FRB Cites “Encouraging Signs” in Report on Comprehensive Review of City’s Finances

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The New York State Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments (FRB) has released the results of its comprehensive review of City of Syracuse finances. The review, which was requested by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and the Syracuse Common Council in 2018, notes fiscal and social stresses facing local government but cites “encouraging signs for the City, despite its persistent challenges” and says the City “appears to be making strategic and long-term investments.”

The FRB report includes five primary conclusions and offers the opportunity for grant support to the City to assist with the implementation of the Board’s ideas: 

  • Upgrade human capital management capacity, including a new timekeeping system and modernized payroll processes 
  • Implement Smart Cities technologies as envisioned in the Syracuse Surge strategy 
  • Pursue additional shared services programs to lower the cost of providing services and reduce duplication
  • Implement additional efficiencies programs to reduce local government costs, such as semi-automated waste collection
  • Seek labor and healthcare efficiencies

The FRB report specifically commended the steps being taken by the Walsh administration and the Common Council to improve the City’s fiscal health. “The City’s efforts to reduce the planned use of fund balance in recent adopted budgets and restore operational and fiscal balance, are encouraging signs for the City, despite its persistent challenges,” the report concluded.

“The FRB’s findings are further validation that we’re on the right path to achieving fiscal sustainability for the city,” said Mayor Walsh. “Working with the Council and with our other government partners, we have initiatives underway in nearly all of the areas that the FRB has identified to improve the city’s fiscal sustainability. We thank Governor Cuomo and the FRB for its thorough review and for their ongoing support.”

Mayor Walsh, the City administration, and the Common Council will now review the report’s findings in detail. Working with its government partners, the City will develop action plans for review and approval for funding by the Board.

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