Local News for Tuesday, January 16, 2023

Ithaca’s 2023 Elections Could Mark Real Change

Significant changes could be coming to Ithaca’s city government. This year, all Common Council seats and Ithaca’s mayor office will be up for election. The new Mayor will also appoint the city’s first ever City Manager. The Manager will replace the current Chief of Staff role and hold many responsibilities previously held by the mayor. According to the Ithaca voice, the potential for change is further compounded by the city’s new redistricted wards. The new map was adopted in July to reflect the results of the 2020 census. So far, Common Council members Jorge Defendini (4th Ward), and Ducson Nguyen (2nd Ward) have announced they would run for reelection. Alderperson Rob Gearthart (3rd Ward) said he would not run again, and the fifth ward’s Robert Cantalmo announced he will run for mayor.

Common Council Approves New Measure to Soothe Union Tensions

Ithaca’s Common Council has created a “labor liaison” role in an effort to improve relations with the City’s public sector unions. Originally proposed by Alderperson George McGonigal, the measure will name one or two Alderpersons to be present in contract negotiations between the City and labor unions. Council also hopes the liaison will provide insight into why negotiations have remained deadlocked. According to the Ithaca Times, tensions between the two parties began during a November 2nd meeting, when public sector union members butted heads with Common Council and the City Attorney over low morale and unfilled positions. The change comes in addition to the replacement of the City Attorney by an outside attorney at the negotiating table.

Ithaca Man Charged with Attempted Murder

Ken Hallett of Ithaca is facing attempted murder, assault, and burglary charges stemming from an investigation of incidents at Titus Towers on Friday. Two victims were treated for knife injuries; none were life-threatening. Hallet is known to many locals as the former proprietor of the ABC Cafe. He was arraigned in City Court Friday and will face a preliminary hearing today.   


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