner, her budget director and Common Council president Van Robinson make up the city's Urban Renewal Agency.

The latest flash-point is a routine bill asking councilors to approve transfers from the city budget to cover the agency's payroll costs. Some councilors are balking, saying money should not be taken from the general budget, especially when it comes to the Urban Renewal Agency.

“The authority's budget office report, which was very critical, scathing, of the SURA Board in terms of its fiduciary obligation, as an independent agency,” said Lance Denno, Syracuse Common Council Majority Leader.

Councilors have delayed a vote until all city lawmakers are on hand. If only eight legislators cast ballots, there is a chance of a tie vote and Council President Robinson would break the tie. Robinson said he would prefer not to vote to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.

The two sides are at odds on another issue as well. Monday, Miner rejected planning commission legislation that would have given the council more power on planning and community development. The mayor called it bad public policy.

Miner claims reductions in the executive branch's authority must be approved by voters in a special referendum.

Also the mayor says the bill was not handed to her for approval in a timely manner.

Current law already allows the Council to take action when it does not agree with a Planning Commission decision.

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