Binghamton City Council Business Meeting Report – 3.27.24

This is a summary of legislation voted on at the 3/27/24 Binghamton City Council Business Meeting. Plus local news!

I usually post these on Reddit at r/Binghamton as well, but I was banned from the subreddit and called antisemitic just for supporting a Ceasefire in Gaza. I’ll now be posting recaps in the subrreddit r/BinghamtonLeft if you want to join the conversation there.

It’s official: Michael Kosty will be representing the 6th District until November.





1. The City of Binghamton will hold a Public Hearing regarding RL24-17 “An Ordinance to amend Chapter 410 to address below-grade amenity spaces in multiple-unit dwellings”

  • Not sure what this is. Something to do with zoning

2. This Public Hearing will take place at 6PM during the April 10, 2024 regular City Council Business Meeting in City Council Chambers, 38 Hawley Street, Binghamton NY. Residents wishing to participate in Public Hearings may do so electronically by emailing their comments prior to 1:00PM on the day of the meeting to or in-person during the meeting.


Each comment is time stamped on the youtube video.

John Tokos – Binghamton Plaza Property Manager argued against the city’s plan to tear down Binghamton Plaza and turn it into greenspace.

Aviva Friedman – Former Councilperson spoke about the latest housing analysis required by HUD and the ceasefire resolution being voted on next Wednesday.

Kenneth Brown spoke against the appointment of Councilperson Kosty, calling it cronyism. 

Tarik Abdelazim Former Deputy Mayor spoke against the appointment of Kosty and in favor of legislation providing $1.1 Million to the Southern Door CLT.

Francis Cook wrote in against the appointment of Kosty.

Someone named Dania wrote in with allegations (mostly redacted) against City Council and specific, unnamed city employees.


Introductory Ordinance O24-20

Ordinance to amend the 2024 General budget for Parks Department for responsibility adjustments for temporary Acting Commissioner. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-21

An Ordinance to amend the Code of the City of Binghamton, Chapter 124, Section 26, to update eligibility for retiree health insurance. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-22

An Ordinance to amend the 2024 Treasurer budget to adjust the salary and classification of the Treasurer position. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-23

An Ordinance to amend the 2024 Capital budget to close serial bond accounts no longer active. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-24

An Ordinance to amend the 2024 budget for HUD Admin & Housing to add CDBG funded Housing & Community Development Specialist position. Passed 7-0

Introductory Resolution R24-22

A Resolution authorizing the Mayor into an agreement with Chrysalis Research for the creation of an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing study. Passed 7-0

Introductory Resolution R24-23

A Resolution to accept NYS Resolution to re-open Section 384 of the retirement and social security law. Passed 7-0

And now the news:

WBNG on Kosty Appointment

WSKG on Kosty Appointment

WICZ on Kosty Appointment

Press & Sun on Kosty Appointment

Video of City Council Special Business Meeting where Kosty was appointed (15 min)

Even though the issue is settled, I think it’s worth looking at this as a test case for how the City Council Democratic supermajority will operate going forward. 

In statements to the press and during public comments this week, the City Council was accused of breaking the law, cronyism, “letting party politics overshadow the needs and wants of the people of that district” and “creating a new precedent” with their appointment of Mike Kosty over Phil Strawn. For the sake of argument let’s assume all these accusations are correct and let’s imagine the hypothetical damage that could be done. 

  1. They broke the law by violating a court order. 
  • The damage done: The mayor wastes more public money suing the City Council and manages to get Strawn reappointed. City Council Dems lose credibility among voters who are paying attention and give a shit.
  1. They engaged in cronyism by appointing Mike Dundon’s friend. 
  • The damage done: City Council Dems lose credibility among voters who are paying attention and give a shit.
  1. Putting party politics before the people.
  • The damage done: City Council Dems lose credibility among voters who are paying attention and give a shit.
  1. Creating a new precedent that could be used by Republicans in the future.
  • The damage done: Republicans will act like Republicans by seizing any and all opportunities to exercise power but it will be the Democrats’ fault.

I’m not defending the actions of the Democrats. It’s reasonable to fear that even a whiff of cronyism will affect their chances in the November runoff and in 2028. Especially since they haven’t been proactive about promoting themselves and their agenda to local news outlets the way the mayor does (not a single article on the ethics reform package?!). That being said, 6800 people voted in the last mayoral election. 6700 people voted in the City Council elections. That’s 15% of the population. No one is paying attention to this shit. I would prefer the City Council do whatever it takes (within reason) to get things done and activate the 85% of the city that doesn’t vote than worry over the undecided 1% of the 15% who do. I don’t know what the Dems can do with a 7-0 vote that they can’t do with a 6-1 vote, but they made the calculation that it was worth the risk and I hope they’re right.

See you Monday for the Work Session. Then Wednesday for the Business Meeting where the City Council will be voting on a Ceasefire resolution.

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