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War was her salvation and her sorrow

Joanie vindicated?

Joanie Mahoney enjoyed a rare "I told you so" moment last month. On Feb. 10, the county executive announced that Onondaga County's credit rating has been upgraded to AAA. She pointed to the county's decision to withhold sales tax revenues from towns and villages as the reason for the upgrade.

"The new sales tax sharing formula has resulted in more financial stability for the county," Mahoney said. "That will give us a better bond rating and lower finance costs, which is great news for taxpayers."

Since the county's sales tax sleight-of-hand resulted in soaring property taxes in towns like Salina, homeowners there could sure use some good news, but we haven't heard anyone celebrating yet.

Ostuni out, Farrell in

After serving for 18 years as chairman of the village of Liverpool's Republican Party chairman, Joe Ostuni Jr. is no longer in charge of the village GOP. Former mayor and county legislator Jim Farrell has taken over the Republican reins here.

Town of Salina GOP Chairman Bill Tassone said Ostuni had failed to submit signed petitions to retain the chairmanship.

Under Ostuni's leadership, his party has virtually dominated village government, electing five Republican mayors (Al Sahm, Fred Bobenhausen, Jim Farrell, Marlene Ward and Gary White), a judge (the Honorable Herman Harding) and a half-dozen trustees.

While Ostuni declined to discuss the reason for the change at the top, he pointed to his long record of winning elections. "I love Liverpool," he told me, "and I will definitely remain an activist for the village."

Ostuni's activism includes his ongoing chairmanship of the village planning board as well as his continuing membership in the village GOP. The party's annual caucus will convene sometime between April 26 and May 3, with Jim Farrell wielding the gavel. All registered Republican residents of the village may attend.

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