How Binghamton's next mayor could improve the quality of life

By Kelly McCarthy

October 28, 2013 Updated Oct 28, 2013 at 7:24 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Think of all the things a person needs to live in a city that makes them want to stay. Candidates for the next Binghamton mayor need to improve those areas of the city that are sometimes overlooked.

"At the end of the day it's all about having a safe, vibrant, neighborhood where you work, where you live, and raise a family," said Republican Rich David, "And when you have neighborhood issues such as blight and crime and dirtiness and a variety of other neighborhood issues it detracts from your overall quality of life."

When asked if the people in Binghamton have everything they need in order to have the highest quality of life, democrat Teri Rennia said no.

"Some of the challenges that we have is you know, half of the children live in poverty and that's an unacceptable factor in quality of life," Rennia said, "And we have a juvenile crime issue and that's also unacceptable."

Rennia said she is impressed with the city's parks and green space and the quality of schools in Binghamton.

David said perception is reality and the perception that Binghamton is a depressed city needs to change.

"People from the outside are looking at our crime rate, crime going up every year that's a fact," David said, "People from the outside, investors and business owners are looking at the increases in taxes, that's not my opinion that's a fact."

Rennia said the people already living in Binghamton know it's potential, and they can help change what the outside perception is.

"For a city our size we have so much going for us and people that I talk to know that, they're frustrated," Rennia said, "They're frustrated with the lack of quality employment and I think if we can turn the economy around we can turn people's attitudes around."

David said making City Hall easier to navigate could help improve the quality of life.

"I think currently city hall is not business-friendly at all," David said, "And I think that because I talk to many many investors, developers, business owners that have difficulty getting basic information and basic permits in regards to expansion in the city."

Rennia said she wants to crackdown on code enforcement and rental properties.

"I had a landlord once tell me, when I contacted her and said the code enforcement is going to be contacting you about your unmowed grass," Rennia said, "And her response to me well the city will just do it and bill it to me, like these are things we can not afford to continue, these are practices that we can not afford to continue."

Election Day is coming up next Tuesday, November 5th. Polls will be open from 6 am - 9 pm and the results will air on Action News.