Ithaca, N.Y. — I’ll be sitting down with Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick at City Hall tomorrow morning for an interview. I have my own questions prepared, but I wanted to get a better sense of readers’ priorities and concerns.
Why I shop downtown — Carmen
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As a result, I’m posting a poll below to gauge what you would most like to learn about. So many of these issues are clearly of critical importance; we’re looking to you, however, to help us decide which deserve most attention.
Of course, there’s the possibility that we’ve left out the topic you find most important. If that’s the case, be sure to pop over to
our Facebook page and drop a comment. (Or, if you’d prefer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
In addition to using the poll results to guide my questions, I’ll be asking the mayor at least two questions — and, depending how many we get, possibly more — straight from our Facebook readership.
Here’s the poll:
We plan to post a story later in the week after the interview, which — just to be clear — has no relation to
this one. For some background on many of the above issues, see prior Voice coverage on … :
Simeon’s crash & fall-out
Editorial: The U.S. Senate just made the next Simeon’s crash more likely – Safety experts warn that the measures are likely to hurt Americans across the country. Ithaca Voice
Trucking firm in Simeon’s crash has lost its operating authority from feds – The company that owns the truck that crashed into Simeon’s on the Commons in June has lost its authority to operate across state lines, according to federal documents. The Ithaca Voice
Titus Gallery, shuttered and splintered in Simeon’s crash, reopens with eye to the future – After nearly two months of restoration, the Titus Gallery is reopening its doors. The Ithaca Voice
What if truck safety in Ithaca is simply impossible? Scrutinizing 8 decades of evidence – “Water runs down hills … and so do vehicles and trucks if they lose their brakes.” The Ithaca Voice
Owners want to rebuild structure that houses Simeon’s – The owners of the building housing Simeon’s on the Commons intend to restore the structure, and the owners of Simeon’s intend to reopen their popular restaurant in the same location. The Ithaca Voice
History of accidents at Commons raises questions about Ithaca intersection – Past traffic accidents at the intersection of North Aurora Street and East State Street both suggest the possibility of future incidents and raise the question of what can be done to prevent them. The Ithaca Voice
Could better signs have helped? Official looks at similar Ithaca roads after Simeon’s tragedy – Former Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson wonders if road signage for trucks ought to be prominent among the questions discussed after the crash. The Ithaca Voice
As life resumes in downtown Ithaca, a city registers its shock — and asks questions – In some ways, life in downtown Ithaca went on as usual Saturday morning. The Ithaca Voice
Mayor’s proposed police reforms:
Is more lenient residency requirement for Ithaca cops worth passing? – In Ithaca, lawmakers are considering a five-year, county-wide residency requirement after police opposed an initial, more stringent plan to make officers live within the city’s limits for their whole careers. Ithaca Voice
Understand the uproar between Mayor Myrick and the Ithaca police – An apparent paradox has been at the root of arguments over Ithaca’s cops for several years. Ithaca Voice
Ithaca police org. slams mayor, calls statement ‘slap in the face’ – The Ithaca Police Benevolent Association has issued several sharp criticisms of Mayor Svante Myrick’s proposed police reforms. The Ithaca Voice
5 key points made by Ithaca police chief in department’s defense – Ithaca police officers receive a small number of complaints a year despite substantial budget cuts and innumerable interactions with the public, Chief John Barber said in a recent speech. The Ithaca Voice
Editorial: Mayor Myrick’s proposed police reforms are bold, innovative and meaningful – They could make a meaningful difference in the everyday lives of some of Ithaca’s most disadvantaged citizens. The Ithaca Voice
Ithaca police, call records differ on key timing in incident involving unarmed teens – Police have released a statement of “clarification regarding the timeline of events” during the incident. The Ithaca Voice
Mothers say Ithaca police sergeant should not have pulled gun on their teenage sons – Four friends were riding their bicycles to Short Stop Deli on a recent summer’s night when they noticed they were being followed. The Ithaca Voice
Jeff Stein/Ithaca Voice
Homelessness in Ithaca
How does Ithaca fix its homelessness problem? 3 approaches – As temperatures fall in Ithaca, the problem of homelessness becomes an increasingly urgent one. Ithaca Voice
As Ithaca’s homelessness numbers plummet, Rescue Mission sees ‘bottleneck’ – Fewer homeless people are living on the streets of Ithaca these days – a drop from 50 to around 12 per night, human service professionals estimate. Ithaca Voice
Despite push to clear Ithaca’s ‘Jungle’ encampments, sites remain – Homeless men and women continue to set up permanent residence under tent and tarp within city limits. Ithaca Voice
The Rescue Mission
Ithaca’s affordable housing crunch
Ithaca housing leader talks costs, development, Stone Quarry controversy – An interview with Paul Mazzarella, executive director of the Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services. Ithaca Voice
Ithaca gets $2 million from feds to fight affordable housing crunch – A $2 million grant from the federal government will help Ithaca officials fight the area’s notorious affordable housing crunch. Ithaca Voice
The graphs that illustrate Ithaca’s affordable housing crunch – Odds are, if you poll people on the street in Ithaca and ask them to name the most pressing problem in the City, the prevailing answer would be the lack of affordable housing. Ithaca Voice
Long-simmering fight over affordable housing plan ends amid mayor’s emotional plea – Mayor Svante Myrick approached the microphone slowly, with an understated nod to a roomful of people mostly furious about what he was about to do.
Ithaca’s budget & taxes
Ithaca Fire Chief asks city to hire more firefighters – In 2009, there were 72 members of the Ithaca Fire Department. That number has been cut to around 63. Ithaca Voice
Ithaca’s female planners say city government has stifling gender bias – Four female members of Ithaca’s planning division and their boss appeared at City Hall Thursday night to criticize what they called the city government’s unfair and historic gender biases in staffing and pay.
Ithaca may pay more in property taxes as residents’ tax rate declines (Yes, really) – Mayor Svante Myrick is asking that Ithaca pay nearly 4 percent more to its city government in property taxes in 2015 than it did in 2014.
Ithaca police, DPW get major revenue increases as Council unanimously passes budget – Ithaca’s Common Council unanimously passed Mayor Svante Myrick’s budget on Thursday night.
Crucial agency in Ithaca’s natural disaster relief says it’s stretched dangerously thin – One of the Ithaca officials responsible for natural disaster relief went to work Monday morning and discovered an unwelcome sight.
Crime in Ithaca
No, crime in Ithaca does not appear to be doubling, soaring or even increasing – It’s hard to imagine how one could look at the numbers and conclude that Ithaca has a major new urban crime problem. Ithaca Voice
Understand the ‘Vermont model’ Mayor Myrick wants for Ithaca police – A program that started with one “street outreach” worker 15 years ago is evolving rapidly, and has grown now to six-and-a-half positions, two-and-a-half of them embedded in the police department. Ithaca Voice
Dogs on the Commons
Dogs on the Commons? Ithaca begins look at looser leash – Currently, dog owners need special permits to bring their furry friends on the busiest downtown strip in the city. But that could change. Ithaca Voice
Commons construction delays
Official: Cold weather prevents Commons crews from meeting new deadline – An unexpectedly harsh cold spell has again pushed back the completion date for a major part of the Ithaca Commons construction project. Ithaca Voice
Ithaca delays completion date for part of Commons construction project – Unexpected delays have pushed back the projected completion date for the surface of the western stretch of the Commons into the spring. Ithaca Voice
Ithaca Commons business owners pack City Hall, lamenting construction – “We’re struggling. Please help. We all need help.” Ithaca Voice
Mayor Myrick blames NYSEG’s office in Spain for construction delays – Mayor Svante Myrick spoke about the Ithaca Commons construction in an interview published on WHCU Radio’s website on Monday. Ithaca Voice
17 ideas to help Ithaca Commons merchants during construction – Merchants on the Commons have been unified in their main message to the city: Get the construction done as fast as possible. Ithaca Voice