Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner doubled down on her criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pension-smoothing plan, writing an op-ed in the New York Times today that knocks the proposal for being of little help to struggling upstate cities.
Miner’s vocal opposition to Cuomo’s proposal is noteworthy not only because she’s the mayor of one of the state’s largest cities, but she’s also co-chair of the state Democratic Committee — a post for which Cuomo picked her.
Miner has railed against the Democratic governor’s plan to let local governments and school recoup costs from pension expenses in the coming years from expected savings decades from now. She has called it a risky move that wouldn’t solve cities’ mounting fiscal woes.
“The plan, put forward last month, would not increase state aid to cities or do much to reform tax, pension or labor laws. Instead, it would let municipalities push payment of today’s ballooning pension costs into the future, in what amounts to an accounting gimmick,” she said in the op-ed.
She said the state and the governor haven’t done enough to solve the fiscal troubles of municipalities. Other mayors, including Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, said they support Cuomo’s pension proposal, which would need legislative approval and approval from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
“We mayors have proposals on labor arbitration, pension rules, budget gimmicks and taxes. What we don’t have, yet, is the leadership to arrive at a consensus on what will work. For that we need the governor,” Miner wrote.
Cuomo has brushed aside Miner’s criticism, saying they have a right to disagree.