Town and Country residents pleased with city response

By Julianne Peixoto

July 17, 2014 Updated Jul 17, 2014 at 11:10 PM EST

Binghamton NY (WBNG Binghamton) Residents of the apartment complex where a local teen was fatally shot July 4 got the chance to air their concerns with city officials Thursday.

The meeting lasted just over two hours, giving residents the opportunity to raise any questions or concerns.

Mayor Rich David was joined by Police Chief Joseph Zikuski, city attorney Kenneth Frank, head of code enforcement Thomas Costello, Director of Economic Development Robert Murphy and Deputy Mayor Jared Kraham.

But one key player was missing: Town & Country complex owner Jesse Bailey, who has been outspoken about improving communication with the city.

"I felt that he should have been here," David said. "Especially considering he was so vocal about wanting to meet with city officials, it’s one of the inconsistencies that I’ve been concerned about all along. On the one hand, he criticized city officials for not attending the meeting they were never invited to, and we host a meeting here and he chooses not to show up."

David and Zikuski answered questions from residents ranging from clarification on the city's lockdown law -- which allows the city to close certain properties for up to a year -- and the placement of security cameras.

David said if the lockdown law is implemented, it would only impact specific units, not entire buildings or the complex as a whole.

"I'm so glad that code came in and the news is here, and the police are here, and Mayor David, now it's making a big difference," said resident Charles Wilson. "If he [David] hadn't shook up this wagon, everything would be the same, but now he's rattling cages, people beginning to move now, and I'm glad."

The mayor spoke about the new youth success initiative, which is intended to keep kids off the streets and busy during the summer months when school is out.

"We’re spending so much time working with the school district and dedicating resources to mentoring programs, after school activities and working on getting recreational facilities open," David said.

City officials will meet with Bailey's attorney Friday at 10 a.m.

Bailey said that he does not wish to meet with officials at this time.

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