It's Official: McMahon Will Replace Mahoney as Onon County Exec, Quickly Voted by Peers

Oct 2, 2018

Ryan McMahon received a standing ovation from members of both parties after the approval of his appointment to fill the eventual vacancy for County Executive.
Credit Scott Willis/WAER News

A change in leadership at the top of Onondaga County government took little more than a week – with scant opposition.  The resignation of Joanie Mahoney as County Executive paved the way for the unchallenged appointment of successor Ryan McMahon. 


As expected, Joanie Mahoney made her resignation official with a letter Tuesday morning, stepping away from the last 14 months of her third term.  It was just about two hours later when Ryan McMahon was voted in as her replacement by County lawmakers.  McMahon doesn’t have any plans to change personnel, but is ready to tackle some issues

“We’re going to drive an aggressive community discussion on infrastructure.  We’re going to get a sales tax deal done, an extension of that.  We’re going to look at economic development and figuring out the best model that makes sense for us as a region. And I think you’re going to see unprecedented collaboration with the county, the city, the towns and villages.”

Three democrats joined the 12 republicans in supporting McMahon’s appointment … which he says is telling.

McMahon spoke of bipartisanship and working with the City of Syracuse, as well as Towns and Villages to get things done.
Credit Scott Willis/WAER News

“I’ve worked very hard to build those relationships and make sure the minority party is treated with respect, and make sure their districts are treated with respect, which is something that you don’t see in state government.  I think it sends a great message to the community at large that locally here in Onondaga County, we’re already different.  We work together, and we don’t see enough of that at the state level and nationals level.” 

Legislator Chris Ryan voted against the move … mostly looking forward.

“Being he voice to represent the democratic candidate next year, whoever that democratic candidate might be.”

Ryan adds it’s not likely to be him. 

McMahon will have to run for the post in 2019…and says the next year is a great opportunity to show voters what he can do. 

“During elections you hear a lot of talk from politicians.  I think the fact that the voters will be able to look at what we’ve accomplished and see if it’s worthy of a four-year term.  So I think that’s an advantage for sure.  And I think it’s one that hopefully we’ll make the most of.”

McMahon admits he didn’t see this all coming with Mahoney announcing her intentions just over a week ago.  Though he says he knew she was highly recruited for positions.  He wasted no time, announcing the same day his desire to succeed her … and no challengers for the appointment came forward amid almost instant support from the legislators that would appoint someone to fill the vacancy.   In her resignation letter, Mahoney called it an honor and privilege to serve … and said she’s leaving with a strong financial base, good infrastructure, a revitalized downtown and growing tourism.  She’s slated to take over an administration post at SUNY E-S-F and work with SUNY Upstate’s administration in an advisory role.