BINGHAMTON N.Y – All 7 seats on Binghamton City Council are up for election next month and NewsChannel 34 is profiling the 6 races where both major parties have fielded a candidate.
We begin tonight with District 6 which covers the Southside east of Mill Street.
It features 2 political newcomers who both agree that taxes and public safety are the most important issues facing the city.
Republican Phil Strawn is the Vice President of Finance for the Children’s Home in Hillcrest.
He and his wife Nikki are the parents of former Seton Catholic Central basketball star Hanna Strawn.
Originally from Montrose, Strawn has lived in Binghamton since 2005.
Besides wanting to reduce property taxes and increase police patrols.
Strawn would like to tackle code issues and discourage single family homes from being converted into multiple family dwellings.
He says his greatest strength is his financial background and an understanding of the context in which financial decisions are made.
“I really view myself as a neighbor, just a normal, common sense person. But, I’m really good with budgets, I’m really good with numbers and I just want to really dig into the city budget and I think the Mayor’s office has done a really great job developing a new path for the City of Binghamton. But, I want to dig into that, see if there’s other things we can do, see if there are other angles we can look at,” says Strawn.
Democrat Tim Ames has lived on the Southside for nearly his entire life.
In fact, he currently lives a block from where he grew up.
He and his wife Gabrielle have a daughter Chloe and a 3 month-old son Cian.
Ames is a Direct Support Provider for a group home for people with developmental disabilities.
Prior to that, he worked in retail management, overseeing large budgets and staff.
He wants to cut property taxes and encourage more engagement between police officers and the community, which he says shouldn’t be solely the responsibility of the police.
Ames says infrastructure should also be a priority.
“I’m an average neighborhood guy. If you see me at the store, I look at you, I smile, I wave, possibly try to engage in conversation. Growing up here and living here my entire life, I’m pretty confident I know the ins and outs, not only on the Southside but in the city. We need people who are in touch with what’s going on, we have a finger on the pulse of our city, and also that we can understand more intimately what’s going on in each of our neighborhoods,” says Ames.
The general election is Tuesday November 5th..
However, early voting opportunities begin this Saturday at the Jeffrey P Kraham Broome County Public Library in Binghamton, the Endicott Public Library and the Oakdale Mall near the former Sears location.
Go to Broomevotes.com for a schedule of early voting times.