Joanie Mahoney

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Joanie Mahoney stepped down as Onondaga County Executive at the beginning of November, after holding the position for the last 11 years. She stepped down to take on a new position as chief operating officer at SUNY ESF, and will also serve in an advisory role at SUNY Upstate Medical University. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Mahoney about her time as county executive, and her future plans. 

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Ryan McMahon is the new Onondaga County executive. He took over the position from Joanie Mahoney. The 38-year-old Republican and father of three, who grew up in the city of Syracuse, will get the chance to show the public what his administration looks like before voters choose a candidate for the office next year. 

An early test for McMahon came in 2003. After working at an internship in Albany for an assemblyman, McMahon realized he wanted to run for office. The first time he did, in a race for a seat on the Syracuse Common Council, he lost.

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Joanie Mahoney begins her new job at SUNY ESF and Upstate Medical University in Syracuse this month, and she expects a smooth transition into a job that was created for her.

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After 11 years, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney leaves office this week to start a new phase of her career with SUNY ESF and SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. 

In January 2008, Mahoney became only the 3rd county executive in Onondaga County history, and she had a plan for staying there.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

The New York Mets will stay in Syracuse for the next 25 years, thanks to a deal that will invest $25 million into Onondaga County’s NBT Bank baseball stadium. The deal includes a name change from the Syracuse Chiefs to the Syracuse Mets. 

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Onondaga County lawmakers approved a $1.3 billion budget Tuesday that raises sewer rates, keeps the tax rate pretty much the same, and does it without taking anything out of the county’s savings account. 

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SUNY Upstate Medical University President Danielle Laraque-Arena will step down from her position at the end of the current semester in December, according to a news release from the State University of New York. 

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After serving eleven years as the Onondaga County Executive, Joanie Mahoney is stepping down for a job as the chief operating officer at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. County legislature chairman Ryan McMahon is seeking to fill out the remainder of her term.

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Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney released her proposed budget for 2019. Mahoney highlighted a positive outlook for the county. She said her guess is it will be a pretty smooth budget process.

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As central New York politicians met with Gov. Cuomo and his staff this week for the opening day of the New York State Fair, the topic of a major project that looms over central New York kept coming up.  

It’s one of the biggest public works projects to take place in central New York in a generation. How to deal with an aging section of Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse that ferries thousands of vehicles through upstate New York every day. 

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Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney requested that money set aside to get the county’s amphitheater going, be returned to the legislature because it is no longer needed. But the county comptroller said no money would actually be returned to the general fund.

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Updated at 8 p.m. Tuesday

County lawmakers voted 17-0 to override County Executive Joanie Mahoney's veto of a local law that would allow the county legislature chairman to consult outside counsel if there is a conflict between lawmakers and the county executive. 

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Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is hoping the third time is a charm in a back and forth with county lawmakers over letting legislators get their own legal counsel.

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Sales tax receipts are up in Onondaga County. Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said it shows there has been a return on the investment in things like the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview.

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Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney vetoed a law this week having to do with a law that outlines when legislators can turn to outside counsel for advice, instead of the county law department.

Mahoney said this move upends the way county government has done business for more than 50 years.

“This is very significant in the placement of a lot of power in county government in the hands of one individual,” said Mahoney.

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Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney has started publicly making her case over how she would like to distribute the sales tax revenue collected in the county.

Mahoney said she is worried about potential anti-city sentiment ruling the day, in negotiations that create a formula to share sales tax revenue between the county and local governments. So, she turned a portion of this year’s State of the County speech into a primer about ways the county helps town and village governments.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney have voiced that collaboration between city and county governments is close at hand.

After being in office just over a month, Walsh said cooperation between governments is one of the key elements of his Syracuse Rising agenda.  In his state of the city speech, he said work has already started finding ways the city can collaborate with Onondaga County.

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Onondaga County filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against pharmaceutical companies and others for their part in the continuing opioid crisis.

The county is accusing drug companies and distributors of painkillers made from opioids of downplaying the risks of those kinds of drugs that have fueled a nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction. Onondaga County in particular has been hit hard by the epidemic, with the number of opioid-related deaths tripling since 2012. 

County Executive Joanie Mahoney says the county bears a cost from this suffering on a couple of fronts.

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In January, Syracuse Mayor-elect Ben Walsh will become the first mayor of Syracuse not affiliated with any political party. When it comes to governing, that lack of a party label shouldn’t make it more difficult for Walsh to navigate City Hall.

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Over the next year, the city of Syracuse will be sharing its research department to help find grants for the town of Cicero. The agreement started differently than other shared service deals in Onondaga County.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said she and Cicero Supervisor Mark Venesky bonded over a mutual love of Ford Mustangs over the summer.

“And through the process of getting to know each other, we talked about the opportunity that our grant writing expertise here in the city of Syracuse would have for the town of Cicero,” Miner said.

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Democrats in Onondaga County are assessing their losses in this year's election. They flipped only one seat in the Onondaga County Legislature, and were beaten by an independent candidate in the Syracuse mayoral race. But issues remain for the Onondaga County Republican Party as well, largely because of feuds between some of its leaders.

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A proposition on Tuesday’s ballot for Onondaga County voters would transfer control of the Jamesville Correctional Facility from the county executive to the sheriff’s department. The move is meant to save money and was approved by the Onondaga County Legislature.  

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While the race for Syracuse mayor is getting much of the attention in central New York this election season, politicians say don’t ignore the contests for the Onondaga County Legislature. Candidates aligned with three distinct political factions are all jockeying for votes, and results could ultimately have an impact on the fiscal future of the city of Syracuse.

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Onondaga County lawmakers passed a $1.3 billion budget Tuesday amidst an afternoon of political theater. The political posturing was evident in debate over issues ranging from funding for libraries, to detailing county cars.

A two-year-old political feud between Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and county comptroller Bob Antonacci simmered beneath the surface of a more than two hour budget debate Tuesday.

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The Onondaga County shared services committee approved a county-wide shared services plan Wednesday, and local governments could be in line for $5 million in savings, plus a $5 million match from the state. 

The just over two month timeline to get something done that was required by the New York forced towns, villages, school districts and city of Syracuse to spend a lot of time communicating this summer. 

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Onondaga County lawmakers passed an ethics reform law during its meeting Tuesday. The new law stems from a simmering political back and forth between county officials, which has led to the law that will limit outside income for certain elected officials.

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Onondaga County lawmakers are looking at a trio of packages targeting ethics reform. Two spring out of an ethics proposal put forth by County Executive Joanie Mahoney in June and a third targets the Mahoney administration. At the root of this flurry of reforms is a long simmering feud between the Mahoney administration and County Comptroller Bob Antonacci.

District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, who sits on the county’s ethics board, says Antonacci’s outside income officiating basketball games and doing bookwork for personal clients creates ethics questions.

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Can local governments in New York better share the services they provide in order to improve quality and to save taxpayer dollars? A provision in this year's state budget calls for counties to develop proposals for greater sharing of services. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, about the process of sharing services across municipalities.

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There was a light turnout last night for the first public hearing regarding Onondaga County’s shared services proposal.

The first of three public hearings on Onondaga County’s shared services proposal will be held this evening at the East Syracuse Minoa High School. It appears there could be some keepers among a list of 95 ways to share services among governments and school districts.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney turned over a report on shared services to the county Legislature this week, as required by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s shared services initiative. The ideas range from sharing things as divers as pesticide applicators to IT services.

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The first draft of Onondaga County’s shared services plan calls for creation of a BOCES-like entity intended to help local governments efforts to become more efficient.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney says it was learning the way BOCES facilitates sharing services among local school districts that inspired the proposed Greater Syracuse Shared Services Consortium.

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