Two-term mayor says goodbye to Binghamton

By Jillian Marshall

December 27, 2013 Updated Dec 27, 2013 at 7:51 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A lot can happen in eight years, just ask Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan, who led two tumultuous terms at the city's helm. At the end of the month, he will be leaving the mayor's office and the city.

Ryan, a Binghamton native, was elected in 2005. There were times the two-term democrat used his position to stand publicly for what he believed, like erecting a Cost of War clock outside City Hall.

"How much money taxpayers were paying toward those two wars could have been invested in our city," Ryan said.

He was a member of Mayors against Guns, he supported bringing water to families in Pennsylvania who's water supply was cut off by natural gas drilling companies, and he was outspoken about supporting gay rights.

"It's one of the biggest, in my mind, civil rights battles we still have to finish fighting," Ryan said.

When the ball drops on New Years Eve, that's Ryan's sign that his final term is over. Ryan says he'll move to Ithaca, where his wife works.

"I always will love Binghamton and it's been such a pleasure to serve the citizens of Binghamton, such an honor, and I still care very much, obviously, for what happens here," Ryan said.

He said he will also miss the people that he's worked with to help move the city forward, especially those who helped the region recover from three floods and a mass shooting.

"He's been very strong through all those tragedies and difficult circumstances, but by the same token, he has taken advantage of state assistance to try to refurbish our neighborhoods," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell.

With tears in his eyes, Ryan said, "It's going to be tough. I've really loved my job and all the people that I got to meet because of it."

Ryan said he set a high standard for the next administration, and recommends heavy involvement in the local and regional community, especially when seeking state and federal grants that could be a boon to the city's economy.