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A Campbell Debate: Should a metropolitan government be created for Onondaga County?

The principal recommendation of the final report of the Consensus Commission on Local Government Modernization is to establish a new municipal form of government for Onondaga County, with a single executive and a 33-seat legislature. While public forums and town hall meetings have been held to discuss the report, and the proposal has been both criticized and defended in the media, missing is a direct exchange between opposing views, with opportunities for challenge and rebuttal. Moderated by Campbell Institute Director and Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher, this debate will provide that exchange.

This is an Oxford-style debate where participants argue in favor or against a proposition. The proposition for this debate: This House Supports Establishing a Metropolitan Form of  Government for Onondaga County.

Arguing in favor of the proposition are William Byrne, Chairman of the Board of Byrne Dairy, and Jim Walsh, Government Affairs Counselor at K&L Gates LLP and former member of Congress from central NY. 

Arguing against the proposition are Bob Antonacci, Onondaga County Comptroller, and Stephanie Miner, Mayor of Syracuse.

Full video of the debate is below, courtesy of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. 


Grant Reeher is Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute and a professor of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He is also creator, host and program director of “The Campbell Conversations” on WRVO, a weekly regional public affairs program featuring extended in-depth interviews with regional and national writers, politicians, activists, public officials, and business professionals.