Letter to the Editor

Stop Proposed Cuts to CENTRO Service

On Thursday, Feb. 19, we had a meeting at City Hall in Syracuse concerning CNY Centro. Centro is proposing service cuts to the Syracuse area. Local 580 is not in agreement with these cuts. We believe they should be adding services and hiring more drivers.

The Mission of CNYRTA is to provide services which are Safe, Convenient, Reliable and Environmentally responsible with a goal of maximizing the taxpayers return on investment. Cutting services does not meet these standards.

Centro’s Executive Director Frank Kobliski spoke at the Common Council meeting last week and indicated that Centro will be in a financial deficit of $4.5 million by April 1, 2015.

I have a few questions that need to be answered:

1. How did Centro get into this mess?
2. When did they realize they had problems?
3. Why is Mr. Kobliski salary set at $195,000 a year?
4. Why didn’t they request the help of city and the communities instead of trying to solve this on their own?
5. Why is Centro not taking better care of its drivers?
6. Why the state and federal government is not helping Centro with this situation?
7. Do you want more and more people to be unemployed?

It is said that convenient public transportation system is often a big part of what motivates people to move into a particular neighborhood in a city. It is very important that political officials help the poor and disabled who ride the city buses to be able to get to work. If the service cuts happen, it would have a ripple effect — on businesses, agencies and organizations.

Since I retired in 2011 from my position with P.E.A.C.E., Inc. / Project Connection as program director which was located in former Kennedy Square for 12 years and five years at University United Methodist Church, and now I am presently working part time at the bishop’s office in UUMC, I ride Centro bus Monday through Friday, sometimes on Saturdays, and on Sundays I ride to my church in the morning. So you see, Centro is convenient for me as a senior, seven days a week.

Please, do not allow this situation to take place because of the ripple effect it will happen to everyone.

Sincerely Yours,
Julius L. Lawrence Jr.
South Side resident and member of the Mayor’s Citizen Cabinet

P.S. I have gotten response from the following office: Govenor Cuomo’s, Assembleymen Magnarelli, Roberts, Stirpe, State Senator DeFrancisco and Valesky