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At-large council candidates share hopeful vision for Syracuse

Tom Magnarelli
Kyle Madden and Gary Morris are both running for councilor-at-large in Syracuse.

Two more Democratic candidates are running for two open councilor-at-large seats in the city of Syracuse. Although they come from different backgrounds, both share hopeful visions for the city’s future.

It's Kyle Madden’s first time running for office. A native of Rochester, Madden, 30, oversees Syracuse's public parking garages and ran Mayor Stephanie Miner’s reelection campaign.

"I think that the most important thing that we can do is attracting more young people to come to our city and getting people that are going to college here to stay here," Madden said. "We need to increase our tax base. It’s going to be a newer, younger council in the next term and I really think together we can come up with some great ideas with attracting new people downtown and attracting people who have come here for school to stay here. That’s really the best way to get ourselves out of this funk. ”

Gary Morris, 50, was born and raised on Syracuse’s south side. He teaches at Onondaga Community College, owns his own real estate company and ran unsuccessfully for councilor-at-large before.

“When you want to bring business and entrepreneurs here, you have to basically sell the city," Morris said. "This is where we have been lacking the capacity to do things. We have sent people there who, in my opinion, have not sold the city the way it needs to be sold. The only way to change our city is to change who we send to elected offices. We cannot keep sending the same people. We need to send people that have that passion, that enthusiasm, that new hope.”

Both said they want to attract businesses; Morris by promoting the city's good colleges and location, Madden by fast tracking permits and code enforcement.

“We’ve got to create an atmosphere that is open for business here in Syracuse,” Madden said. "Continue to attract young people here, create industry and we need more placemaking, we need more opportunities for people to be able to interact with each other, particularly in the winter time."

Morris said the city should consolidate some services.

“It’s ridiculous that a plow gets to a city line and lifts their plow,” Morris said.

Madden shared a similar view, but both are against a city-county government merger. They will face Democratic contenders Timothy Rudd and Councilor Khalid Bey for the party’s nomination for the two open seats. Democratic committee members in Syracuse will vote on the nominations in May.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.