A decrease in property taxes and a very slight increase in sewer fees are a prominent part of Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon’s proposed 2020 budget. But the bigger story of this budget may be how the county’s solid financial footing is allowing the McMahon administration to think about tackling some tougher issues.
This is McMahon’s first budget since being appointed to the job last fall after former County Executive Joanie Mahoney resigned. And it reflects this new administration’s priorities.
"Oh, this is ours. This budget and all the agenda and objectives in it align perfectly with our PIE platform," said McMahon.
That is an emphasis on programs that deal with poverty, modernizing infrastructure and creating new economic development opportunities. Among the new initiatives in this $1.336 billion spending plan are an investment in children, by way of $1.5 million for pre-school programs to get kids kindergarten ready. The Sycamore House, which will offer much needed programs for foster care kids, more spending on sewers and a newly created office of inclusion and diversity to get more minorities in county jobs.
McMahon said none of those things would be possible without a balanced budget that won’t need to use any savings.
“With the success we’re having in our local economy now, this allows us to pinpoint areas where we can drive further progress on the human services side and on the infrastructure side. And that’s where this budget is really targeted," he said.
Onondaga county lawmakers begin reviewing the budget this week. A final vote is scheduled for October 8.