Binghamton City Council Business Meeting Report – 3.13.24

This is a summary of legislation voted on at the 3/13/24 Binghamton City Council Business Meeting. Plus local news!





1. Commission on the Conservation of the Environment Chair – Luke Day (proposed by Hotchkiss) – Approved 7-0

2. Planning Commission – Kyle Nedlick (Proposed by the mayor) – Approved 5-2 (Porter, Middleton dissenting). Candidates proposed by the mayor at the last meeting (Christopher Dziedzic and Emmanuel Priest) will be reconsidered before the next meeting.

3. CDAC: Rebecca Porter (appointed by Olamni Porter, her husband), Rebecca Rathmell (appointed by Cavanaugh)

4. BLDC – Phil Strawn (Appointed. Representing City Council minority party)

5. BURA – Phil Strawn (Appointed. Representing City Council minority party)


1. Public Hearing regarding RL24-42 “A Local Law amending Chapter 400 of the City Charter, Vehicles and Traffic, adding the prohibition of operation of off-road vehicles in the City of Binghamton”

  • No one submitted comments during this hearing but many people spoke on the issue in the public comments.


  • Five in-person comments and many write-ins. I recommend watching the youtube video where each comment is timestamped in the description. 
  • Barry Koffman commented on the issue of landlords buying single family houses and then breaking them up into apartments and not paying the higher taxes that should come with renting out a commercial property. This is a huge problem in the city, as laid out by former Deputy Mayor and Director of Planning, Housing, and Community Development Tarik Abdelazim in the Binghamton Bridge in 2019. As Tarik said (and I’m sure will still say in 2024): “The City’s property assessment system is outdated, completely broken, and in desperate need of repair. Unless of course you own a student rental property or a downtown property. In that case, it’s working just fine.”
  • Some lowlights from write-in commenters regarding the issue of off-road vehicles on city streets, all of whom were in favor of the mayor’s proposed legislation:
    • Broome County District Attorney Paul Battisti pointed out that these vehicles are “all too often used to flee police.” Sure. Would love to see the data on that. I knew a guy who escaped from BPD on rollerblades once. Maybe they should start impounding those too.
    • John from Baxter Street thinks off-road vehicle usage could be a gateway drug leading to other crimes and “further neighborhood disintegration.” A few of these comments also mention loud music. Time to start impounding speaker systems and dog whistles.
    • A landlord, a funeral home director, two first ward neighborhood watch members, the Binghamton School District Superintendent and the District Attorney wrote in to support this legislation. Truly representative of the general public.
    • Loud music and loud vehicles (including street-legal motorcycles, which were never mentioned once in these discussions) are annoying. The problem with this legislation is it’s unlikely to be a deterrent, it is certain to lead to more young people being put through the criminal justice system, and it is yet another unimaginative, carceral substitute for community building efforts that could actually lead to strong neighborhoods where people talk to each other when they have a problem instead of calling the cops. 
  • Here are the five South Washington Street businesses who provided comments about how excited they are not to have poor people on their block after the Salvation Army moves to Walnut street. According to them, these businesses contribute so much to our community. Now they can increase their profits while no longer being forced to reckon with the poverty created by a system they benefit from.
    • Binghamton Hots – Building owned by David Whalen (Hots Owner) assessed at only $68k (!!!) according to Broome GIS. Owed $3400.98 in property taxes in 2022 and received a loan from the Broome County IDA to purchase 265 Main street in Johnson City.
    • Garland Gallery – Building owned by The Garland LLC assessed at only $105k according to Broome GIS. Owed $5,190 in property taxes in 2022 and received a $58k loan from the BLDC in 2020 for facade work.
    • Strange Brew – Here’s their owner in 2016 complaining about minimum wage going up to $9.70 an hour.
    • Mabel D. Orr
    • Goldenrod Studios


Introductory Ordinance O24-10: An Ordinance to Amend the 2024 Police Budget to increase the annual salary of the Mechanic Position. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-11:An Ordinance to amend the 2023 BJCSB budget to increase Village of Johnson City Local System cost. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-12

An ordinance to amend the 2023 Water and Sewage Fund budget for retroactive pay for 5 employees due to grievance decision on 12.15.23. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-13: An Ordinance rescinding permanent resolutions and ordinances related to Water Street Development Corporation R21-84 R23-51 R23-47 R21-92 and O23-59. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-14: An Ordinance authorizing the local adoption of the Main Street Historic District. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-15: An Ordinance to amend the 2023 General Fund to adjust for Assistant Corporation Counsel (CODE-ARPA) salary unused at year end. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-16: An Ordinance to amend the 2023 Police Fund to adjust for unused incentive funds at year end. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-17: An Ordinance to amend the 2024 Adopted Fee Schedule to allow additional fees for DPW. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-18: An Ordinance amending the 2024 General Fund budget for the demolition of a fire damaged property at 17 William Street. Passed 6-0 (Dundon recused)

Introductory Ordinance O24-19: An Ordinance to amend the 2024 General Fund budget to allocate ARPA funds to support building upgrades at 86 Walnut Street for the Salvation Army. Passed 6-1 (Porter dissenting)

Introductory Resolution R24-14: A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to accept a grant from the Broome County Small Community Fund for $9000 Handicapped Chair Lifts at Webster Street and Cheri Lindsay Park. Passed 7-0

Introductory Resolution R24-15: A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into a lease extension with the United Way of Broome County for the Lee Barta Community Center. Passed 7-0

Introductory Resolution R24-16: A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to accept a Congressional Award for $1,000,000 for City of Binghamton Youth Recreation Center. Passed 7-0

Introductory Resolution R24-17: A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement to implement affordable housing project at Saratoga I. Passed 7-0

Introductory Resolution R24-18: A Resolution approving the agreement for PILOT among the City of Binghamton, Binghamton Saratoga I Housing Development Fund Company, and Binghamton Saratoga I Limited Partnership. Passed 6-1 (Dundon dissenting)

Introductory Resolution R24-19: A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with the Salvation Army for use of ARPA funds to support a community meals program at 86 Walnut Street. Passed 7-0

Introductory Resolution R24-20: A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into Supplemental Agreement No. 1 with CS Engineers for work related to the Climate Action and Resiliency Plan. Not voted on tonight. 

Introductory Resolution R24-21: A Resolution to correct the 2024 tax rolls for various properties. Passed 7-0

Some Local News:

“crackdown” on off-road vehicles on city streets

WBNG deserves praise for getting quotes from someone other than the mayor and random people walking down the street. Maybe next time they’ll interview a sitting councilperson instead of a former one. Or better yet, maybe they’ll find one of the many many people joyriding on ATV’s and interview them. This is still clearly pushing the mayor’s agenda and I’m excited to compare and contrast local media coverage once the City Council starts introducing their own legislation, which will hopefully happen soon. 

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