I'll admit I did wonder if Ben Walsh got his job in city hall because he is the son of former Congressman James T. Walsh.
Upon speaking with Ben, it didn't take long to realize the error in my thinking. Ben is his own man who provides a lot of promise for CNY's major city; make that CNY.
I was so much surprised that I asked my senior editor, Walt Shepperd (covering CNY politics for more than 40 years), how I could have been so wrong.
"The Walshs are a dynasty," he said, "like the Mahoneys, the Mulroys and the Youngs."
He explained how there are families who carry on the work of public service in an attempt to evolve a place for the purpose of betterment. They have the unique view of historical inside perspective. What has worked when and why, and of course, what hasn't and why not.
So, who is Ben Walsh?
Ben was appointed as the deputy commissioner in the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development by Mayor Stephanie Miner. They had met when Councilor Miner had reached out to him at the Metropolitan Development Association (MDA). While there were rumblings about Mayor Miner's new team, Ben was busy at work with the MDA. But when Miner made contact with him, they had a good discussion.
"I loved my job, but the opportunity to work in city hall," Walsh said was too great, as he loves Syracuse, its history, its character and most of all its possibilities.
There's a challenge here, too, Walsh said and a chance to really make a difference, noting a comment made by Rick DeStito of the Gear Factory.
"Anyone of us could slide into a big city, but not feel we have a significant role."
Walsh paraphrased DeStito, adding that like DeStito, he'd much rather be here citing a recent outside of work event, the annual snowball softball tourney at Meacham Field.