The Blueprint Binghamton has gone through many changes during the review of Mayor Rich David and Binghamton City Council. The final plan will be up for a vote in July but many provisions have been stripped. Planning Commissioner Mark Bowers advocated “for changing language to ‘explore’ instead of ‘create’ for instance, to keep some important initiatives in the plan for the future.”
The Mayor’s comments (also attached to this article) on the Blueprint are quite revealing of his stands. In general, he is against nearly all restrictions on business and development and he is suspicious of government regulation. That is pro forma conservative Republican.
The first comment calls the 7,449 individuals involved in public input a Low percentage of involvement.” Considering he was elected by only 4,470 votes, this seems a little specious. Then he thinks that non-residents who come to Binghamton to work, do business (Binghamton is the county seat), or play are not contributors to our economic, social and cultural well-being and should not be heard.
He is unabashedly pro fracking, proposing that the City sell money to oil drilling companies for instance. He is wed to cars, more parking, and not so eager to embrace other transportation like bikes. “Too much roadway for bikes.” He refers to public art but he wonders if “anyone asked businesses if they want public art?”
The 19 pp document, which includes staff responses to his comments show his lack of preparedness and knowledge on many issues, while offering extensive opinions on things that he likes. For instance, he pushes Youth Success, a student program that promotes safer school and security officers in school. Or, promoting the Discover center and Zoo. But his understanding on Brownfield Opportunity areas like the Charles St area or the Brandywine Corridor is not up to speed.
Mayor David uses the Blueprint to pitch some of his ideas like city staff visiting businesses in town to assess needs and offer assistance to expand. He has a number of initiatives like the Binghamton Quick Response Team, Binghamton iNSPIRED (investment in cultural activities, Jumpstart Binghamton (provide investment capital).
All in all, it’s a good read and a good Blueprint to the Mayor’s priorities.