On Wednesday 1st Ward Councilor Cynthia Brock called for an ethics investigation into former Mayor Svante Myrick. According to the Ithaca Times, Brock’s allegations center around the reimagining public safety process. Brock claims the Mayor promised payment to the reimaging public safety task force’s co-leads without council approval and sought funds from outside sources to pay the task force’s members. Brock also says the former Mayor accepted pro bono services from the Center for Policing Equity without Council approval. Lastly, Brock says the Mayor’s time spent as both Mayor and an employee of People for the American Way represented a conflict of interest. Brock has been publicly critical of the reimagining public safety process saying the task force didn’t take in enough input from the Common Council or the Ithaca Police Department.
Yesterday, both Democratic State Senate candidates Lea Webb and Leslie Danks-Burke, announced they would remain in the race for New York State Senate. On Wednesday the New York State Court of Appeals threw out the state’s new congressional and state senate maps saying they were drawn with “unconstitutional partisan intent.” According to the New York Times, the new maps will be drawn by a court appointed map drawer. The state’s primaries may also be delayed to August.
Starting next week utility work on College Ave. will cause some road closures. Catherine Street will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians from 9 AM to 2 PM on Monday. Also, the inbound lane of Mitchell Street will be closed for about half the day on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area if possible.
Local officials are proposing a permanent encampment structure for unhoused people. According to the Ithaca Times, the measure was proposed by local officials and volunteers including 1st ward councilors Cynthia Brock and George McGonigal. The group presented what they called The Ithaca Dedicated Encampment Site (TIDES) at the Ithaca Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting last week. Director of Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency Nels Bohn reported the city has seen an increase in homeless encampments over the past five years. Bohn said rising housing prices as well as addiction and mental health issues have been leading factors contributing to homelessness. Bohn said that 75 percent of the unhoused have a mental health or addiction diagnosis.