What Syracuse's mayoral candidates are saying about pitching CNY to Amazon

SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) - Some candidates for mayor of Syracuse are getting phone calls asking for their position on Centerstate CEO's pitch to Amazon that Central New York should be home to its next headquarters.

Amazon is looking for a place to build its $5 billion facility that brings 5,000 jobs.

We asked the four candidates what their opinion is:

Juanita Perez Williams (Democrat):

"It's a great opportunity. This is what we need in Syracuse. This is what we need in our region, to put people to work, to ensure we can sustain this city. and do it with opportunities like Amazon. I support Centerstate. I'll stand side by side with them."

Laura Lavine (Republican):

"There's certain things about Central New York that would be attractive I would guess to Amazon. But I don't think we can meet the criteria that Amazon is looking to have met. Certainly, go for it, but I'm just sure. I mean I think we have some other issues closer to home that I'd like to see us pay more attention to."

Ben Walsh (Independent):

"I think we have a great story to tell. We have some infrastructure already, but we're also doing innovative new things. You look at the drone air corridor that we're developing between Utica and Syracuse and given the way that technology is going and Amazon is going. That's going to be really attractive to them. I think we have to be realistic that it's a long shot, but we need to take some risks if we want to move our community forward and this seems to be one worth taking."

Howie Hawkins (Green):

"We've got to take care of our social climate and our infrastructure before a company like Amazon is going to loot at us seriously. They did say that between Central New York and the Utica/Rome area, we have low property values, which means its inexpensive to live here, which is a selling point. We have a few selling points. but if you look at the checklist Amazon offered, we just don't qualify."


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