Document Type





Onondaga County, local government




Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


Although residential and commercial development seems to spread without regard to political boundaries, much of the Syracuse metropolitan area lies within Onondaga County. Metropolitan area is defined as the city and the communities around it which draw much of their livelihood from the city and use many city services. This handbook attempts to describe not only the traditional institutions of government in Onondaga County with its city, towns, and villages, but also the extent of metropolitan growth and its effect upon these institutions. The Syracuse metropolitan area has unique features and many advantages as this book will detail. However, the area suffers from problems common to most urban areas in the United States: an aging center city, declining population in the city, a property tax base inadequate to pay for the services needed by the citizens, and expanding suburbs with their threat of urban sprawl, wasted land, and deteriorating natural resources.

In response to these problems the various local governments are adding new departments and services to the original structures inherited from colonial times. At the same time they are transferring some of their traditional responsibilities among the various levels of government. Added to this mix is an influx of federal monies in the form of general revenue sharing and grants for specific projects. The money helps alleviate some of the problems, but new ones arise. Many of these new problems are beyond the scope of one agency at one level of government. This book attempts to identify the responsibilities of each of the levels of local government - county, city, town, and village - and to provide a framework for understanding how each is interrelated with the other.


local input