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GOP Syracuse Mayoral Candidate Burman pledges focus on public safety, infrastructure

Payne Horning
Republican Janet Burman is running for mayor of Syracuse.

Janet Burman, Republican candidate for mayor of Syracuse, officially kicked off her campaign Wednesday by pledging that her first action in office would be to roll back some of the cuts that the Syracuse Common Council and Mayor Ben Walsh have made to police and fire budgets. Standing approximately halfway between the City Police Department and Syracuse Fire Station One, Burman said even though the city is facing a budget crisis brought on by the pandemic, recent reductions in public safety funding were disproportionate.

"It showed a mentality more of defunding more than coming up with the appropriate cuts in a time of financial crisis," Burman said. "We cannot afford to allow continuation of this dangerous reversal toward greater lawlessness in our community."

Burman also criticized what she called Walsh's "mistaken priorities" over the last year, specifically the decision to remove the Christopher Columbus statue from Columbus Circle.

"In the middle of a major health crisis, he decides to take on a decision of whether we want to keep a monument," She said. "It acted to do nothing but divide our city when we need to unite our city."

Burman pledged to help the city recover from the pandemic by using incoming federal dollars to rebuild the city's water mains and by redirecting city resources reserved for attracting new business to assist those that are already here.

"The quickest way to get people employed is at existing businesses, so these businesses must be given priority in our government," Burman said. 

Burman, who was endorsed by the Syracuse GOP Committee, faces competition for the Republican designation from challenger Thomas Babilon, a former Syracuse city attorney. Walsh is running for a second term as an independent and two common councilors, Khalid Bey and Michael Greene, are running for the Democratic Party ticket.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.