Utica, NY (WIBX) - Mayor-Elect for the City of Utica, Robert Palmieri, says the first item he plans to tackle head-on when he takes office in January is the budget. Palmieri said, "We have to know within the budget where we are. I'm walking into a budget that is already--it's not my budget, there's a lot of questions out there. You hear a lot of different things that it's a $4 million dollar gap, a $5 million dollar, a $3 million, we really don't know. We have to have a handle on that." And, he says that means a complete freeze on any new spending other than necessities, and a freeze on any new hiring.

When asked about reaching out to his opponents to fill vacant positions within his administration, Palmieri said, "There's two things--would I consider that, or will I reach out? I won't reach out. If the opportunity presents its self, obvioulsy we know there's going to be a Corporation Counsel need, there's also going to be Codes Commissioner, there's also going to be Economic Development, I will look at all those with my transition team and we'll make a decision."

Palmieri says once he has a full grasp of the budget, the other items to fall in line will include, quality of life issues, economic development, community policing, the 2-percent property tax cap, and union contract negotiations. He says he also plans to work on the ongoing ambulance dispute, and work with officials involved with the development of the SUNYIT nano-technology complex.