Schools reopening, quality of life issues dominate mayor’s briefing

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As we approach the one-year anniversary of when COVID changed our daily lives, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh says he’s had those “what if moments.” What if we did this differently or did that differently.

But the mayor says,” The best part–if you can say that—in recent weeks is going to that vaccination clinic and when you look into people’s eyes and you see relief.”

Wals was asked about his thoughts on the one year anniversary during a media briefing carried on the city’s Facebook page, Walsh also said the most important role for the city right now is to connect residents in hard-to-reach communities with opportunities to get the vaccine.

He also added that he was happy with the new guidance from the county health department reducing the spacing between students in classrooms as long as students wore masks and were separated by Plexiglas partitions. Walsh praised the city schools superintendent, the teachers union, and parents for how they have dealt with the pandemic, and the latest developments in trying to get more in-person learning.

He says there are still issues to be worked out, particularly in transportation, and easing the concerns of teachers and parents.

Walsh said efforts by the city’s Codes Enforcement Department have been aided this year by the  Bureau of Administrative Adjudication, which has tripled the number of tickets issued for code violations.

The city has also stepped a crackdown on what are called “illegal setouts,” where residents leave discarded items along the curb that do not get picked up as part of the city’s trash collection. Fines have been increased from $225-$325.

The city will also require utilities and others that need to tear up the pavement on a street to repave a much larger area than what was disturbed to provide a smoother finish for the street.


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