Posted at the Sean Kirst Forum Today
2/16/2006 08:33:00 AM | Author: baloghblog

Back to neighborhoods topic... by backtocuse, 2/16/06

Brookings Institute report released today confirms challenges for inner ring subburbs, and lack of funding compared to cities themselves.

Syracuse is no exception. A la NYCO, we should be addressing "first subburbs" and helping residents with low income housing and first home ownership in the inner ring suburbs. We should also be increasing police patrols to improve public safety. All of this requires attention from the local and state governments, and funding. Some "first suburbs" are making a go at it themselves, like Eastwood for example. Others are struggling like Tipp Hill with the closure of St. Pat's, and decreasing home ownership and increasing crime. Still others are very neglected, like the south side.

We need to realize that there is great potential in the inner suburbs, as long as we don't neglect them. Imagine a street car down James St. for Eastwood to downtown. Or a massive revitalization program by Habitat for Humanity in the south side, with entrepeneurial grants for a business district revitalization. How about tougher policing of the near north side, still filled with residents who care deeply about the neighborhood they raised their family in.

The first suburbs are the "middle child" in the proverbial city family. Much attention is paid to downtown like the "first born" that it is, and again to the outer burbs development as the "baby" of the family. If the city's "family" works anything like my own growing up, the only way the inner ring middle child is going to get any attention is to start MAKING SOME NOISE.

We need natural born leaders to start coming out of the woodwork and leading this huge block of voters (there are very few people who actually live in downtown, remember) to get their fair share - and help guide these communities forward in a positive direction.

Just my $.02.


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On 10:23 PM , phil said...

I've read your comments on the Kirst forum and this post and I still don't think that places like Eastwood, Tipp Hill and the southside should be referred to as "first suburbs."

The point of the article was mainly about the lack of help for struggling inner-ring suburbs, unincorporated into their adjoining cities but absorbing some of the same problems with poverty, crime and housing deterioration.

The city of Syracuse is currently wrangling over the allocation of its Community Development Block Grant funds from the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development. Yeah, we wish it was more and we wish the city spent it more wisely, but that's $10 million (roughly) EVERY YEAR to deal with deteriorating housing, economic development and some social services.

Mattydale gets no direct funds from the feds and is forced to apply to NY State in a competitive bid process with all the other small towns and villages not big enough to get their own funds. There is no guarantee they will get anything.

The problem is that federal and state funding seems to be a zero-sum game: give any more to small towns and villages and you'll have to subtract from the city.

These localities should be part of the city--with more population, an expanded Syracuse will get more bang for its tax collection buck and the former suburbs will get things like HUD money, trash collection, more professional police and fire etc.

Come back home Mattydale, E. Syracuse, Nedrow, Fairmount!