Syracuse, NY, December 17, 2017 — Frank Cetera, the Green Party candidate for citywide Syracuse Councilor At-Large, and Green Party Onondaga County Committee Member, released a statement detailing his petition to Common Council for an open and equal process in the consideration of candidates to fill the open At-Large seat to be vacated by President-Elect Helen Hudson. The petition also requested endorsement by any sitting councilor for Cetera’s inclusion on the Monday December 18 Regular Meeting agenda.
Cetera submitted a formal written petition to City Clerk John Copanas on Friday December 15, which was forwarded to all of the sitting Council members. Cetera stated “The 2017 Syracuse elections showed that the residents of Syracuse are insisting upon real change. We, the undersigned, assert that this expectation should also extend to the appointment of vacant Common Council seats. This city needs a fully apparent, open, and transparent process that is published and followed for these seats.”
This process, Cetera suggests, could be modeled on the one implemented this year in Seattle, Washington when a City Council seat was vacated by the General Election. The process would entail:
CITY CLERK TRANSMITS LIST OF APPLICANTS: The City Clerk will provide to each Council member a notebook that includes all the applications received by the December 29th deadline. The City Clerk will also post all applications on their website, giving the public opportunity to review the applications and submit comments via email, postal mail, or hand delivered to City Hall.
SPECIAL FULL COUNCIL MEETING: Applicants for the vacant Council seat may address the Council and the public, to be followed by a public comment period for the community.
COMMUNITY FORUM: This process may be facilitated by interested Council members and is intended to be led by community groups. The purpose is to allow community members to meet and ask questions of the applicants. Council expects applicants to attend the forum and Special Full Council Meeting
CITY COUNCIL EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS QUALIFICATIONS: As permitted by law, the Council will meet in executive session to discuss the qualifications of candidates.
In addition, Cetera released a public petition on Change.org, with an infographic medium (see https://franklen9807.wixsite.com/syracusedemocracy), which as of Sunday December 16 at 8:30 PM, had garnered 108 signatures over the weekend. Cetera has also presented his petition campaign to Uplift Syracuse which showed positive response and which will vote on formally supporting it this Wednesday at 6 pm. See https://www.change.org/p/syracuse-common-council-act-on-an-open-and-transparent-council-appointment-process-for-rewriting-transparency-in-syracuse
Cetera clarifies that his intention is “not to change the City Charter at this time, or prevent the Common Council from making the appointment as law dictates, but to go above and beyond the current process which is not specifically outlined in the Charter and to create a full civic engagement process for residents.”
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