By Josh Brokaw Nearly two years after apartments in West Village were first made available rent-free to Ithaca Police Department officers by landlords Omni New York LLC, residents and city officials are questioning the purpose and effectiveness of the “Officer Next Door” program. Currently, two IPD officers live in West Village in apartments provided by Omni. One of the officers is planning to move out within the next month, acting chief Pete Tyler told Common Council members at a City Administration committee meeting on Wednesday,…Continue Reading “West Village Residents Question Officer Next Door Program”

Amanda Champion joined Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers News for an interview that originally aired on WRFI News on August 8. Champion is the sole candidate who has announced a run so far for the Tompkins County Legislature District 12 seat that Will Burbank is leaving, which represents southwestern parts of the Town of Ithaca, West Hill, and the Ithaca College campus. (The deadline for filing petition signatures to earn an independent line on the ballot is August 22.) Champion had this to say about the…Continue Reading “Listen: County Legislature Candidate Amanda Champion On Affordable Living and More”

Deborah Dawson, a first-time candidate for the Tompkins County Legislature, sat down with Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers for an interview that first aired on WRFI News on August 1, 2017. “It seems that one of the real challenges we’re going to be facing in the coming years is making the money stretch, if we don’t get a lot of support from the state and the federal government,” Dawson said, “and it doesn’t really seem too wise to expect we are going to get a lot…Continue Reading “Listen: Tompkins Legislature Candidate Deborah Dawson on Tax Abatements, Affordable Housing”

Do you want to know what your local government is doing? Here are your opportunities in Tompkins County this week. If you would like to help TruthSayers News cover more issues that matter, if you are at a meeting, be a reporter. Send us recordings, photographs, or notes, and TruthSayers will publish them while crediting you. Email josh.brokaw@truthsayers.org with stories and tips. Let’s put every government action we can on the public record. Hyperlinks go to the meeting agenda for further information, if available. County…Continue Reading “Tompkins County Government Happenings, August 7-11”

By Josh Brokaw At its August 2 meeting, Ithaca’s Common Council voted to approve new zoning standards for areas along the West End waterfront. The process of designing the new zoning standards started in 2015, once the new city comprehensive plan was approved, and began in earnest with committee meetings and public outreach starting in the fall of 2016. “We went through this so many times, it’s like being in a French restaurant and getting so frustrated you order a hot dog,” Alderperson George McGonigal…Continue Reading “Council Approves New Zoning On The Waterfront”

Jim Dennis, the current legislator for Tompkins County District 5, which covers the Town of Ulysses and Trumansburg, joined Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers News for a radio interview originally broadcast June 27 on WRFI News. Dennis, a Democrat, is running for re-election again this year for a seat he’s held since 2006. His opponents are Anne Koreman, another Democrat, and Keith Hannon, who’s running on the Independence Party line. We opened the interview talking about affordable housing development and the Industrial Development Agency (IDA). “We’ve…Continue Reading “Listen: Tompkins County Legislator Jim Dennis On Housing, Jail Overcrowding”

Reed Steberger, Democratic candidate for the 4th district of the Tompkins County legislature, representing portions of downtown Ithaca and Collegetown, joined Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers on WRFI News on June 20 for a 14-minute interview. Steberger is challenging Rich John, the incumbent in District 4, in the Democratic primary. On the question of affordable housing, Steberger offered up an idea recently put forward by the county Office of Human Rights: “One of the biggest things we can do right away, is pursue a local law…Continue Reading “Listen: Tompkins County Legislature Candidate Reed Steberger”

The Tompkins County planning department released a draft version of the proposed county Housing Strategy this afternoon, June 15. The county legislature’s committee on planning, development and environmental quality will review the draft strategy at a public meeting on June 20 at 4 p.m. in the legislature chambers, 121 E. Court St. The idea is to make a recommendation on the final strategy for a vote by the full legislature by sometime in July. Read this TruthSayers story if you’re interested in some of the…Continue Reading “Tompkins County Housing Strategy, For Your Review”

By Josh Brokaw Construction on the Harold’s Square building is finally close to starting on the south side of the Ithaca Commons, so it seems, after four-plus years of public starts and stops. Developer David Lubin, of Horseheads’ “L Properties,” and the “Harold’s Holdings LLC” entity set up to build the 12-story building, received a 10-year tax abatement from the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency on June 8, one of the final hurdles to the project. Lubin appeared at the May city planning board meeting,…Continue Reading “Harold’s Square On Its Way: Tax Break Granted Over Vocal Opposition”

The Tompkins County government is asking for comments from citizens on a new document that will guide efforts to increase the number and quality of housing units within the county. By May 31, questions and comments about the new Tompkins County housing strategy should be directed to the Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability, whether in writing at 121 East Court Street, Ithaca, NY 14850, via phone at (607) 274-5560, or by email at planning@tompkins-co.org. What is a “housing strategy,” you ask? Tompkins County…Continue Reading “Housing Tompkins County: Make Your Voice Heard”