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Request for Public and Open Consideration of Appointed At-Large Council Seat

Syracuse, NY, November 13, 2017 — Frank Cetera, the Green Party recent candidate for citywide Syracuse Councilor At-Large, and Green Party of Onondaga County Committee Member, released a statement calling for an open and equal process for consideration of candidates to fill the open At-Large seat vacated by now President Helen Hudson.  This seat will be appointed by majority vote of the current council members.

Cetera stated “I would like us to avoid a repeat of what took place in 2015, when, with no public notice and no consideration of candidates who had run for council office that year (including myself), Council voted furtively after the election for one of their own – Joe Nicoletti – that we see now was an obvious insider attempt at positioning a chosen candidate for a 2017 Mayoral run.”

Syracuse.com reporting from November 23, 2015 indicated that “The action prompted angry denunciations from several councilors, who . . . . . were outraged by the haste with which he was chosen. . . . . Councilor Khalid Bey said it was an example of “cronyism that causes the taxpayers to become less interested.” He said the hasty selection . . . . .was “underhanded.”

Cetera continued “All of the council and mayoral candidates this campaign season have made a large deal about government access, transparency, and constituent services at the public forums we have all participated in.  They now need to demonstrate that by demanding proper open process for the appointment of this seat.”

Green Party 2nd District recent Candidate Eric Graf makes the case for appointing a Green Party candidate per his analysis of the 2015 election results: “Had Denno, or another qualified Green been chosen, the resulting Council would have reflected a proportional representation of the total city-wide vote for that year. 8 seats were filled; total Democratic vote percentage: 58%  would translate to 6 Seats, total Republican vote percentage of 7.5% would yield 1 seat, and total Green vote percentage of 10%  would also result in 1 seat.”

Cetera himself just five days before the 2017 General Election, during a press conference on the steps of City Hall where he stood with over 20 supporters who came out on a dreary day, called for improvements to the current operational structure of council to enable such open access and transparency, including:

  • Expanding study sessions and public hearings to a larger variety of times and locations,
  • Live streaming and archiving online all public meetings,
  • Open office hours for Councilors.
  • Sharing with the public as to the reasoning behind the votes that are made,
  • A ticket system for constituent services for equal responsiveness to all neighborhoods,
  • Civic education for the whole city in legislative writing and processes.

Cetera ends his statement with the request that The Common Council Regular Meeting agenda for Monday November 20th contain an item for implementing a timed, specific, and transparent appointment process for the open seat.

 

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