SYRACUSE, N.Y. – City Auditor Marty Masterpole, a Democratic candidate for Mayor of Syracuse, issued the following statement about Republican Laura Lavine’s proposed plan for mayoral control.
“Syracuse’s schools have undergone tremendous achievement over the last decade. From the implementation of Say Yes to Education to a 60% graduation rate – a record high – we are making progress for children in our community. While there is much work left to be done, we must congratulate the city, district leaders, teachers, and parents for making this possible.
“Mayoral control is a complex topic inextricably linked to the financial condition of our schools. I cannot support a takeover of city schools at this time, without a concrete plan to answer questions about the district’s personnel obligations, pension, and healthcare costs. The biggest cost drivers for the school district continue to be those employee costs, and no matter who runs the school district, that must be the first area of discussion.
“It is clear, however, that something must be done to right the fiscal ship of both the city and the school district. As Mayor, I will explore further opportunities to share services between the school district, the city, the county, and OCM BOCES. I will also be the strong advocate the district needs to fight for our fair share of funding from New York State and to address burdensome regulations which keep local costs out of control.”