The City of Syracuse is asking the State for a Financial Restructuring Board Review.
The program is offered to municipalities under financial stress but falls short of a full financial control board.
Syracuse Councilor At-Large and Finance Committee Chair, Tim Rudd, says, “Its always about making decision that will make the finances balance, either we can make them or the State would have to make them in a really dire situation and I don’t think anybody wants that to happen.”
Rudd says its a proactive step by the City with the Board making recommendations rather than using stronger, emergency control over various aspects of the City’s finances.
The City can either accept or reject all or any one of the ideas for improving functions within the City operations.
He says the recommendations usually come with money to help implement them.
Syracuse has even offered some of its own suggestions for the board to consider, like with improvements to certain business practices.
“When you go to the police department they do overtime slips that are basically different colored sheets of paper for what type of overtime they’re getting, and you go to DPW and they have a Flinstone-esque time card they put into a machine that stamps it and there’s different systems in different places.” Rudd says.
It’ll also give them a chance to have a full inventory of all the properties that belong to the City, like City Hall Commons which is housed in very valuable real estate in Downtown Syracuse.
Rudd says, “We don’t really need the City to be in the most valuable office space or residential space in town. We could be located just outside downtown and have the downtown development spill over and be a factor that makes it more stable in a neighborhood for other private capital to follow and invest.”
He says they should hear soon whether they’ll be accepted for the review and the hope is they’ll have recommendations by the end of summer or early fall to start working on.