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Politics & Government

Syracuse Lawmakers Approve Additional Police Patrols at Skyline Apartments, Paid by Property Owner

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Chris Bolt/WAER News
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Syracuse Police would provide a special patrol to the Skyline Apartments with the property owner footing the bill, under an agreement approved by the Common Council Monday.  Skyline is the site of a suspected murder of a 93-year-old woman earlier this month, as well as numerous police calls including a stabbing Monday morning.  Councilor Joe Carni says the measure holds the property owners responsible for beefing up safety.

“All costs including fringe (benefits) are being fully reimbursed by Green National (LLC).  It’s important that we do this.  We need that strong presence in there.  And I would like that property owner to not just pay that overtime but also the fringe benefits.  I’m having a hard time with this because it’s really something that’s been a frustration for me for my entire time on the council.”

The Council’s concerns stem not only from the recent murder investigation there, but repeated code violations over living conditions and safety.  The agreement calls for a special detail of police in the building from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week.  The Manager ‘Green National’ approved a memorandum of understanding, but still has to sign this final agreement.  Councilor Ronnie White Junior voted in favor of the measure, but in no way considers this a solution for this or other problem housing structures.

“I think significant questions remain and we need to hear testimony from administration officials and others to find out how his was allowed to happen, why it was allowed to go on so long, and what the administration is going to do to ensure the situations like this do not arise again.  And also we need to know what’s going on with similar properties all over the city.” 

The city can revisit the Skyline arrangement after six months to see if it’s making things safer at Skyline.  Syracuse-dot-com reports police were called to the building more than 500 times in the previous six months. 

COUNCIL APPROVES REQUEST FOR FUNDS TO SUPPORT DOWNTOWN MURAL PROJECT

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Credit Provided photo by Frank Malfitano
Downtown Mural Project founder Frank Malfitano has a design and a location for the fist mural planned for the project. 

In other council news, the group unanimously approved a measure asking Mayor Walsh to dedicate $75,000 to the Downtown Mural Project.  Khalid Bey sees more than just aesthetic value in the first mural, which features basketball pioneers Early Lloyd, Breanna Stewart, Dolph Schayes and Manny Breland.

“I think this kind of project has value long germ.  It certainly has aesthetic and economic value.  And we just hope that the administration sees the value in this kind of project. … And really what I think is awesome about the celebration of Manny Breland and his accomplishments, (he’s) one of our own.”

Breland broke the color barrier for Syracuse University basketball and went on to be the city’s first African American principal.  The mural, championed by Frank Malfitano, features prominent basketball players that also spoke out for racial, socail and gender justice.  The council measure formally asks the Mayor to back the project.