Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Micron likely to be a focus of McMahon's upcoming State of the County

A man stands at a wooden podium looking to the left.
Scott Willis
County Executive Ryan McMahon makes remarks in the legislature's chambers.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will deliver his State of the County address Wednesday evening, and residents can expect to hear about past accomplishments and plans for the future.

There is also little doubt that much of the speech will likely revolve around Micron’s historic investment and how it might influence the county’s priorities. That might include his strategy to address a housing shortage and affordability challenges. For example, he unveiled a plan called OCHIP last month, which provides $10 million to fill the price gap between building a house and what it will sell for.

“We need these units more than ever. It's an all the above housing strategy," McMahon said. "We need more affordable housing. We need more mixed income housing, mixed use housing, senior housing market rate, and single family housing. Because we're a growing community.”

A lot has happened since McMahon delivered his speech last spring. The Micron announcement was still six months away, and lawmakers were still debating the controversial $85 million aquarium. They ultimately approved it that summer.

With those successes behind him, not to mention a robust budget surplus, it would appear the political winds would be in McMahon’s favor as he runs for reelection.

Not everyone has been pleased with his approach to governing and strong alliance with the Republican majority in the Onondaga County Legislature. Democratic Legislator Mary Kuhn questioned whether the two branches are operating independently during last month’s session where lawmakers narrowly approved the closure of the Jamesville prison.

“The Legislature is supposed to be a separate branch of government," Kuhn said. "It really has felt like the county executive and his team have pushed this particular motion, and we’re supposed to be evaluating it, listening to the public and getting more information. “

Kuhn, her fellow democratic lawmakers, and the sheriff criticized what they felt was McMahon rushing approval of the jail consolidation plan. McMahon delivers his speech Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Onondaga Community College.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at