Mayor Billy Barlow delivers 100 Day Address/2016 State of the City

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, top right, delivers his first State of the City address Monday night. Listening, from left are, City Attorney Kevin Caraccioli and councilors Pat McLaughlin and Shawn Walker.

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, top right, delivers his first State of the City address Monday night. Listening, from left are, City Attorney Kevin Caraccioli and councilors Pat McLaughlin and Shawn Walker.

Staff Report

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow delivered the 2016 State of the City on Monday night, combining the speech with his official 100 Day Address.

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, top right, delivers his first State of the City address Monday night. Listening, from left are, City Attorney Kevin Caraccioli and councilors Pat McLaughlin and Shawn Walker.
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, top right, delivers his first State of the City address Monday night. Listening, from left are, City Attorney Kevin Caraccioli and councilors Pat McLaughlin and Shawn Walker.

“As we mark our first 100 days together in office, we can all look back and be extremely proud of what we have already accomplished,” Mayor Barlow told the packed Council Chambers. “For the first time in a long time, our residents are excited about our community. They are encouraged by their local government.”

The official 100-day mark for the new administration was on Saturday, but the mayor addressed the Common Council and public Monday night during the Common Council meeting highlighting several accomplishments within the first 100 days and emphasizing the amount of momentum and energy city government currently has.

“When I decided to run for mayor, I ran because I felt the city needed a drastic change. We needed a jolt of energy and we needed a “Can-Do” attitude. And when I won the election, I vowed to myself and to the residents of this city that I would use the same amount of energy and passion it took to win an election to represent and move our city forward, because the leadership in City Hall was stagnant and absent for far too long and it showed,” the mayor said.

“It is also precisely the reason why we entered the New Year with incredible momentum and with the help of the Common Council we have carried that momentum through the first 100 days and have made considerable progress in several different areas,” Barlow continued.

He thanked the council members who “took office in trying times” and have worked together to settle into office and passionately serve their constituents.

“It hasn’t been an easy first few months as we walked into office facing a previously implemented water fee increase and a tough budget on the horizon,” he said. “But, we rolled up our sleeves and immediately got to work doing exactly what our constituents asked us to do. I am happy to work together with each of you.”

Because of the momentum they have generated, he said he believes the state of the city “is strong, energetic and active.”

And, although there are challenges ahead, “I believe we have reason to be optimistic,” the mayor added. “We’ve already made progress on many different fronts.”

Mayor Barlow touched briefly on some changes at City Hall, like passing a resolution to accept credit and debit cards throughout city government, creating a new city website and taking unprecedented steps to ensure government transparency by creating a bi-partisan ethics board.

He also stressed the importance of creating and improving relationships with key state and federal representatives and agencies like Assemblyman Will Barclay, Senator Patty Ritchie, Congressman John Katko, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and expressed how helpful and cooperative DOT Commissioner Matt Driscoll and the NYS DOT have been in his first months in office.

Barlow dove more in-depth to some significant changes and victories they’ve tallied in the first few months.

He touched on reaching out for financial assistance with the city’s $85 million Consent Decree, establishing a new Code Enforcement Office, streamlining the city’s building and permitting process, engaging in a waterfront feasibility study, restructuring the Community Development Office and encouraging the Department of Public Works to focus on customer service and quicker response time to constituent requests.

Mayor Barlow closed his address by previewing what his administration faces ahead and noting plenty of work still needs to be done.

“We will present a plan to help recover and rebuild our city’s infrastructure and neglected buildings and equipment. We will look for and consider reforming and restructuring fees with the intent to ease the burden on our taxpaying homeowners,” the mayor said. “We must make a serious attempt to capture the available Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding from Governor Cuomo that was passed in the state budget and focus on developing our waterfront and utilizing our natural resources.”

Finally, the mayor mentioned how honored he was to serve the city of Oswego and how much he is enjoying the new job.

“We are 100 days in and have already accomplished a lot and we must keep working hard,” he said. “I, for one, can’t wait to get to City Hall every day to serve this community and I look forward to what I know we will accomplish together for the city of Oswego.”

(The Mayor’s Office provided information for this report.)


  1. Get the water/sewer rates back down to an affordable level & maybe we can be proud, if not, I’m proudly moving out of here at one heck of a loss to my finances & starting over where it’s more affordable to live…Fulton’s looking pretty good.

  2. I really don’t see any improvement yet. Jobs were given to campaign contributors and an ethics committee established to squash anyone that gets in the mayors way. How about decreasing the water/sewer bill or did you think your constituents forgot. Council working passionately? For who ? To pad their own pocket? Lets see what the next 100 days brings to the carnival or should I say 3 ring circus?

  3. The mayor lists nice political talking points. This city is losing $1 million in revenue starting next year. No where does Mr. Barlow say how that will be addressed. So far the mayor has added a part time code position which costs the city more. Where does Mr. Barlow expect to save $1 million or should residents brace for another surprise water/sewer increase?

  4. Sewer rates throughout Indiana and the United States have risen in recent years for a variety of reasons including:

    Federal environmental mandates
    Aging infrastructure and the need for capital improvements
    Rising costs for operations and maintenance (equipment, personnel, insurance, electricity, etc.)
    Consumer growth and higher demand

    Sewer rates range widely among utilities and depend on numerous factors (including economies of scale, access to loans and other factors listed above). However, the trend of rising rates for all types of wastewater utilities is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. In most cases, the costs for processing wastewater have outpaced the costs for processing drinking water.

  5. Someone needs to explain to Valerie why the City of Oswego has such high sewer/water bills. She apparently does not know the whole story or she would not have given the so called “reasons” she offered. Maybe she lives in a City in Indiana where the City Goverment takes responsibility for its actions.

  6. I also agree the water and sewer bills are putting a dent in our pckets and the roads are a real mess every where you drive you are hitting a pot hole and when that is not happen you are trying to avoid hitting another car by avoiding the holes so lets get the right things done lower the water and sewer and fix the roads and then people will be happy.

  7. To: almost taxed to forclousure

    Although you lack tact, spelling ability, and sound financial management, I will respond to your brusque comments.

    I am aware of the situation entirely.

    I refer to: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/cityofoswego-cd.pdf

    As informed, proactive taxpayers in the City of Oswego, everyone is responsible for cost containment at all levels.

    Weekly Common Council/Mayor/Public Meetings are held on Monday nights in City Hall. Bring your comments and address the issues directly.

  8. Hey Valerie, maybe your tune will change when the water/sewer rates hit around $900+/qtr. by year 2022? Would you be comfortable spending that much? It’s coming. I know the actual reason why it’s so high here and I’m going to blow it wide open when I finally get out of here and it has nothing to do with the reasoning you give.

  9. Valerie, Insults? Just lost your credibility. For the record, I did not ask for a response from you. I was hoping that some one with more detail of the facts than I have would respond to you. I will give it a shot. A manager of our water system was told by I believe NYS to make up -grades and repairs by a particular date or the city of Oswego would face large fines. These repairs and upgrades were not done and the city was fined I THINK over 1Million dollars. Neglect of duty by this city employee is why I and the rest of the taxpayers of Oswego are paying such high water/sewer bills. I don’t need to go to a meeting to express my concern (I am also incapable) to the Common Council, they already know.

  10. I forgot to mention that I have always been aware of when and where the common council meet. When I have concerns I have to call my alderman. He has always listens to my concerns and helps whenever possible. I have written to our new Mayor with no response. Please do not make any more direct responses to me. Your condescending attitude makes you a waste of my time.

  11. Since this is a public newspaper, I will continue to speak out. This article addresses Mayor Barlow’s first 100 days in office. He mentions the consent decree & The resultant 85 million dollars. I attached the link to the consent decree for your information. They are addressing the issue of sewer and water rates. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. No amount of complaining , whining, secrets, or verbal onslaughts on this Comment board solves the issue s facing the City and it’s residents. Constructive, proactive actions will!

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