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Do you support the creation of a Local Government Modernization Commission to help develop, with public input, a new model of governance for Onondaga County?

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Sign up to receive SYRACUSE 20/20's weekly update that highlights local, state and national articles on government modernization related activities by e-mailing syracuse2020@yahoo.com and requesting to be added to the listserve.



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Read more about the community conversation in our brochure


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Join our on-line discussion about the changes you think need to be made to modernize our local government structures.


Reports of Interest

SYRACUSE 20/20 Mayoral Document

SYRACUSE 20/20 called on candidates during the 2009 Mayoral Campaign to present a metropolitian vision for the region.  Paper presents 20/20's issues in the context of the mayoral race.

SYRACUSE 20/20 Testimony to NYS Education Reform Commission- August 2012

SYRACUSE 20/20 submitted testimony to the Governor's Commission on Education Reform encouraging state investment in teacher professional development and teacher education programs.  You can read the testimony here.


Miner and Mahoney to study local government consolidation in Onondaga County

Onondaga County Executive Mahoney and Syracuse Mayor Miner announced a joint effort to study local government consolidation that will save money and improve efficiency.

 read more ...

How Tow Princetons Became One


Taking advantage of a state law encouraging local-government consolidations, the two New Jersey municipalities found a path that other places might follow.


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Cuomo to push government consolidation;

 Onondaga County executive says it's already working


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Again, Cuomo tries to scale back local governments

Governor Andrew Cuomo is hoping to create financial pressures on local governments to consolidate services or, perhaps, dissolve.

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Syracuse named a 'pacesetter' for child literacy

The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading announces Syracuse as one of 38 municipalities across the country to be named a 2013 Community Pacesetter.

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Want to turn around the community? Let's hit the books (Editorial)

This Post Standard Editorial expresses support for Imagination Library

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Times Union - The recipe for N.Y.'s Success

Read Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution's take on Governor Cuomo's "common-sense proposals to make government in New York state work more cheaply, efficiently and effectively."

 read more ...

Governing Magazine: Firefighters Feel the Squeeze of Shrinking Budgets

In small and large cities alike, firefighters have gone from heroes to budget bait.

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 A Better Way to See The Issues

Current News


Its Official: Consensus - A Commission to Study Local Government Modernization

Together, SYRACUSE 20/20, CenterState CEO, FOCUS Greater Syracuse, the League of Women Voters of Syracuse Metropolitan Area, Onondaga Citizens League and the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of CNY are pleased to announce the the creation of a local government modernization commission. The effort, called Consensus, will launch a comprehensive study of government structure in Onondaga County in an effort to provide better services more efficiently to the community.  Read more about the Commission and the Commission members at the press release here.  

Visit the Consensus website at  ww.consensuscny.com and sign up to be part of the process.

Public Meeting -  September 26 at 7:30 a.m. at Clay Town Hall, 4401 State Highway 31, Clay, NY.

Click here to watch all privious meeting of Consensus.


On February 13th, the three co-chairs of the Commission, Neil Murphy, Cathy Richardson and Jim Walsh, made a presentation to Thursday Morning Roundtable.  You can view their Power Point Presentation by clicking here -  TMR Consensus Presentation


 Notice: Consensus Commission issues a request for proposal (RFP) for consultant services to support the Commission's work.  The RFP is found here.  Responses are due back on March 24th.


Answers to the Questions submitted regarding the RFP are found at this link:  RFP Question Responses Issued March 12, 2014


Local Governments Support 20/20's and CenterState CEO's Call

For the Creation of a Local Goverment Commission

Onondaga County Legislature Resolution

Syracuse Common Council Resolution

Joint SYRACUSE 20/20 and CenterState CEO Resolution

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Mayor Stephanie Miner announce their support for a Commission in December 2013.  Click here to read their joint press release.  Read about their press conference here and watch a video of their press conference here.


SYRACUSE 20/20 Issues Report Calling for a Local Government Modernization Commission

Our County Executive, our City Mayor, and some of our town and village officials have risked their political careers to press for modernization, setting a courageous example that their colleagues in local government may now be willing to follow.   The fiscal challenges facing municipalities only make the case for change more urgent.  We can turn this threatening scenario into an opportunity to define for ourselves how we want to be organized and governed locally. In 2012, SYRACUSE 20/20 with its partners released a report urging action on a government modernization commission. You can read the report here:  A Call to Action on Modernizing Local Government



 SYRACUSE 20/20 Supports the Campaign for Grade Level Reading In Syracuse


SYRACUSE 20/20 is a proud partner of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading in Syracuse.  Having all children reading on grade-level by third grade must be a community priority.  Click here to watch this 5 minute video demonstrating why reading on grade level by 3rd grade is so important.    Learn more about the Campaign for Grade Level Reading at: gradelevelreading.net    



Early Childhood/School Readiness Study

SYRACUSE 20/20 is an active participant in the Onondaga Citizens League study on Early Childhood/School Readiness.  To learn more about the study go to:  onondagacitizensleague.org/studies/current-study.





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 Government Modernization

Community Conversation

  We Are at a Tipping Point
Help Decide Which Way We Go

Syracuse 20/20 has spent the past several years examining the issues surrounding government modernization. We feel strongly that the time has come for our community to engage in a thoughtful conversation about the future of the governance of our region.

Our mission is engage the community in a conversation about whether our current way of organizing local government, a system that was invented around 1800, is still working for us in a global economy.  Our approach is positive and non-partisan.

Join the Conversation

The way we see it, we’re at a “tipping point”.  This is a critical time for us to talk about the role of local government in “tipping us” toward growth rather than potential decline. 

 What can you do?  Begin by learning about the Government Modernization Effort by watching the power point presentation and sharing your thoughts on our online discussion forum.