BINGHAMTON, NY – A Binghamton man who has made it his mission to critique the actions of local governments for decades is now looking to join one.
John Solak has announced his candidacy for one of 2 open seats on the Binghamton City School Board.
Known to many as “John from Binghamton” for his almost daily calls into WNBF’s “Binghamton Now” radio program, Solak is a frequent critic of municipal and school governing bodies and a mainstay at meetings and public hearings.
He says he’s learned a lot about how the Binghamton School District operates from having spent hundreds of hours attending meetings over the past 3 decades.
Solak says he thinks civics should have a greater role in the district’s curriculum and he wants to shield student data from large tech companies.
He also wants to restore the second and third public comment periods to board meetings and reduce the number of student presentations.
“I would also like to encourage more open discussion. We really don’t know, there is executive sessions, but I haven’t heard any contention by any board member. It’s too rubber stampy for me,” says Solak.
All eligible voters in the district have received absentee ballots as the school board election and budget vote will be mail-in only per a directive from Governor Cuomo.
Solak encourages those who don’t choose to vote to destroy their ballots so they aren’t used fraudulently.
Solak says he would also work to have the Broome County Department of Social Services relocated from its current position across from the high school.
And he says his main motivation for running is to counter what he calls an effort by progressive activists to radicalize the district.
Absentee ballots must be received by or mailed to the district office by 5 PM June 9th in order to be counted.
NewsChannel 34 will be interviewing the other 3 candidates for school board, former board president Dave Hawley, former City Councilman Sean Massey and Southside resident Tim Ames.