City by the Bay Nominee: Syracuse NY


City by the Bay Nominee: Syracuse NY

Actually, Syracuse probably will not win the award since it actually discovered its problem and hopefully will try to fix it, however its a great story. Read it all here.

Seems the city auditor got around to auditing the city garages this year and found a few problems.

1. The city hadn’t renewed its contracts with the operators that were running the garages in seven years (they ran out seven years ago and are on month to month). Of course they only discovered this problem after they found the contracts, which were filed neatly under some boxes.

2. There has been an ongoing problem with bad checks. It seems that when the operator gets a check, he deposits it in the city’s bank. If the check bounces, no one tells the operator, it just bounces.

I’m sure there are other issues, but the auditor seems to think that the bounced check business with other things not mentioned in the article, amounts to over $2.5 million a year in losses.

Now, I have never seen a city auditor that knew how to properly audit a garage. He can find things like the bounced check problem, but did he count tickets, do inventories, check validations, run car lists. I doubt it.

My guess is that the hole in Syracuse’s bucket is much bigger then the auditor thinks.

The blame seems to be placed on the fact that the city decided that oversight wasn’t needed for the parking garages and did away with the jobs of the people who watched their parking operations. They also, it seems, didn’t expect their garages to make any money. They were "built as a economic development tool" and were expected to operate at a loss.  HUH!

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this could be an award contender. They built the garages as a development tool. Well I guess a lot of cities do that. They have a withering downtown (big mall opens on the edge of town) so they build some garages to attract people back to the central city. I know many of my friends go places to park in nice garages.

I wonder if the monies generated from these garages, wait there is no money generated by the garages. They are sink holes. reset

I wonder if the cost of on street parking is less than off street parking in downtown Syracuse? Anybody know — I searched on line and couldn’t find anything about parking charges in the city.

So let’s see. No oversight, seven year out of date contracts, garages planned at a loss, no way to track bounced checks. Yes. I do believe the city of Syracuse is a contender.


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John Van Horn

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