Woman takes Syracuse City Hall without playing the "first" card

Syracuse will soon add one more woman to its leadership roster that already includes Onondaga County Exec Joanie Mahoney, SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor, OCC President Debbie Sydow, Syracuse Chamber of Commerce's Darlene Kerr and many more.

Before I met Stephanie Miner, I have to admit, I had heard of her prosecutorial style and a temperamental nature.

Spending some time observing the Syracuse Common Council in action, I only witnessed her stepping up and asking the tough question, which could tend to make some attendees feel uncomfortable, in particular, her fellow councilors.

I finally met Miner at City Eagle Senior Editor Walt Shepperd's Q&A during the mayoral campaign. I was taking pictures, and found her to be highly intelligent, motivated, practical, engaging and down to earth. It really took me aback that this reported "difficult woman" even struck me as charming, and also, sincere.

Then, I watched Miner during the campaign both in person and on televised debates and found her to be pretty consistent to my encounter. Actually, I often thought she was being baited (picked on to distract her from actual city issues).

Her experience reminded me of the early days of being in business management as the woman in charge, which I often was. I had to work harder, longer, stronger, smarter and for less money while under total scrutiny that wasn't used on my male counterparts (Don't get me wrong I loved those male counterparts).

Consider that back in the 1970s us working gals wore tight tailored clothing that included suits and even ties accompanied by control top, reinforced toe pantyhose and high Bare Traps high heels - you try that 12 hours a day. Phew.

It was the restaurant business. I liked the game. I liked to produce a quality product and good service. I also liked to make money and wanted my staff to make money, too. I was often thought of as tough and a "bitch." It was difficult, but I always looked at the big picture of ultimate success for all the players including our customers.

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