Binghamton Mayoral Debate

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Oct 22, 2009 at 11:08 AM EDT

Election Day is less than two weeks away.

Candidates for Binghamton Mayor took the podium tonight for the first of 2 debates.

And as Action News Reporter Leigh Dana tells us, there seemed to be as many laughs, as there were questions and answers.

There seemed to be more comedy than debate Wednesday night.

Thanks mostly to the quick wit of Independent Candidate Douglas Drazen.

When asked how he would make himself more visible as Mayor...

"Now now, I'm not going to be sitting in the office answering... This is a cell phone. What all you got to do is call in and check your messages. I can go lots of different places, with a headset, too," says Drazen."

Republican Candidate Rich David tried to keep up.

"Well I won't be spending all my time answering my own phone," says David.

Laughs aside, the candidates did debate the city's future, including economic development.

"I think it's more important that we really concentrate on what we can really control and that is starting small businesses in our community," says Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.

"I think economic development and taxes go hand in hand. If you want to spur economic development in the City of Binghamton you have to get a control over your spending and tax situation," says David.

"I think one of the most exciting opportunities presented to City of Binghamton are the recent revelations are the Marcellus Shale Gas Formation Group," says Drazen.

How to reduce taxes was another big question.

David would start by cutting positions.

"The managers and the administrators are the ones that make the most money with salary and benefits. And that's where you can make the immediate impact. And I want to take some of that money so we don't have to cut police officers on the street," says David.

"If we cut something, if we make efficiencies we make sure we don't get killed someplace else," says Ryan.

"I'm looking to reduce costs and increase efficiency not only in city hall but in every city department and every city facility," says Drazen.

An issue Drazen says, is no laughing matter.

In Vestal, Leigh Dana, WBNG TV Action News.

You can catch the second debate next Wednesday.

It's at 7:00PM inside City Council chambers in Binghamton.

Election Day is November 3rd.

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