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Syracuse Common Council still in computer limbo

Luke H. Gordon

Some Syracuse Common Councilors still have no access to the city’s computers. The legislative body begins a new year with some new members, and their computer access still in the hands of the courts.

Common Councilors filed a second lawsuit asking the city to turn on computers in early December, and it has languished there since.

Common Council President Van Robinson says he is doubtful a local judge wants to rule on the case, which asks that computer access be restored to councilors, their staff and the city clerk’s office. 

“So we’re in limbo and nothing has been resolved yet,” said Robinson.

Their email was shut off last July, after most lawmakers refused to sign a new computer use policy, which would have given Mayor Stephanie Miner’s administration the ability to discipline members of the city clerk and council staff. Councilors claim that is a case of executive overreach.

Robinson says the current council, which includes three new members, is willing to negotiate with the Mayor’s office on the issue, adding there is still the possibility that council could become more independent when it comes to technology.

"There is talk of getting our own server, and getting our own hardware, but you still have to get access to information contained on the city’s computers to make us as effective as we can be as councilors. So that has to be resolved,” said Robinson.

Miner has long said this issue is a waste of time and money.


Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.