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Otis Jennings gets specific

GOP mayoral designee wants to revamp government:

Otis Jennings had a brief tenure as front-runner for the Republican Party's mayoral nomination four years ago, courted by the then party chair, and welcomed at the lunch meetings of the GOP clubs with enthusiasm. Moved out of contention by bids from Randy Wolken and Joanie Mahoney, he ran unsuccessfully for Common Council President. This year the party gave him 80 percent of its ward committees votes, although he faces a possible primary from media executive Steve Kamatian. As a model back in the day for NBA sportswear catalogs, he never got to pose in the colors of the Knicks, his favorites as a NewYork City native. But while still a Knicks fan, Jennings roots are now set firmly in Syracuse.

Having worked intensely with local youth and serving as Parks Commissioner under Roy Bernardi, he has school district issues at the top of his agenda. "We can no longer lose generations of children," he notes, "because if they don't graduate with a degree or any type of skill, their skill set is going to be learned on the street, and that's why we continue to have murder in the neighborhoods." Equally important to him is job creation through the school system, with skill trade readiness on a par with college preparation.

On all construction projects, Jennings would have merit shop contractors and project labor agreements both bid, and see which saves the taxpayer more money. Noting that with no shovels yet in the ground on the school construction issue, the $180 million budgeted has lost value because construction costs go up every season 15 to 20 percent. "I'm not necessarily against project labor agreements," he said, "but if you view suburban school districts, you will very rarely find a PLA on capital construction projects, due to the fact that they do tend to run the cost of the project up."

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