Ryan McMahon

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The Onondaga County Democratic Committee selected Tony Malavenda as its candidate to run for county executive this year. Malavenda is a businessman, born and raised in central New York. 

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The Onondaga County Legislature is asking New York State to approve a school for Onondaga County, focused on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM). It would be a partnership between the county, the state, the city of Syracuse, the city school district and OCM Boces.

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Next week, the Onondaga County Legislature will vote on requesting Amazon to consider a location in the town of Clay for its new headquarters, after the company pulled out of its project in Long Island City. But a meeting took a political turn as legislators debated the merits of such a request.

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Poverty, infrastructure and economic development was the agenda Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon laid out during his first State of the County address Tuesday night. McMahon emphasized his accomplishments so far, like signing a new sales tax agreement with the city of Syracuse, and outlined his vision for the future.

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Onondaga County wants to get rid of a rule that lets certain sheriff’s deputies get the bulk of overtime at the Onondaga County Justice Center.

Officials stress the guards at the jail aren’t doing anything wrong. But some can double or triple their pay by signing up for overtime. The way they do that is through a rule County Executive Ryan McMahon called archaic.

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As Democrats in Onondaga County put together their petitions to collect signatures for candidates, the party still has yet to find a designated challenger to Republican County Executive Ryan McMahon. He was appointed by the legislature last year following former County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s departure. 

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The dispute between the state and local governments over revenue sharing funds called Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) continues. Local governments aren’t satisfied with the latest proposed compromise from the Cuomo administration.

Local governments are pleased that the governor’s office realizes how much local governments rely on AIM funding.

"What we’re not pleased about is the way it is proposed to be restored. The proposal would basically take from our county taxpayers right pocket, instead of their left pocket," said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

A voting reform package approved in Albany this year will have some costs to local governments. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is among those calling on the state to fully fund the early voting portion of the package.

Early voting this year will allow voters to cast ballots in person 10 days before an election. McMahon said that is going to mean more expenses for the counties that run the Board of Elections.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Panhandlers in central New York will soon have a chance at a job as a day laborer, instead of asking drivers for spare change. In My Father’s Kitchen won the contract to run the Hire Ground program that is expected to begin this spring.

WRVO Public Media

Onondaga County has a new executive. Ryan McMahon took over the position in November, when former county executive Joanie Mahoney left office for a new job at SUNY ESF. McMahon comes to the position with experience at both the county and city levels, has a made a reputation for himself as a high energy deal maker. This week, Grant Reeher talks with McMahon about the assets and challenges that he's inherited, his leadership style, and what has most surprised the veteran lawmaker. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse have avoided the acrimony that’s happened in the past, when it comes to deciding how to split the sales tax revenue that is generated in the county. Leaders have agreed to extend the current agreement another ten years.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County has worked out a deal to provide increased funding to villages over the next decade. 

This enhanced village improvement program will allocate millions of dollars to the 15 village governments within Onondaga County, based on their size.

The first funds would be available in 2020.

Fayetteville Mayor Mark Olson said this is important at a time when village budgets are strapped, especially when it comes to paying for infrastructure improvements.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse and Onondaga County are joining forces to get some chronically homeless individuals off the streets and into a job. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon has been on the job for just over a month now. He’s in the midst of a series of town hall meetings meant to introduce himself, and his governing style, to the community.

McMahon was appointed to the job earlier this fall when longtime County Executive Joanie Mahoney left to take a job with SUNY ESF in Syracuse. Since then, he’s been a familiar sight at events across the county, something indicative of what he calls his aggressive style.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

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.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

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. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

As negotiations continue between Onondaga County and the New York Mets to keep the region’s minor league baseball team, the Syracuse Chiefs, in central New York, the county is offering a multimillion dollar package to keep the Mets in Syracuse for decades.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

It has been a history making week in Onondaga County. County Executive Joanie Mahoney officially tendered her resignation Tuesday, in order to take a job as CEO of SUNY ESF, as well as an advisory role with Upstate Medical University. It was then up to the county legislature to appoint her replacement.

Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon had his votes in a row just hours after Mahoney unexpectedly announced that she was resigning last week. On Tuesday, lawmakers followed through by appointing him Onondaga County’s fourth county executive.

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Clean up of a piece of blighted property in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor should clear the way for more development in a neighborhood that’s seen a lot of growth recently. 

For years, the high-profile plot of land along Onondaga Lake owned by Roth Steel was defined by overgrown vegetation and junked cars. But after the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency bought the parcel three years ago, work began to clean it up. Dozens of drums of liquid waste were removed, along with 2,500 tons of the shattered bits of junk cars. 

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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 lawmakers are considering a local law that would ban “aggressive soliciting” from panhandlers on the streets and sidewalks of central New York. 

Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon has been circling around this issue since he was a common councilor in the city of Syracuse more than a decade ago. He said the idea is to focus not simply on any panhandler, panhandling is protected by the First Amendment, but what he calls aggressive actions.

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The Onondaga County Legislature will vote on a resolution at their next session, that would promote awareness and acceptance of individuals with special needs. More than 100 communities have embraced the "Think Differently" initiative since it was launched by Republican gubernatorial candidate and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro in 2015.

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Onondaga County officials said they are willing to find an operator and developer for the new inland port. This comes after the state announced a $19 million investment to CSX Railways for the improvements to a DeWitt rail yard.

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon said if CSX does not strike a private agreement, he wants the county’s industrial development agency to keep the momentum moving on the project.

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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. 

Our original story

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.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

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.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As concert goers prepare to head to Onondaga County’s amphitheater for a third season, they’ll find it with a new name. County lawmakers Tuesday agreed to a $1.5 million naming deal, that creates the Saint Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview. 

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon said after the signs go up, both the county and Live Nation, the concert promotor for what’s been called ‘The Amp’, will each pull in about $700,000.

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The Onondaga County Legislature will vote Tuesday to fund a portion of the Loop the Lake trail around Onondaga Lake. At least one legislator said the money would be better spent elsewhere.

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Onondaga County and concert promoter Live Nation have found a sponsor for the naming rights of the Lakeview Amphitheater. Elected officials said they want to make sure the county gets the best deal possible.

Legislator Brian May, chair of the county legislature’s Ways and Means Committee, said it is Live Nation that is negotiating the contract.

“It’s very important for us to allow them to get their ducks in a row, internally, before we start discussing the details,” May said.

May said a deal with the sponsor could be reached next month.

Greg Craybas

Onondaga County lawmakers have agreed to go ahead and spend $1.5 million building a bike trail extension on Murphy’s Island as part of the Loop the Lake trail project. Legislators have one request - that the county make accommodations for bald eagles that roost in the area.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

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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