Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo hasn’t talked to the co-chair of the Democratic Party in months, he said Wednesday as he tried to downplay any rift with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Cuomo, at a news conference in Oswego said he talks with mayors and county executives around New York daily. But when asked when he talked with the mayor of the state’s fifth largest city, Cuomo said: “Mayor Miner, I spoke to several months ago. I don’t remember the exact date.”
Asked about his relationship with Miner, the governor replied: “I’m fine.”
Cuomo installed Miner as co-leader of the state party a year ago. It was surprising then that the Syracuse mayor emerged as the most vocal critic of the Democratic governor’s plan to lower pension costs now in exchange for higher payments in the future. Miner penned a New York Times opinion piece that the plan was a gimmick that merely pushed off fiscal problems for another day.
“I disagree and so does the state Legislature that just passed it,” Cuomo said when asked Wednesday about Miner’s criticism.
The Legislature included the plan, dubbed “pension smoothing,” in the just-completed 2013-14 budget after making significant alterations.