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Meeting Minutes Return to Committee
Meeting Minutes
Office of the Onondaga County Legislature
Court House, Room 407 * 401 Montgomery Street * Syracuse, New York 13202
(315) 435-2070 Fax: (315) 435-8434

Deputy Clerk





MEMBERS PRESENT:  Dr. Chase, Ms. Cody, Mr. Bush, Mr. Kinne

ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Knapp, Mrs. Ervin, Ms. Kuhn; see attached list


Chair Abbott-Kenan called the meeting to order at 10:40 a.m.  A motion was made by Ms. Cody, seconded by Dr. Chase, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Kinne, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED. 



        a.     Confirming the Re-Appointment by the County Executive to the Onondaga County Council on Environmental Health (Julie Abbott-Kenan)


A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Bush, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


2.     HEALTH: 

        a.     INFORMATIONAL: Vaping – Dr. Gupta


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  • Have been dealing with the tobacco issue for 50 years; achieved a lot, not the time to become complacent


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  • Very attractive to young kids, heavy marketing toward kids; important to remember how this will impact our future if kids become addicted




 2.12.20_HHS_12  2.12.20_HHS_13


  • Second-hand smoke is like going back to the ’70s and ’80s; companies introduce exciting colors and flavors, makes them very attractive; nicotine addiction comes from the same pathway as opioids, look for a reward each time they smoke, unending path and causes withdrawal when they don’t smoke




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  • Heart disease, cancer, lung and respiratory disease (CLRD) and stroke deaths are all due to smoking; unintentional injury could be accidental but at the same time it could be an overdose, alcohol or mental health issue
  • Large relationship between mental health issues and smoking

Mr. Kinne asked why the stroke and unintentional injury deaths switched places in 2014.  Dr. Gupta responded that opioid deaths were pretty much non-existent in 2012, then started increasing and peaked in 2016.  Mr. Kinne said that they are basically going by numbers and Dr. Gupta agreed. 


Dr. Gupta said that unintentional injury is challenging throughout the United States because of substance use, mental health and now suicide with no easy solutions.  Tobacco is the low hanging fruit and common denominator.  She questions if the achievements of the last 50 years will be lost with the next generation who are having problems with increased loneliness and mental distress and then picking up something that makes them feel good temporarily.  It takes many people to address public health problems.


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  • THC is the component found in marijuana - why consider legalization when we cannot address the opioid problem and young people are inhaling this
  • Pod equals 1 pack of cigarettes, are also adding things to make it more exciting and potent, end up in the hospital


 2.12.20_HHS_22   2.12.20_HHS_23





  • The tide has started to shift; this is good because laws protect the community and those without a voice that are targeted by advertising
  • Important for lawmakers to look at how to reduce the density availability of tobacco retailers


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  • Reality Check participants speak the language of their peers, very important - kids talking to kids gets more results
  • Above photos are from Reality Check presentation to lawmakers in Albany

2.12.20_HHS_30  2.12.20_HHS_31  2.12.20_HHS_32


Chair Abbott-Kenan said that she came from the school board and school districts could really use guidance for the education.  She would love to see the North Carolina education campaign put into the hands of school leaders or kids in some way.  This is like a wildfire and she doesn’t think that anyone knows what to do.  The Skaneateles district is one of the only districts to put this in their code of conduct.  Other districts don’t want to because they cannot enforce it. 


Dr. Gupta said that the CATCH My Breath campaign is from North Carolina.  The University of Texas came up with the curriculum.  It is part of a curriculum that is implemented in many states; New York State has not joined yet.  Engaging youth is the first step.  This will be a decision which the school board or superintendent will have to decide.  These are conversations that can be put forward once there is a little more presence in the schools with youth action.  The barrier has been that it adds to the work of the school because it has a set curriculum, teachers have to complete a set of modules and then it is inserted into their curriculum.  It is very interring but the current grant would not cover it.   


Dr. Chase said she was in receipt of a letter sent to Legislator Ryan from Michelle Tran, one of the Reality Check participants.  Ms. Tran was asking that the legislature be more active in getting things done so the program is working.  They are reaching out to people who will hopefully be able to help.


Dr. Chase said that she was on the ground floor of Smoke-Free Onondaga County.  It was a long time ago but it has come a long way and they just have to keep pushing.  Dr. Gupta said that some of those rules don’t apply for vaping.  Eight states proposed the ban of E-cigarettes MA, MI, NY, OR, RI, UT, WA and MO, however, a lot of them are stuck in courts and different things.  At present MA, WA and RI still have that ban.  However, 250 localities have passed restrictions in a limited capacity, including NYC, Manheim and Yonkers.  Everyone wants to protect their youth and it is essentially like a wild west right now; everyone can sell and there are no controls.  The new generation of youth is getting addicted to e-cigarettes with nicotine and they are putting things such as THC, CBD oil and things which we have no clue of to make them feel high. 


Dr. Chase asked how this was being monitored and enforced.  Unfortunately, having the resources to enforce this is where one ends up with a major wall.    Dr. Gupta responded that the Health Department inspects tobacco retailers for compliance.  The goal was the same when the emergency declaration was issued by the governor so that there is a clear process for who is going to sell these products and enforce it.  The governor also put in some NYS Police who were going to go jointly with the Health department staff but everything is in limbo now.  It is important for legislation to have the back to support its implementation. 


Ms. Cody said that these colorful images remind her of what is coming once marijuana is legalized.  She has seen all kinds of gummies, pod tarts and colorful enticing ways to market to kids and she cannot help thinking that a year from now they will be talking about how to keep kids from being enticed into it once it becomes legal.  Dr. Gupta responded that they go hand-in-hand.  States that have legalized marijuana are seeing significant public health issues.  Kids see them as candy, pregnant women don’t realize the risk and babies end up in the ICU because of the exposure before they are born.  It is important that legislation create a supportive environment for everybody’s health.  Legislation should be a deterrent for the bad people and support the people whose health will be impacted that may not have a voice.  Her job is to provide all the facts and information.  The tide has started to turn and they need to consider when it is time to take action.  There is nothing more important than health and everything impacts health.


Chair Abbott-Kenan thanked Dr. Gupta for the presentation.


Mr. Bush said that he sent Dr. Gupta an email on Friday and had not gotten a response.  He is concerned that legislators were not included on the email blast concerning the coronavirus conference and he assumes they would want to communicate with the Health Committee.  Dr. Gupta responded that Mr. Wears replied to Mr. Bush’s email.  She is a member of the Public Health Preparedness group which meets regularly and is coordinated by Emergency Management.  She asked Mr. Wears to bring the group together to provide information and make sure they are all on the same page.  Once this occurs, and all are on the same page, the next step is to inform the lawmakers.  The document which was sent out in the email blast is a public document and is on the CDC website. 


Mr. Bush reiterated his concern that legislators were not provided this information.  He found out about it from his Soil and Water membership.  Dr. Gupta said that water is part of the emergency preparedness group.  Mr. Bush said that it was forwarded from Soil and Water to their membership and he thought it was a roundabout way for a legislator to get the information.  Dr. Gupta said that Soil and Water were put on alert but did not have to be part of the discussion, it was meant for medical, Public Health, EMS and 911 to determine how they are going to handle this.


Dr. Gupta provided the following update on the Coronavirus:

  • This virus belongs to the same family as MERS and SARS; emerged in the Wuhan City, Hubei province, China
  • Hubei province has about 60 million people, Wuhan City has about 11 million people, Wuhan City is the epicenter and where the cases started
  • China reported the problem to WHO in December, WHO informed everybody and a public health emergency was declared January 30, 2020
  • January 31, 2020 the president signed a declaration and instituted the travel ban
  • NYS Commissioner of Health signed an order to declare this a reportable communicable disease, provides an opportunity for the Public Health department to get all the information if there is a case at any time; other states followed suit
  • As of today, 45,000 people have been impacted

In answer to Chair Abbott-Kenan, Dr. Gupta confirmed that we are prepared should something happen. 

  • Majority of the cases are in China, 13 cases in the US as of today, none in NYS
  • Returning travelers are diverted to 1 of 11 airports and categorized into 2 categories Hubei based or non-Hubei based, they are being quarantined; those symptomatic with cough, shortness of breath or fever are sent to the hospital for further investigation, a sample is taken and sent to the CDC
  • Very tightly controlled process under CDC that coordinates with the state; the state coordinates with the local health department when a-symptomatic people are coming into their jurisdictions, places them in voluntary quarantine and monitors them
  • High-risk is quarantined where they disembarked for 14 days, then return to their home place
  • Plans have been well thought out and have started to pay dividends; are in constant contact with the state
  • The local community has no concern at this point; more concerned with the flu – wash hands, stay home if you are sick and don’t mingle with people, more people are dying of the flu in the US at this point

Mr. Kinne asked Dr. Gupta to email her thoughts on legalizing medical marijuana and marijuana in general.  Dr. Gupta responded that as a group the County Health Association has issued a statement opposing marijuana legalization.


A motion was made by Ms. Cody, seconded by Dr. Chase, to adjourn.  MOTION CARRIED.


The meeting adjourned at 11:44 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Onondaga County Legislature





* * *





MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, Dr. Chase, Mr. Holmquist


ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Knapp, Mr. Bush, Ms. Kuhn; see attached list


Chairman Jordan called the meeting to order at 12:04 p.m.  A motion was made by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, seconded by Dr. Chase, to waive the reading of the proceedings from the previous committee.  MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  MOTION CARRIED. 



        a.     Confirming the Appointment by the County Executive to the Region 7 Fish and Wildlife Management Board (Ken Bush, Jr.)


A motion was made by Mr. Holmquist, seconded by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


2.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION: Frank Mento, P.E., Commissioner

        a.     Authorizing the Execution of Agreements to Accept Grant Funding from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation in Connection with the Butternut Street Green Corridor Project – Phase I ($1,000,000)

        b.     Authorizing Execution of Agreements to Accept Grant Funds from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation in Connection with the Meadowbook-Limestone Service Area Rehabilitation Project ($2,250,000)


Mr. Mento discussed items 2a and 2b together:

  • 1st grant is $1 million dollars through EFC for the Butternut Street Green Corridor project
  • 2nd grant is a 25% match against the $9 million allocated for I & I work in the Meadowbrook-Limestone service area, through EFC, associated with the Water Recycling Investment and Improvement Act
  • Need authorization to accept the grants

A motion was made by Dr. Chase, seconded by Mr. Holmquist, to approve item 2a.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


A motion was made by Mrs. Abbott-Kenan, seconded by Dr. Chase, to approve item 2b.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


        c.     Resolution Approving the Proposed Leasing of Sewer Systems from Certain Municipalities within the Onondaga County Consolidated Sanitary District


Mr. Mento distributed copies of the following lease:



  • Finalized lease for the Meadowbrook-Limestone service area yesterday; inserted important components so the lease becomes universal across the entire district
  • Presented consolidation presentation to the Village of Manlius last night; unanimously voted to authorize execution of the lease
  • High-level tenants of the lease:
  • 40-year lease with renewals, the duration is the equivalent of ownership, important because WEP needs to show ownership in order to get more money and grants 
  • Chose lease so there is no district dissolution; districts remain in place, certain districts can collect revenues and continue debt payments until the debt is eliminated
  • Dissolution of the district is very cumbersome and time-consuming, an accounting and legal set of hurdles down the road, lease structure avoids that
  • Surplus and debt language in the lease is very comparable to what was explained at the last meeting; if net surplus minus debt results in a balance the county will initiate up to $200,000 for debt relief
  • Lease contains all indemnifications, protections and loss issues as well as exhibits pertinent to WEP being able to close the transaction
  • Municipalities have gotten comfortable as WEP has talked them through it and WEP is getting what it needs which is access to their assets, the ability to maintain their assets and the ability to bring them under the umbrella of WEP, universal linkage from toilet to treatment; now at a major point in the consolidation program

Chairman Jordan said that this item is just being considered; no vote will be taken. 


Dr. Chase asked if we are the landlord or the tenant.  Mr. Mento answered that it is the reverse of a normal business transaction.  The landlord is the local municipality.  We, as the tenant, are leasing the system from them with all rights to operate and maintain access, etc.


In answer to Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Mento said that WEP is on tour in the Meadowbrook-Limestone service area:

  • Town of Manlius tonight
  • Information meeting scheduled with Pompey, with a formal meeting scheduled for March 1st
  • Met with the Village of Fayetteville last week, probably need another meeting
  • Another meeting with Dewitt
  • Meetings are being set are as needed

Many people are initially confused and once the presentation is explained they understand, i.e. if there is an upgrade to the treatment plant in Meadowbrook-Limestone the people in Baldwinsville are paying for that now under the consolidated district.  Conversely, those in Meadowbrook-Limestone will see a benefit as a result of this consolidation by their local sewer charge going down.  As consolidation progresses throughout the district others will see the same thing.  The key element is that anytime work is done on county facilities in the district the cost is spread throughout the entire district.  This is a very important distinction and when explained it supports where they are going.


Mrs. Abbott-Kenan asked the biggest concern of municipal leaders thus far.  Mr. Mento responded that one concern was what happens to the local potential control over economic development.  Their planning board will still have jurisdiction to approve projects, then checks with WEP for capacity, just like they do now.  They also worried about any responsibilities for legal concerns should something happen and for all intense and purposes embedded in the lease is WEP’s true ownership, meaning it is WEP’s to deal with.  In answer to Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Mento confirmed that the liability is being shifted to the county. 


Chairman Jordan said that those with debt from maintaining their sewer system are at a disadvantage with this proposal.  He understands that they will still be able to collect their sewer unit charge, which will be paid toward their outstanding indebtedness, but we are taking over the system for those that haven’t made investments in their system and everyone is going to bear the costs to bring that system up to par and they are not contributing towards anybody who has invested in their system, that will then benefit all in the consolidated district when it is turned over to the county because that system is in better shape.  This is almost punishing municipalities that maintained their system and have the debt versus the county taking over all the debt.  Mr. Mento responded that he completely understands the chairman’s point.  As he stated at the last meeting, some kind of balance has to be struck.  They cannot take over all the debt in the communities because the county will be spending a lot of money to bring assets up to speed that are currently very deficient.  This proposal is the best that they are able to do at this time relative to where they stand with existing debt service throughout the entire district.  Out of the 19, half have debit service.  Of that half, another half have significant debt service.  Again, it is striking a balance knowing that in some of the bigger communities, like Clay, they are taking over a boatload of assets at an extreme expense to the county that will be absorbed by the entire district.


Ms. Primo said that because some communities have debt that doesn’t mean that they don’t also have troubled assets.  A number of these communities ended up under a consent order and had to fix particular assets, and it is not like they won’t benefit from this.  It is hard to create equality across this whole community with regard to this.  Some towns have 3 times the assets of other towns or villages and yet everyone will be paying for miles and miles of pipes in Clay, Lysander, and Onondaga.  We are all one community and as Mr. Mento said without this each individual community would be paying a lot more to ensure a good quality of life and the ability to grow any kind of economic development within their community.  The issue the chairman is pointing out is the issue they struggled with most but there are a lot of reasons why this still makes sense.  It is perhaps one inequality but it is not as simple as the chairman laid out.  Chairman Jordan responded that the flipside is that those with more infrastructure also have more people paying the sewer unit charge and therefore are contributing more to the overall system because of the fact that they have more miles of sewers.  Ms. Primo said not necessarily because there could be pipe that doesn’t have users every 5 to a block.  There are a lot of things that they will never be able to even out.  Either they jump in and take hold of this situation which is a lot better for this community, financially and otherwise, or just sit back and say they can’t get it perfect. 


Mr. Mento said that they have to start somewhere and right out of the gate Chairman Jordan’s constituents are going to benefit because $50 million dollars will not have to be invested in a treatment plant that would accrue to his constituents because of what they are doing in Meadowbrook-Limestone.  Chairman Jordan said that it would accrue to everybody.  Mr. Mento agreed and said he was using Chairman Jordan as an example.  To the chairman’s point, once they move beyond Meadowbrook-Limestone they have to move quicker through the rest of the service areas to get them under the umbrella and then the inequities start to dissipate.  Once they get through Meadowbrook-Limestone a lot of the bugs should have been worked out and things should go smoother.


Chairman Jordan asked what happens after all the debt has been paid.  Mr. Mento responded that the district will remain in place.  The charge will go to zero and everything else will be embedded in one unit charge.  Over time everybody will experience one county charge. 

In answer to Chairman Jordan, Mr. Mento said the districts would not be eliminated once the debt has been paid off.  Chairman Jordan asked the reason.  Mr. Mento responded that he thinks it is just an issue of going through the expensive process of the district by district elimination.  Mr. Yaus said that after the 40-year lease it would have to go back to those districts.   


Mr. Holmquist asked if it was necessary to present the presentation to the City of Syracuse for their portion of Meadowbrook-Limestone.  Mr. Mento responded that they are going to do that.  The city has a lot of unique issues; combined sewers, etc. and they are trying to get the low hanging fruit in the towns and villages first.  Ms. Primo said that the city had been approached and wasn’t ready at this point.  Mr. Mento said that they are about a year away. 


Mrs. Abbott-Kenan said that she understands the concern for not wanting to reward the bad behavior of not maintaining infrastructure.  At some point, a line has to be drawn and this is basic homeownership which is costing everybody down the road.  It is tangible and nontangible stuff all lumped and she is interested to hear the concerns of other municipalities as they go around.  It is important to consider their concerns and she appreciates all the work that has been put into this. 


Mr. Bush said that this is rewarding bad stewardship versus the community portions of the district that have maintained their lines and their taxpayers footed the bill.  In answer to Mr. Bush, Mr. Mento confirmed that this lease will be the prototype for the rest of the district.  Mr. Bush asked if it had been vetted with anyone in his district.  Mr. Mento responded that they have not gotten that far yet. 


Mr. Bush said he is expected to vote for this without them having a chance to look at this lease knowing that this will be their future.  Mr. Mento responded that right now he is being asked to vote on the Meadowbrook-Limestone service area through this lease.  At some point they will get to everyone’s constituents, districts and municipalities asking for these same things.  However, they will do the same thing they have done in Manlius.  Across the board, once they hear and understand this they get it.  Mr. Bush said that he wants to hear it from them.  Mr. Mento responded that he understands. 


Mr. Bush said that he understands if they want to vote on a certain area but this is going to carry over to all the districts and once this gets in place it is almost in stone.  Ms. Primo responded that ideally, they want a universal lease but if there is something unique to a particular community they can look at it.  Some of the major issues grappled with cannot be changed; it will be a 40-year lease and not ownership, WEP will be taking over assets and municipalities won’t be charging fees.  Amendments may be added for unique things and areas may choose not to join in.  Mr. Bush said that he needs Van Buren’s support, which is in the district, to say that this is ok 


Ms. Primo said that they are voting on the lease for Meadowbrook-Limestone.  Mr. Bush said that he understands that but this is going to carryover to the rest of the district as a prototype….. Ms. Primo interjects and reiterated that they would like it to be but it may need to be modified slightly to address idiosyncrasies of certain communities.


Chairman Jordan asked that copies of the debt service numbers be provided.


In answer to Ms. Kuhn, Mr. Mento confirmed that they are in the process of talking with Dewitt and are shooting for approval before session, however, each community is different.  A public hearing is being held right before the session.  Ms. Kuhn said that this resolution will not be going to the March session for a vote.  Chairman Knapp said that they are still figuring out the timing.  Mr. Mento said that the plan is to get as many as possible endorsed or with the intent to endorse prior to session.


Chairman Knapp said that there are inequities even within each district.  In the Meadowbrook-Limestone area, Pompey has relatively new infrastructure that was built within the last 15 to 20 years and others have very old infrastructure.  There is no perfect answer.


No action was taken on this item.


d.     A Local Law Authorizing the Lease of Sewage Disposal Systems from Certain Municipalities within the Onondaga County Consolidated Sanitary District for County Purposes


Chairman Jordan said that there is no necessity to talk separately about the local law resolution, which is essentially the same thing.  Mr. Mento agreed.


No action was taken on this item.


Chairman Jordan adjourned the meeting at 10:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Onondaga County Legislature




* * *





MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. May, Mr. Rowley, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Jordan, Mr. Williams, Mrs. Ervin

ALSO ATTENDING:  Chairman Knapp, Ms. Kuhn, Dr. Chase; See attached list


Chairman Burtis called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m.  A motion was made by Mr. May, seconded by Mrs. Ervin to waive the reading of the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.  A motion was made by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mrs. Ervin to approve the minutes of the previous committee meeting.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.



        a.     Confirming Reappointment to the Onondaga County Justice Center Oversight Committee (Jeffrey Marier) (Sponsored by Mr. Knapp, Mr. May)


Mr. May:

  • Good guy, who’s a community person; on the Baldwinsville School board; engaged in community; highly recommend

A motion was made by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mr. May, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


2.     CNY WORKS:

        a.     Confirming the Re-Appointment by the County Executive to the CNY Works Board of Directors (David Knapp)


Chairman Knapp stated the Chairman traditionally sits on the CNY Works Board, so this is a reappointment.


A motion was made by Mr. Rowley, seconded by Mr. Jordan, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


3.     COUNTY CLERK:  Chris Plochocki, Deputy County Clerk

        a.     Authorizing NYS Reimbursement for 2020 Expenses of the Recording Officer for the County of Onondaga for Administration of Mortgage Taxes

  • Total reimbursement of $469,812; down about $24,000 from last year due to decrease in IT expenses; will get it all

A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mr. May, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.



        a.     Approving and Directing the Correction of Errors on Tax Bills

  • Town of Clay – house put on incorrect lot; other lot will get omitted tax next year
  • Town of Dewitt – sewer unit charge; sewer unit based on calculated water usage; property changed hands and new owner billed for previous owner’s usage; will correct bill, then go after prior owner for outstanding sewer charges
  • Town of Manlius - incorrect sewer charge
  • Town of Pompey - incorrect school tax relevy; was paid, but came over as unpaid and added to town and county
  • Have a few sewer charge corrections every year; some are fairly large

A motion was made by Mrs. Ervin, seconded by Mr. Ryan, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


5.     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:  Kevin Sexton, Chief Information Officer

        a.     Amending the 2020 County Budget to Making Funding Available for Use in Connection with a Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security State Homeland Security Grant Program, and Authorizing the Execution of Agreements ($50,000)

  • $50,000 grant through State Division of Homeland Security; requested SIEM (System Information Event Management solution); recommend by cyber security experts
  • It will ingest logs from IT servers and network equipment; makes correlations and identifies malicious activity; IT would get alert to be able to respond; opportunity for additional security layer
  • IT security currently includes Endpoint Protection, Cylance (zero-day protection and machine learning), advance firewalls, malware protection, URL filtering, intrusion detection services, new email advance threat protection (identifies and blocks bad links), regular defender antivirus and umbrella of open DNS service (block malicious sites)
  • IT also has Phishline - sends out real looking email from (i.e.) UPS or Amazon to ~400-500 users every 2 months; if user clicks on something in the email, it will give educational message
  • New email protection solution Proofpoint offers even more training in regards to information security

Mr. Jordan asked if this will cover the entire cost of the program.  Mr. Sexton responded that they are still investigating the right solution, because it is licensed by the number of devices it monitors. IT will be monitoring as many as they can for $50,000.  It could exceed that for all devices, so the focus will be on those most vital.  The maximum for the grant is $50,000.  Mr. Sexton replied to Mr. Jordan that if they find other devices they want monitored that are not covered, then it may be included in the 2021 budget.  Mr. Ryan asked if there is more grant money available, and Mr. Sexton explained that they are always looking for opportunities.  Homeland Security offers grants every year.  Mr. Sexton agreed with Mr. Ryan that they will not be looking for more until they know they are behind.  Mr. Sexton stated that Mr. Wears has additional grant money for information security that IT may be able to use for this. 


Chairman Burtis said it is very helpful to keep this going, because people are at different levels of IT.


A motion was made by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


6.     WATER ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION:  Frank Mento, Commissioner

        a.     Authorizing the Execution of Agreements to Accept Grant Funding from the NYS Environmental Facilities Corp. in Connection with the Butternut St. Green Corridor Project – Phase I ($1,000,000)

  • Grant in amount of $1 mil for Green Innovation Grant Program; Butternut Street Green Corridor Project

A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mr. May, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


        b.     Authorizing Execution of Agreements to Accept Grant Funds from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation in Connection with the Meadowbrook-Limestone Service Area Rehabilitation Project ($2,250,000)

  • $9 mil approved for Meadowbrook-Limestone Service Area; grant for 25% of the amount - $2.25 mil

Mr. Mento agreed with Mr. May that this is the first service area being addressed.  Mr. May asked if Mr. Mento believes this will set a trend, or if this will be a one shot deal.  Mr. Mento answered that he believes it sets a trend for the future.  In discussions with EFC about consolidation initiative and setting the platform by which they can apply service area by service area.


A motion was made by Mr. Jordan, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


Mr. May asked if the $2.25 million is offsetting the $9 million.  Mr. Mento replied that they have to spend the money first, then they will be reimbursed.  Mr. Mento answered Chairman Knapp that it will not be $11.25 million.  Mr. Jordan asked if the money is to go towards debt service.  Mr. Morgan explained that they do not borrow in the first instance.  They upfront the cash for capital projects. 


7.     PERSONNEL:  Brian Donnelly, Deputy County Executive

        a.     Confirming Appointments of Department and Administrative Unit Heads Pursuant to the Onondaga County Charter and Administrative Code (Sponsored by Mr. Knapp)

  • Appointments for department heads; resumes are in the packet on all individuals

Chairman Burtis said they are all great people with great resumes.


A motion was made by Mr. May, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to approve this item.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


8.     FINANCE:  Steve Morgan, Chief Financial Officer

        a.     Monthly Report - Double Encumbered Positions (Res. 86-2018)

  • 8 positions on the report; couple will be on here for quite some time
  • Union position in Comptroller - planned for; year or so where it was not accounted for properly; now budgeted in proper way – only union president; always worked in that fashion (i.e. Phil Graham at Van Duyn)
  • Few on here that will drop off; Finance will drop off after first quarter; handful on pay period to pay period basis
  • WEP – showing 2 but uncertain when 1 will come off - working through correcting this within first quarter this year

Chairman Burtis stated they do not take a vote on this; the committee accepts it.


Chairman Knapp stated the Legislature passed a memorializing resolution concerning ROT in January, and they had to wait for specific assembly and senate bill numbers.  The numbers were set over the weekend:  A. 9738 and S. 7789.  The Legislature has to repass the same resolution as January including the bills.  Chairman Knapp said it will be pushed to session, otherwise it would not be until April when the budget is adopted.  It has to be expedited. 


Mr. May said this will formalize the casual request and asked what the next steps are.  Mrs. Tarolli said there are two steps.  One is the adoption of Home Rule legislation required by NYS Home Rule Law.  Once the Senate and Assembly pass the bills, and the Governor signs them into law, then there will be the final legislation implementing it.  Mr. Morgan said it mirrors the sales tax process, and Mrs. Tarolli agreed.  Mrs. Tarolli responded to Mr. May that state tax will tell the County exactly how they want the final local law to read.  The format will be followed and presented to the Legislature for adoption.  Chairman Knapp asked if that is when they will discuss the parameters on how this will be utilized.  Mrs. Tarolli said yes.  It is not part of the state legislation.  The state will be very particular on how the imposition legislation reads, but the legislature has always distributed ROT. 


Chairman Knapp said this is the next step in the process, and they are on a parallel course with the 1% sales tax.  The only difference is that most counties had the additional 1% as well, so instead of everyone doing a memorializing resolution, the state said do it.  Then the legislature can pass the Home Rule.  The following resolution will be put forward at session with a waiver.


, 2020


Motion Made By M                                                                RESOLUTION NO. _______________





                WHEREAS, there has been introduced for adoption in the New York State Legislature legislation (A. 9738/S. 7789) entitled, “An Act to amend the tax law, in relation to imposing an additional two percent occupancy tax in Onondaga county” authorizing the county to increase occupancy tax from 5% to 7% on the per diem room rental rate; and


                WHEREAS, a Home Rule Request is required and necessary before the increase may be authorized by the State Legislature, and the County does not have the power to enact such legislation absent state enactment; now, therefore be it


                RESOLVED, that the Onondaga County Legislature does hereby request the New York State Legislature to enact Assembly Bill No. A. 9738 Senate Bill No. S. 7789 entitled, “An Act to amend the tax law, in relation to imposing an additional two percent occupancy tax in Onondaga county” and requests and concurs in the preparation and submittal of a Home Rule Request regarding the same; and, be it further


                RESOLVED, that the Clerk of this Legislature hereby is directed to send a certified copy of this resolution to the State Legislators representing Onondaga County and to the Governor of New York State, urging action on this request.



A motion was made by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mrs. Ervin, to adjourn the meeting.  Passed unanimously; MOTION CARRIED.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:57 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,


JAMIE McNAMARA, Assistant Clerk

Onondaga County Legislature






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