Ryan McMahon

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon has been on the job for just over a month now. He’s in the midst of a series of town hall meetings meant to introduce himself, and his governing style, to the community.

McMahon was appointed to the job earlier this fall when longtime County Executive Joanie Mahoney left to take a job with SUNY ESF in Syracuse. Since then, he’s been a familiar sight at events across the county, something indicative of what he calls his aggressive style.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Ryan McMahon is the new Onondaga County executive. He took over the position from Joanie Mahoney. The 38-year-old Republican and father of three, who grew up in the city of Syracuse, will get the chance to show the public what his administration looks like before voters choose a candidate for the office next year. 

An early test for McMahon came in 2003. After working at an internship in Albany for an assemblyman, McMahon realized he wanted to run for office. The first time he did, in a race for a seat on the Syracuse Common Council, he lost.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County lawmakers approved a $1.3 billion budget Tuesday that raises sewer rates, keeps the tax rate pretty much the same, and does it without taking anything out of the county’s savings account. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

As negotiations continue between Onondaga County and the New York Mets to keep the region’s minor league baseball team, the Syracuse Chiefs, in central New York, the county is offering a multimillion dollar package to keep the Mets in Syracuse for decades.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

It has been a history making week in Onondaga County. County Executive Joanie Mahoney officially tendered her resignation Tuesday, in order to take a job as CEO of SUNY ESF, as well as an advisory role with Upstate Medical University. It was then up to the county legislature to appoint her replacement.

Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon had his votes in a row just hours after Mahoney unexpectedly announced that she was resigning last week. On Tuesday, lawmakers followed through by appointing him Onondaga County’s fourth county executive.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Clean up of a piece of blighted property in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor should clear the way for more development in a neighborhood that’s seen a lot of growth recently. 

For years, the high-profile plot of land along Onondaga Lake owned by Roth Steel was defined by overgrown vegetation and junked cars. But after the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency bought the parcel three years ago, work began to clean it up. Dozens of drums of liquid waste were removed, along with 2,500 tons of the shattered bits of junk cars. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

After serving eleven years as the Onondaga County Executive, Joanie Mahoney is stepping down for a job as the chief operating officer at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. County legislature chairman Ryan McMahon is seeking to fill out the remainder of her term.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

Onondaga County lawmakers are considering a local law that would ban “aggressive soliciting” from panhandlers on the streets and sidewalks of central New York. 

Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon has been circling around this issue since he was a common councilor in the city of Syracuse more than a decade ago. He said the idea is to focus not simply on any panhandler, panhandling is protected by the First Amendment, but what he calls aggressive actions.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Onondaga County Legislature will vote on a resolution at their next session, that would promote awareness and acceptance of individuals with special needs. More than 100 communities have embraced the "Think Differently" initiative since it was launched by Republican gubernatorial candidate and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro in 2015.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County officials said they are willing to find an operator and developer for the new inland port. This comes after the state announced a $19 million investment to CSX Railways for the improvements to a DeWitt rail yard.

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon said if CSX does not strike a private agreement, he wants the county’s industrial development agency to keep the momentum moving on the project.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Updated at 8 p.m. Tuesday

County lawmakers voted 17-0 to override County Executive Joanie Mahoney's veto of a local law that would allow the county legislature chairman to consult outside counsel if there is a conflict between lawmakers and the county executive. 

Our original story

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is hoping the third time is a charm in a back and forth with county lawmakers over letting legislators get their own legal counsel.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney vetoed a law this week having to do with a law that outlines when legislators can turn to outside counsel for advice, instead of the county law department.

Mahoney said this move upends the way county government has done business for more than 50 years.

“This is very significant in the placement of a lot of power in county government in the hands of one individual,” said Mahoney.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As concert goers prepare to head to Onondaga County’s amphitheater for a third season, they’ll find it with a new name. County lawmakers Tuesday agreed to a $1.5 million naming deal, that creates the Saint Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview. 

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon said after the signs go up, both the county and Live Nation, the concert promotor for what’s been called ‘The Amp’, will each pull in about $700,000.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Onondaga County Legislature will vote Tuesday to fund a portion of the Loop the Lake trail around Onondaga Lake. At least one legislator said the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media File Photo

Onondaga County and concert promoter Live Nation have found a sponsor for the naming rights of the Lakeview Amphitheater. Elected officials said they want to make sure the county gets the best deal possible.

Legislator Brian May, chair of the county legislature’s Ways and Means Committee, said it is Live Nation that is negotiating the contract.

“It’s very important for us to allow them to get their ducks in a row, internally, before we start discussing the details,” May said.

May said a deal with the sponsor could be reached next month.

Greg Craybas

Onondaga County lawmakers have agreed to go ahead and spend $1.5 million building a bike trail extension on Murphy’s Island as part of the Loop the Lake trail project. Legislators have one request - that the county make accommodations for bald eagles that roost in the area.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County lawmakers passed a $1.3 billion budget Tuesday amidst an afternoon of political theater. The political posturing was evident in debate over issues ranging from funding for libraries, to detailing county cars.

A two-year-old political feud between Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and county comptroller Bob Antonacci simmered beneath the surface of a more than two hour budget debate Tuesday.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County lawmakers passed an ethics reform law during its meeting Tuesday. The new law stems from a simmering political back and forth between county officials, which has led to the law that will limit outside income for certain elected officials.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County has firmed up plans for an $8.5 million renovation of the downtown Syracuse War Memorial, and taxpayers will be on the hook for about half the cost.

The first of three public hearings on Onondaga County’s shared services proposal will be held this evening at the East Syracuse Minoa High School. It appears there could be some keepers among a list of 95 ways to share services among governments and school districts.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney turned over a report on shared services to the county Legislature this week, as required by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s shared services initiative. The ideas range from sharing things as divers as pesticide applicators to IT services.

vadikunk / via Flickr

The Onondaga County Legislature is in the process of hiring legal counsel to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors over the costs of the heroin and opioid epidemic. Some legislators say opioid manufacturers lied about the addictive nature of their products.

Although they do not have a number yet, Onondaga County Legislative Chairman Ryan McMahon said whatever amount they end up suing opioid manufacturers for will never be enough.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s government reform package looks like its going nowhere fast. Mahoney needs county lawmakers to start moving soon on an initiative that includes term limits for legislators and countywide office holders, and clarifies salaries and a ban on outside employment.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Republican majority of the Onondaga County Legislature is coming out against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan for government consolidation and the Consensus plan to merge the city of Syracuse and county governments. Some legislators said the governor and the Onondaga County executive are alone in their support for a merged government.

Consensus CNY

It’s been almost a year since the Consensus CNY creleased more than 50 recommendations for modernizing government in Onondaga County. After months of meetings and public forums early last year, the volunteer group has yet to release a final report, and one local legislative leader says whenever it finally comes out, central New Yorkers won’t see big changes anytime soon.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

One of the goals of the Onondaga County Legislature in 2017 will be updating of the county’s comprehensive plan that guides planning and economic development. Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon will be appointing a special committee that will look through all the comprehensive development plans that have been drafted by various groups and governments in recent years across central New York. McMahon says the idea is to review these plans and the options they present, then move on legislation to deal with future development.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

State Department of Transportation officials said it is possible a tunnel could be reconsidered as an option for the I-81 reconstruction project in Syracuse. But I-81 project director Mark Frechette made it very clear at a public meeting why the tunnel option was eliminated.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County almost wiggled out of a multi-million dollar budget deficit with no layoffs, because of an early retirement buyout plan.

But after all the numbers were counted, the county is still looking at a half a million dollar hole for next year. County Executive Joanie Mahoney is proposing cuts that include 12 layoffs to close that gap. That means lawmakers have to go back to the budget drawing board.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Legislature has approved a $1.3 billion budget for next year. The spending plan includes the lowest tax rate ever in Onondaga County, and lawmakers agreed on a water agency consolidation that will save money down the road. But lawsuits and early retirement offers hung over much of the budget decision.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

After the $76 million renovation of the former Hotel Syracuse, which is now the Mariott Syracuse Downtown, developer Ed Riley is planning on renovating another vacant Syracuse hotel.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The town of Geddes is floating the idea of imposing a $1 surcharge on every Lakeview Amphitheater ticket sold, to cover expenses created by visitors to the new music venue on Onondaga Lake.

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon says he does not dismiss the idea out of hand.

“I’m willing to have conversations.”

But McMahon quickly adds that the town would have to demonstrate how the amphitheater has created a financial burden. So far town officials have expressed concerns about costs related to visitors from a public safety angle.

Pages