Water conservation

2021 Elections: Abbott-Kenan vs. Dwire in Onondaga County Legislature Race


Syracuse, NY – Former television reporter Julie Abbott-Kenan of Skaneateles is seeking a new term in the Onondaga County Legislature against retired nurse Diane Dwire of Camillus.

Abbott-Kenan was appointed to the seat of the 6th District of the Legislative Assembly in 2018 and successfully ran for the position in 2019.

The district includes the towns of Otisco, Spafford, Skaneateles, Marcellus and part of Camillus.

Abbott-Kenan raised approximately $ 5,540 in campaign contributions, while Dwire raised approximately $ 7,658.

County legislators serve two-year terms. Next year’s salary will be $ 33,477, according to the proposed 2022 county budget. Election day is November 2.

We asked the candidates to provide information about themselves and answer this question: “What is the biggest problem facing Onondaga County and how are you going to deal with it?” The answers have been edited slightly for style and space.

Julie Abbott-Kenan

Age: 48

Address: 7 Tallcot Lane, Skaneateles

Party affiliation, supporters and poll lines: : Lines of the Republican and Conservative parties.

To live: Legislator of Onondaga County, District 6. President – Health and Social Services. Vice-president – Planning and economic development. Member of the board of directors: Protection de l’environnement, CNY Regional Planning & Development, Council for the Environment, Deer & Tick Advisory, Soil & Water Conservation District. Former news anchor, investigative reporter, talk show host LocalSyr NewsChannel 9, former vice president of the Skaneateles School Board of Education.

What is the biggest problem facing Onondaga County and how can we fix it?

Our first priority must be to continue to respond responsibly to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s ensuring in-person learning for our children or providing financial support to keep local businesses afloat. The needs are vast and we are meeting the challenge head on.

As chair of our county’s health and social services committee, I have successfully advocated for bringing life-saving COVID vaccination and testing clinics and mental health care to our schools and suburbs. My efforts have resulted in relief funds for everything from restaurants about to close to our little farms desperate to stay afloat. We did it while balancing the budget without raising taxes.

Today more than ever, we need strong visionary leaders. Investing in our infrastructure is an investment in the future sustainability of our region. Our county relies on sales tax revenues to fund day-to-day services, including snow removal from roads, drinking water supplies, and social services. Our committed investment in improving water, sewers and roads is essential to launch business ventures that create jobs like we did with Amazon. Equally important, I have secured hundreds of thousands of dollars for our villages to improve their local business districts.

I have also worked to secure the necessary resources to preserve our pristine drinking water sources in Skaneateles and Otisco lakes. Through my continued advocacy, we will continue to fund matching grant programs for our farming community, which is critical to preventing harmful algal blooms. Whether it is investing in our infrastructure, preserving our natural resources or creating opportunities for inclusive economic development for all, I effectively defend District 6.

Diane M. Dwire

Age: 75

Address: 315, chemin Kasson, Camille

Party affiliation, supporters, voting lines: The lines of the Democratic Party, Keeping our promises.

To live: Graduated from West Genesee High School, Niagara University – BS Nursing. Army Nurses in Active Service 1968-1973; Army Reserves 1974-1994. Has worked in public health in Kentucky, Onondaga County Health Department and State Department of Health. Member of Camille’s municipal council 2001-2007. Ran for State Assembly District 126 – 2014 and 2016. I came out of retirement in December 2020 to work in the Covid-19 vaccination clinics with the Onondaga County Health Department.

What is the biggest problem facing Onondaga County and how can we fix it?

I have several challenges: the protection of our lakes and our farmland, sustainable economic development and effective public health and safety programs.

At this point, my concern is to have an effective public health system. We are in the midst of a pandemic and I think there will be future epidemics. The fact that the county legislature in the fall of 2020 refused to take $ 1.9 million from a balance of $ 77 million (cash reserve) to bring back nurses on leave, social / mental health professionals and other healthcare workers was ashamed. It shouldn’t have been a partisan issue. It should have been about saving lives, opening up the economy and getting back to some normalcy.

This is what I hear when I go door to door: “I want a normal life again to see my family and friends. I will work to ensure a strong and adequately staffed health service as well as other services that provide a safety net for people.

My years of working in the military and the public sector have prepared me to work with people with different points of view. Talking about the issues usually resulted in a mutually acceptable decision. My goal would be to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to achieve consensus on the issue.

Also holding town halls to make sure my constituents are aware of the issues, that they listen to their concerns, and that they ask for their support and help is a mechanism I would use.

I’m not afraid to stand up and talk about a problem, if necessary.


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