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Public safety remains a top priority for Janet Burman going into Election Day

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News (file photo)

There’s a three-way race for mayor of Syracuse this year. Incumbent mayor Ben Walsh is again running as an independent candidate. Challenging him are Democrat Khalid Bey, and Republican Janet Burman.

When Burman launched her campaign to be the next mayor of Syracuse, she had one priority in mind: public safety. As the mayoral race has progressed, she said everyone’s finally getting on board.

“I've received nothing but validation from voters and, and more recently from my opponents that yes, this is in fact, the most important thing in Syracuse now,” said Burman.

She’s built a platform on the promise to transform the Syracuse Police Department into what she refers to as a community policing approach.

“I would assign police officers on an ongoing and consistent basis to the same neighborhoods so that they have the opportunity to get to know people in the community,” Burman said.

Her Democratic opponent, Khalid Bey, has pitched a similar policing model while Independent incumbent mayor, Ben Walsh, wants to strengthen the police department’s existing approach.

Another area where Burman has disagreed with Walsh is how to spend the $123 million in federal stimulus funds the city received. While Walsh has chosen to spread the wealth across four sectors of investment, Burman wants to invest in two main things.

“I would have set aside about $20 million for police and fire both equipment and technology,” she said.

She’d also like to replace the entire city water and sewer system if the federal infrastructure bill doesn’t cover it.

“I dread the thought of waking up someday and finding out about a Flint, Michigan-type problem with our water system,” she said.

Burman is a Republican running in a heavily Democratic city, but when asked if she’s worried about getting enough votes, she said she knows her campaign appeals to people from all political parties.

“They are often pleasantly surprised that we share the same goals for our community and appreciate the fact that I'm looking to achieve those goals in the most cost-effective way possible,” said Burman.

Voters can go to select early voting sites now through October 31 and all polling sites are open on election day, November 2.

Madison Ruffo received a Master’s Degree from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in audio and health/science reporting. Madison has extensively covered the environment, local politics, public health, and business. When she’s not reporting, you can find Madison reading, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.