Binghamton City Council Business Meeting Report – 5.22.24

This is a summary of legislation voted on at the 5/22/24 Binghamton City Council Business Meeting and the 5/24/24 Special Business Meeting.





The City of Binghamton will hold a Public Hearing regarding RL24-86 An Ordinance to amend the official zoning map to rezone a portion of Clinton Street and Mygatt Street

The City of Binghamton will hold a Public Hearing regarding RL 24-96 An Ordinance to amend the Code of the City of Binghamton, Chapter 410, Zoning, Article VII, Section 410

These Public Hearings will take place at 6PM during the June 5, 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.

The City of Binghamton will hold a Public Hearing regarding RL 24-91 A Local Law to amend Charter Chapter 45 to include unhoused status as a protected class. 

This Public Hearing will take place at 6PM during the June 26, 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.


Public Hearing regarding RL 24-72 A Bond Ordinance to finance construction of improvements and upgrades to the Terminal Pumping Station at the Joint Sewage Treatment Plant.

  • No comments made


Residents wishing to submit public comment 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.

Kenny Brown voiced support for police accountability and spoke about unhoused people being harassed at the bus station as well as a concerned resident he says was assaulted by a security officer there as well.

Many residents spoke out against officer Brad Kaczynski, who was videotaped choking Hamail Waddell while he was handcuffed and face down on the sidewalk. State Attorney General Letitia James recently wrapped up an investigation of the incident. The report called Kaczynski’s actions excessive force and recommended disciplinary action, “including potential termination, for the unreasonable use of force that was not in accordance with law, policy, or training, as described above.”

Dara Silberstein spoke about her involvement trying to pass the police modernization act.

Aviva Friedman spoke about the fake “police reform” that followed the murder of George Floyd. 

Passionn spoke about previous brutality claims made against Brad Kaczynski.

Misty Kirby spoke about systemic racism and the fact that Officer Kaczynski worked in schools.

Qahhara Griffin spoke about her son and how she wants him to learn that bad actions have consequences, even for police.

Terri Weathers spoke in favor of firing Brad Kaczynski and the abolition of police.

Rebecca Rathmell said carrying out the AG’s recommendations would increase public safety.

Salka Valerio spoke about similarities between George Floyd’s murder and the actions of Brad Kaczynski. She made demands including: charges dismissed against Hamail Waddell, compensation for his family, and disciplinary action for the other cops’ failure to intervene.

Soup spoke in favor of firing Brad Kaczynski and related a story about his father being beaten by Kaczynski and other officers. His statements were interrupted by Council President Mativetsky, who decided the personal statement was “defamatory” (which she later corrected).

Mary Clark spoke against Jared Kraham’s dismissive response to the AG’s investigation and pointed out that residents have nowhere to turn when police brutalize people. She also spoke against the mass arrests that happened on 4/20.

Marcia Gates spoke about attempts by BPD to intimidate Waddell while he was in custody.

Bob Wilson spoke in favor of Kaczynski being fired and spoke against Council President Mativetsky’s pattern of interrupting and chastising residents for alleged rule-breaking.

My Take: Kaczynski should be fired, the officers who didn’t intervene should be disciplined, the mayor should be censured once he inevitably ignores the AG’s report just like Rich David ignored the governor’s mandate for police reform, the Police Modernization Act should be passed, a citizen review board should be established, all charges against Waddell and the protestors should be dismissed, and the police should be abolished. This is all easy to say but just as easily ignored. The city council doesn’t have the power to fire a BPD officer and any recommendation they make will be largely symbolic. More cameras, bystander training, and copwatch organizing can and will reduce police violence but this case shows that having everything out in the open is not enough to prevent or punish it. The state will never protect you from the police because the police exist to protect the state from you. The only answer is to protect ourselves through good, sustained organizing which can build community power. Nothing will seriously change in how Binghamton is policed until we start seeing more than the usual crew of 10-15 activists at these speakouts. The Republican city council ignored them. The Democratic city council is saying “I hear you” but not much more. Slamming your head into the solid brick wall of the American police state with a few of your comrades is a noble endeavor and could eventually break through given the right material conditions. Organizing more people of all different backgrounds with aligned interests (who are willing and able to do more than just vote) and maybe we could collectively climb over or dig under that wall. 

Emailed comments:

Michael Bess wrote against RL24-85, which would use $66k in funding from the DA’s traffic diversion program to install more cameras in “high crime” areas on the west and north sides. Bess spoke against mass surveillance and cited racial bias in how surveillance systems function and where they are installed. He also said “once you give government agencies expanded powers they never give them up” and cited a story in Chicago where a family was wrongly targeted by police for a perceived affiliation with gang activity.

Alan Weissman, the CEO of the Doubletree Hotel wrote against the occupancy tax proposed by the mayor and city council.


Introductory Ordinance O24-32. A Bond Ordinance for the TPS at JSTP. Passed 7-0

  • Summary: Interest-free bond will be used to upgrade filtration equipment to cope with the increased use of “flushable” wipes which clog up the system.

Introductory Ordinance O24-33. An Ordinance to amend Charter Section 26-9 to clarify legislative sign out process. Returned to committee 5-2 (Porter, Dundon dissenting)

Introductory Ordinance O24-38. An Ordinance to amend the Code Chapter 307 vending hours. Passed 7-0

  • Summary: Ordinance would allow food carts to operate downtown from 6 am to 3 am on Friday and Saturday. Current regulations only allow operation 9 am until 9 pm.
  • Two Amendments submitted by councilman Hotchkiss to clarify hours. Passed 7-0

Introductory Ordinance O24-39. An Ordinance to amend Ch. 410 Zoning to address below-grade amenity spaces in multi-unit dwellings. Rejected 3-4 (Cavanaugh, Dundon, Kosty, Mativetsky dissenting)

  • Summary:

Introductory Ordinance O24-41. An Ordinance to modify O22-14 and O22-62 for unused ARPA funds. Passed 7-0

  • Summary: There is now a confirmed $288,000 available in ARPA funds.

Introductory Ordinance O24-42. An Ordinance to rescind R23-93 and O24-28. Passed 7-0

  • Summary: Rescinding legislation and changing the format as demanded by NY State.

Introductory Resolution R24-38. A Resolution authorizing Binghamton Pride Coalition fireworks display. Passed 7-0

  • Summary: Fireworks will be launched off a floating platform in the Chenango River by the Peacemakers Stage on June 8th.

Introductory Resolution R24-39. A Resolution to accept funding from the District Attorney for the installation of cameras. Heldover until next Business Meeting 6-1 (Hotchkiss dissenting)

  • Summary: Funding would be coming from the District Attorney’s traffic diversion program. According to BPD, there are currently twenty active cameras in the city and these new ones will mostly be placed in the North Street corridor and the North Side. The DA wanted the cameras in these areas based on crime stats.

Introductory Resolution R24-40. A Resolution authorizing grant for Ross Park Trail Project. Passed 7-0

  • Summary: Re-submitting the legislation discussed in Introductory Ordinance O24-42.

Introductory Resolution R24-41. A Resolution authorizing agreement with Brown and Caldwell Associates. Passed 7-0

  • Summary: The Environmental Protection Agency did an inspection of the Binghamton Water and Sewer Department and found some issues. The city’s water wasn’t compromised, it was just some administrative problems. We would be hiring Brown and Caldwell to consult the city on updating and maintaining equipment. 

Special Business Meeting – 5/24 – Video

Introductory Resolution R24-43. A Resolution requesting the passage of New York State Assembly bill A10271 and New York State Senate bill S9432 to amend tax law to authorize the collection of an occupancy tax in the City of Binghamton. Passed 7-0

  • Summary: Kraham’s pitch: He wants this tax on hotel stays to pay for our publicly owned baseball stadium’s debt service, saying that taxpayers pay $700k per year on the bond ordinance and $35k per year on stadium maintenance, which reflects 2% of all property tax revenue. “City taxpayers are paying an unfair burden to keep the team here.” Broome County has a 5% occupancy tax. For the two hotels in Binghamton he estimates this would bring in $600k per year. Requires process through NY State Legislature. Has to happen this week or wait until the next legislative session. According to Councilmember Mativetsky, City council can determine the percentage plus the number of years this would apply. Tax wouldn’t necessarily have to fund the stadium.

See you all Monday 6/3 at 6:00 for the next City Council Work Session and Saturday for the Pride of Binghamton’s Pride Party downtown. 

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