Stephanie Miner

Stephanie A. Miner
53rd Mayor of Syracuse
Assumed office
January 1, 2010
Preceded by Matt Driscoll (D)
Co-Chairperson of the New York State Democratic Committee
In office
June 2012  April 2014
Serving with Keith L. T. Wright
Preceded by David Pollack (2006)
Succeeded by David Paterson
Member of Syracuse Common Council
In office
January 1, 2002  December 31, 2009
Personal details
Born (1970-04-30) April 30, 1970
Syracuse, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) John F.X. Mannion[1]
Residence Syracuse, New York
Alma mater Syracuse University (B.A.)
University at Buffalo Law School (J.D.)
Occupation Attorney, Politician

Stephanie Ann Miner (born April 30, 1970) is an attorney, Democratic politician, and current mayor of Syracuse, New York, the first woman to hold the office.


Stephanie A. Miner is the 53rd Mayor of the City of Syracuse. Mayor Miner was first elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 with 68% of the vote.[2] Mayor Miner is the first woman elected Mayor of Syracuse and the first women to lead one of New York's "Big 5" cities.

Early life

Born on April 30, 1970, she became involved in politics at an early age by stuffing envelopes for local candidates at her grandmother's kitchen table in the Eastwood neighborhood.[3] Miner was born in Syracuse, New York, to Edward Miner, MD, a physician and an army officer, and Dianne Cooney, a nurse and current dean of the Wegman School of Nursing at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.[1][4]

Education and law career

Miner attended high school in Homer, New York, where she was senior class president and voted most likely to succeed.[5] She received her B.A., magna cum laude, in journalism and political science from Syracuse University in 1992, and her J.D. from the University at Buffalo Law School in 1999.[1][6][7][8]

In 1994, she served as a regional representative for then-governor of New York Mario Cuomo. Upon graduating from law school, she was hired at the Syracuse law firm Blitman and King LLP, where she worked until resigning in March 2009, to focus on her mayoral campaign.[1][4] Miner began her political career in 2001, when she was elected to the Syracuse Common Council. She was re-elected in 2005.[9]

Early political career

After law school, Mayor Miner began representing employees and unions, as a labor lawyer. In her first run for public office in 2001, she ran for one of Syracuse's two at-large Common Council seats up for election. She placed first among four candidates. Her tough leadership on important city issues propelled her to re-election in 2005 when she again placed first among four candidates for the two seats.[10] Miner received the most votes of any candidate on the ballot, including the incumbent Mayor.[11]

Say Yes to Education

As a common councilor, Stephanie Miner championed and helped pass legislation that gave $1 million in initial funding to Say Yes to Education, a program that provides necessary support services for Syracuse City School Districts students and promises free or reduced college tuition to students who graduate from City high schools. She continues to support the Say Yes to Education program within the City of Syracuse school district.

Opposition to Destiny USA tax breaks

In 2012, Mayor Miner announced that Congel did not plan to build the promised future Destiny USA expansions, including a hotel and more retail space. But she said Congel would not have to pay property taxes or PILOT payments on the Carousel Center expansion or the original mall for 30 years under the terms of a 2007 agreement.[12]

In 2014, Mayor Miner and County Executive Joanie Mahoney received a letter from Destiny signaling their intent to build a 252-room hotel. Destiny indicated it would be seeking new tax breaks from the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA). Destiny officials were seeking an 18-year payment in lieu of taxes deal exempting the developer from County and City taxes on the new hotel. The new exemption would cost taxpayers approximately $20 million in tax revenue. Miner believed that any hotel construction to support the mall should be privately financed. She said the hotel should not receive public funds at a time when the City is searching for funds to fill police vacancies and address costly infrastructure issues during this time. Destiny project had already received an unprecedented tax break totaling hundreds of millions in lost revenue to the City and County. Destiny received a 30-year break on local taxes after it promised to build a LEED Platinum, 39-story, 1,342- room “Emerald 5 ShowTel and Conference Center.” Despite this agreement, Destiny stated that they would not be building the hotel or the other amenities it promised, they were still legally entitled to its 30-year PILOT.[13]

Mayor of Syracuse

Mayor Miner welcoming members of the Bhutanese Community of Syracuse, March 2016


In 2009 Miner defeated Republican Steve Kimatian, 50%–39%, in the general election, and is the city's first female leader.[14][15]

Fiscal priorities

Mayor Miner has taken on the task of right-sizing City government and consolidating various services. Through inter-municipal agreements, the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County consolidated their purchasing and planning departments into a single entity. Mayor Miner has engaged in the discussion of municipal finance across New York State and in Washington, D.C.

Miner vetoed $2 million in amendments passed by the council to her $657 million budget. Miner stated that the council's sales tax estimates were "phantom revenues" which, if they materialized, they should be saved.[16]

In 2014 the Mayor announced that since she took office in 2010 the city has reversed the general funds deficit trend, and achieved an $8.4 million budget surplus in the fiscal year ending in 2012.[17]

In 2013 Mayor Stephanie Miner was named one of the "trailblazing women in public finance" by Northeast Women in Public Finance and The Bond Buyer in recognition of Miner's role in drawing attention to the fiscal plight of cities.[18]

Pension smoothing opposition

Mayor Miner has been a vocal opponent of in nudging Gov. Andrew Cuomo's policies on pensions and to help change the underlying economic model of financially distressed cities. With this, he has consistently rebuffed her, suggesting that Mayor Miner fix her own budget problems. Mayor Miner then publicized she Cuomo was failing to take charge of the issue and had offered cities an "accounting gimmick" called pension smoothing instead.[19] Miner publicly broke with Cuomo on his proposal to stabilize rising pension costs earlier that year.[20][21]

New York Times Op-Ed

Stephanie Miner authored an op-ed in the New York Times on February 13, 2013 clearly stating she wanted to encourage Andrew Cuomo to launch a statewide conversation involving state and municipal leaders, unions and businesses and to seek for solutions to rising pension costs and other burdens. A version of this op-ed appears in print on February 14, 2013, on page A27 of the New York edition with the headline: Cuomo to Cities: Just Borrow.[22]


With hundreds of miles of water mains and roads maintained by her administration, Mayor Miner has made infrastructure a major priority of her administration. The Mayor attended the Clinton Global Initiative America Conference in both 2014 and 2015 to discuss infrastructure for cities and states.[23] The Mayor has met with members of Congress and submitted testimony before the United States Senate and New York state legislature detailing the infrastructure needs of the City of Syracuse. The Mayor is a member of Rebuild New York Now, a coalition of construction trades, business owners, and elected officials.[24]

Occupy Syracuse

Miner ordered unruly Occupy Syracuse protestors to leave Perseverance Park on January 19, 2012,[25] citing the lack of permits for permanent structures and the presence of flammable materials.[26] The mayor justified her decision.

New York State Democratic Party Co-Chair

Stephanie Miner served as Co-Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee from 2012 to 2014, giving her the opportunity to advocate for Democrats and for the city of Syracuse on a larger stage.[27]

Economic development

As Mayor, Stephanie Miner has taken on Syracuse's challenging fiscal crisis, streamlined the city's permitting process which has led to record-breaking economic development.

Syracuse Regional Airport Authority

Mayor Miner spearheaded the effort to develop the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority to create a greater efficiency at the Hancock International Airport, attracting new airlines and working with local businesses to make the airport a successful tool for the local economy. The Mayor also opened a $60 million renovation for the airport in 2013 [28]

Ideas and innovation

Mayor Miner has made using innovative ideas a hallmark of her administration, encouraging new solutions to old challenges.[29] Mayor Stephanie A. Miner is part of the Governing Institute Women in Government Leadership Program Class of 2015, a program that highlights the outstanding contributions of women currently in public office, and to encourage future generations of leaders.[30]

IBM Smarter Cities

Similar to many other legacy cities, Syracuse has seen an outmigration of jobs and people from the city center to the suburbs, resulting in vacant properties which has negative impacts across all segments of society and imposes direct costs on the city. Mayor Stephanie Miner asked IBM to help the city understand, analyze, predict and therefore prevent increases in vacant residential properties [31] As a result, Mayor Miner now aims to move Syracuse towards data-driven, holistic, and proactive interventions that prevent and reverse neighborhood decline.[32]

Joint Schools Construction Board

The Mayor has revamped the Joint Schools Construction Board which is overseeing a multimillion-dollar effort to rebuild and remodel Syracuse City School District buildings. Currently, four schools have been totally renovated and the project is now in the beginning stages of its second phase, which is authorized to include $300 million of individual projects at up to 15 schools. Mayor Miner serves as chair of the board.[33]

Land Bank

The primary purpose of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank is to return vacant, abandoned, underutilized, and tax-delinquent properties to productive use in ways that support the community’s long-range vision for its future.[34] The land bank of Syracuse under Stephanie Miner acquires properties, stabilizes them, and then sells them to responsible buyers for redevelopment. With these redevelopment property actions it increases the surrounding property values, improves the quality of life for residents, and stabilizes the tax base making it easier for local governments to provide essential services.[35]

Office of Innovation

The Mayor has recognized that the challenges facing the City of Syracuse will only be solved through substantive and innovative thinking. As part of her effort to recruit top talent, in 2015 the Mayor established the first-ever Mayor's office of Innovation using a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The first task of this office will be to examine infrastructure financing.[36]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Central New York (2009-04-16). "A Closer Look at Syracuse Mayoral Candidates -". Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  2. Breidenback, Michelle (November 5, 2013). "Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner wins election to a second term". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  3. Tarr, Jason. "Mayor's Race '09: Miner Follows Family Tradition for Dems". DemocracyWise. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  4. 1 2 Miner Follows Family Tradition for Dems - DemocracyWise Archived August 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. Dick Blume / The Post Standard. "Syracuse mayoral candidate Stephanie Miner saves the intensity for issues important to the city". Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  6. Stephanie Miner, Bio - DemocracyWise Archived September 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. "Stephanie Miner". Linkedin. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  8. "UBT Class Notes". Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  9. Meet Stephanie - Archived November 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "About Stephanie Miner". Miner for Mayor. Miner for Mayor. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  11. "Mayor's Biography". City of Syracuse. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  12. (June 6, 2012). "A chronology of Robert Congel's Destiny USA project". Syracuse Post Standard. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  13. Office of the Mayor (February 12, 2014). "MINER ANNOUNCES OPPOSITION TO NEW TAX DEAL FOR DESTINY HOTEL" (PDF). Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  14. Central New York (2009-11-03). "Syracuse elects Miner as next mayor; she becomes City Hall's first woman in top job". Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  15. Vote 2009 Results -
  16. Mike Greenlar / The Post-Standard. "Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says she won't spend $2 million council added to budget". Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  17. Miner, Stephanie (January 23, 2014). "2014 State of the City Address" (PDF). City of Syracuse. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  18. Knauss, Tim (November 23, 2013). "Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner picked for 'trailblazing women in public finance' award". Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  19. Knauss, Tim (September 1, 2013). "Ten battles Stephanie Miner has fought as Syracuse mayor".
  20.  . "Cuomo endorses mayoral candidate - YNN". Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  21. Rick Moriarty. "A hug for Mayor Miner, but no endorsement, from Lt. Gov. Duffy". Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  22. Miner, Stephanie A. (February 13, 2013). "Cuomo to Cities: Just Borrow". New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  23. Knauss, Tim (June 9, 2015). "Miner, two aides, travel to Denver for Clinton Global Initiative". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  24. Knauss, Tim (March 24, 2015). "Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner renews her call for state infrastructure funding". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  25.; Occupy Syracuse Eviction
  26. Mike Greenlar / The Post-Standard. "Miner evicts Occupy Syracuse". Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  27. Knauss, Tim (May 22, 2012). "Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner nominated to co-chair state Democratic Party". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  28. "Mayor's Welcome". SyrAirport. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  29. Knauss, Tim (January 29, 2015). "Miner's State of the City: New Office of Innovation to tackle Syracuse infrastructure problems". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  30. Cota, Patty. "Governing Institute Women in Government Leadership Program Class of 2015". Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  31. "Syracuse, United States". IBM. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  32. "Syracuse Summary Report" (PDF). IBM's smarter city challenge. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  33. Contreras, Sharon L. "Mayor Miner and Superintendent Contreras Announce JSCB Legislation Signed by Governor Cuomo". Syracuse City School District. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  34. "Greater Syracuse Land Bank". Syracuse Land Bank. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  35. "About - Greater Syracuse Land Bank". Greater Syracuse Land Bank. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  36. Knauss, Tim (January 29, 2015). "Miner's State of the City: New Office of Innovation to tackle Syracuse infrastructure problems". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Matt Driscoll
Mayor of Syracuse, NY
Succeeded by
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