2012 was not the easiest of years for those in charge of the state's major cities. The mayor of Syracuse says the challenges will continue in 2013. Stephanie Miner sat down with YNN's Bill Carey to reflect on the past 12 months and to look ahead.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It was a New Year's Eve three years ago. Stephanie Miner was sworn in as mayor of Syracuse. Entering the last year of her first term, Miner says it has been a challenging time, trying to meet city needs while avoiding bankruptcy.
Miner said, “We, as leaders, have to become much more facile at looking at how we can change and adapt to make sure people don't get denied the kind of quality of life services that they pay for in their taxes. That they need. And that we, as a community, need to thrive.”
Budget issues aside, Miner looks back at 2012 as a year of real accomplishment.
“We've had a banner year for construction. All one has to do is look at the skyline. There are cranes everywhere. 2011 was a record year. 2010 was a record year. And we are on track to break even those. So 2012 has been exceptional,” Miner said.
What the mayor may not look back on, fondly, is another year of a tug of war with fellow democrats on the common council. A tug of war that has led to increased tensions and battles over a number of key pieces of legislation.
“Tension is an inherent part of the process, but also, it's important to have leadership to say, despite the tensions and human nature being the way it is, you're never going to get everybody to agree,” Miner said.
If being mayor in challenging times wasn't enough, Miner also rose to a new position in the state democratic party in 2012, becoming co-chair of the organization. Something she calls "incredibly exciting." The party made substantial gains in 2012 and Miner is hoping to see more growth in the new year.
2013 also holds a major decision for Stephanie Miner: Whether she'll seek a second term as mayor of Syracuse. She calls being mayor a "profound experience." But she says she is not ready to say whether she will run again.
“It's a decision. There are always costs and benefits,” Miner said. “It is not a decision that is made, that I would make without looking at what the costs are, as well as the benefits. The way I make decisions means that you have to sit down and really think about, are you to put yourself and your family in that kind of position for another four years?”
For now, the mayor is not giving a timetable for any announcement.
Mayor Miner faces a potential primary challenge should she seek the democratic nomination for a second term. Councilor Pat Hogan says he is considering running for the job.
Several republicans are also being mentioned as possible challengers, including State Senator John DeFrancisco, State Supreme Court Justice Edward Carni and Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon.