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Dem co-chair salutes Cuomo but calls again for 'real' local solutions
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner, who has bluntly criticized her fellow Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for failing to do enough to help cash-poor localities, on Monday saluted his leadership.
“He has successfully advocated for a litany of issues in his time as New York’s chief executive and I appreciate those efforts,” said Miner, who again called for Cuomo to convene a conference “to discuss real solutions to the crisis facing the City of Syracuse and municipal governments across New York State.”
Public criticism of Cuomo by Democrats is unusual. The governor appointed her to co-chair of the state’s Democratic committee.
On Monday, Miner’s spokesman confirmed she was not planning to resign the post after the Daily News said the mayor likely was on her way out because of her attacks on Cuomo -- which include writing an opinion piece published in the New York Times on Feb. 13 that urged the legislature to reject the governor’s budget.
A Cuomo spokesman declined comment on Monday. In recent weeks, Cuomo has said he has no plans to replace Miner.
And that might prove awkward, given the emphasis by the governor -- a potential 2016 contender -- put on women’s issues this year.
In January, Cuomo proposed “The 10-point Women’s Equality Act,” a package of proposals that includes pay equity, ending workplace sexual harassment and protecting abortion rights.
Miner became the first woman mayor of any of the “Big 5” cities in New York in 2009, when she won with just over 50 percent of the vote in a three-way race.
Cuomo’s so-called pension-smoothing plan has been a focus of Miner’s blasts.
The governor says his plan would enable localities to now capture the savings that a sixth tier of pension benefits will create after a couple of decades, when it begins to affect retirees.
“The (governor’s) 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.”
Howard Glaser, director of state operations, last week brushed off the public clash, saying on an Albany radio show: “It’s just part of open debate, (we) welcome debate in this state; I’m sure it will continue.”