These are Mayor Miner’s Remarks from the Downtown Committee of Syracuse annual meeting, June 22, 2017.
Good afternoon everyone.
I want to tell you that even if I didn’t know for sure that I was coming to a group of free market capitalists when I all saw you arrive within 30 seconds of each other and lined up to the elevator, I knew I was with a group of people who understood first hand that time is money. So I want to recognize the fact that all of you, clearly have places to go and people to see and things to do. I want to thank the Downtown Committee for all of the work that they have done throughout my tenure and that will, predates my tenure and of course postdates my tenure. We have seen a remarkable dynamism in downtown since 2010. And of course, as any politician, I would like to take full credit for that, but I’m not running for reelection, as all of you know, so I will be a little bit more honest in my characterizations. The dynamism comes from a combination of things: partnerships, most importantly; but also a relentless focus on making sure that we have the right priorities, and that we fund those priorities. In a market place like we live in, with 140 characters and a vibrant democracy, it is easy to get distracted, but with the partnerships that we have made with the Downtown Committee, and with all of you, we were able to maintain our focus on giving downtown the support that it needed, and noting that with that goal we would see downtown become its own energy.
And standing in this room today in front of these gorgeous windows looking out, it’s hard to believe that there was ever a time when we didn’t have a revitalized Hotel Syracuse and a grand ballroom filled with people who interested in downtown. But we didn’t, and we now have a downtown that is seeing record numbers of occupants, people walking dogs, people complaining about people not picking up after dogs, lots of residences, lots of discussions about mixed use. But this group, because of visionaries, creative-types, and entrepreneurs, and people who were willing to network with other people, and focus on these goals. Since coming into office as Mayor in 2010, it has been my most distinct privilege to work with some of the best and brightest people in government, and you have seen their hard work first hand in this building and in the revitalization of downtown. We wanted to renew the promise of Syracuse and to create a thriving 21st century city, and it has not always been easy, and it was not something that we could accomplish overnight, and it was certainly not something that we couldn’t accomplish together.
But we have made great progress in doing that. When I launched my Mayoral campaign in 2010, it was in a vacant parking lot, and now that vacant parking lot is home to the vibrant Inns of Armory Square, side-by-side with the Marriott Hotels, next door to Washington Station, and adjacent to the Onondaga Creekwalk, a great recreational trail we were also able to open up. More than 700 new residential units have come online since 2010, with more than 250 in the works, anticipated openings in the next 18 months. And long vacant buildings are now starting to see developers express interest and indeed renovate those buildings. All of this happened, as I said, because of a focused, principled development strategy. What we now need to move to that next level in understand that technology is going to be a key component of how we can move into the next century. And with that, we have completed our broadband study, we are moving forward with announcing a plan for small cells, which will improve our cellular service across the city, and we have also partnered to open up business.syrgov.net which we pride ourselves on saying is a one-stop shopping for small businesses and permitting. This technology works hand-in-hand with our belief in partnerships, and we are seeing all over this kind of regrowth happen. And will make sure, in partnership with the Hotel Syracuse that when Symphony Towers expanded, that we were able to make local hiring a part of that, so that jobs for all of our community will be available for downtown. We believe that downtown has a great future, and I am pleased to say thank you to all of you for working together for the best of the city and for me as Mayor, to make that happen.
There has been many who’ve argued it doesn’t matter who’s in a position of government, and that there is of course no Republican or Democratic way to pave a road or pick up trash. And perhaps that is true, but I think now more than ever, each of you can see that leadership does matter, and taking principled stands and staying focused on developments, can ultimately reward the entire community. We are in the process of creating a better city for all of us, and downtown is just one stop on that path. So while it is very bittersweet for me to say, in six months I will no longer be Mayor, and when I enter this room I will enter this room as a private citizen. But I will do that with great pride, and great gratitude, that all of you in this room allowed all of us to make the City of Syracuse in general, and downtown in particular, a better place for all of us. Thank you.