Joanie Mahoney and Stephanie Miner might not be spending each other Hannukah cards this year.
The Onondaga County Executive told the Post-Standard today that her proposal for money to build a new sports arena in Syracuse are "abandoned" in large part to the lack of support she received from the Syracuse mayor.
"I see this as a tremendous opportunity for the whole region, but I don't want to do it over the mayor's objections,'' Mahoney said. "At the end of the day, she is the mayor and she gets to set her priorities. My priorities, or the state's priorities, or Syracuse University's priorities for the city don't take precedence over the mayor's priorities.''
Miner, who is either the voice of reason or the voice of gridlock, depending on how you see it, pumped the brakes on the project with questions about the feasibility and future of many factors. She even sent a letter to SU Chancellor Kent Syverdud with questions for SU, the arena's chief tenant, to answer.
Mahoney says she was going to request as much as $200M in state funding for the $500M arena and the word was that Governor Andrew Cuomo was inclined to provide it. Now she says she will continue to look for opportunities to obtain state funding but not through a sports arena.
So…what just happened? Saturday, we all went to sleep in our beds sound in the knowledge that the Carrier Dome was the unquestioned home of SU sports. By Sunday, visions of retractable roofs were dancing in our heads. And now on Tuesday, after a couple days of talking ourselves into how crummy the Carrier Dome is, we're right back where we started.
(You also can't discount the politics in play here. I know nothing of either person or local politics but when a person from one party is throwing a person from the other party under the bus over the demise of their own big plan, you always have to wonder what the agenda was. The article does note the two have a very good relationship.)
Which is exactly why I still think this whole episode leads to the renovation of the Carrier Dome. The conversation is taking place in public and if DOC Gross really wants to make it happen, he will have no better opportunity than right now.