Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s $265 million budget is meant to position the city to recover from the pandemic, but a Councilor At Large is questioning some initiatives. Khalid Bey is also a candidate for mayor, and says the Mayor’s budget is more of a political maneuver than a governmental one.
He questions the way in which the issues are addressed.
“I won’t argue against what I think is the practical nature of this budget approach. What I do call into question is the timing and whether some of the things mentioned actually qualify as budget items.” said Bey.
He calls Walsh’s idea to spend money to get people to use city parks more often a program, rather than something to focus on in the budget. Bey also says the city taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for trash pick-up programs. He criticized the safe housing program “HOME” for the same reason.
“The High Occupancy Monitor Enforcement is essentially a joint effort across departments. It shouldn’t cost any additional money. All of these people are all on the city’s payroll. Why would we list it as a budget item? I don’t know. It sounds more like a program.” said Bey.
Bey says the city really should consider investing money to improve the housing stock in the city to generate more property tax revenue. He says this would also help to reduce property crimes, like those that happen at Skyline and other apartments in the city. City lawmakers will review the Mayor's budget over the next few weeks.