January 1, 2010
Ryan focuses on creating an affordable government
By Jennifer Micale
BINGHAMTON -- By any account, 2009 was a rough year in Binghamton: the worst recession in decades, the tragedy at the American Civic Association on Front Street and state government in turmoil.
And going into 2010, the city will still face challenges, Mayor Matthew Ryan acknowledged Friday as he took the oath of office for a second four-year term.
Ryan said the city -- without the aid of the state of New York -- faces saving to do more with less. Creating affordable government is a goal, he said.
As Binghamton Judge William Pelella administered the oath of office to Ryan in city hall, the audience stood and applauded. November's election against Republican challenger Richard David and Douglas Walter Drazen, an Independence Party candidate, was close.
Ryan, a Democrat, won re-election after capturing 4,068 votes to 3,960 for David and 2,048 for Drazen.
Close elections show people how important their vote is, Ryan said.
"We need more people to vote and more people to be involved," he said.
Part of creating affordable government will be a renewed look at shared services with other municipalities. The city is poised to start a significant dialogue on the matter with neighboring Johnson City, he said.
Other goals include attracting businesses and fostering a relationship with Binghamton University, whose research facilities may hold the key to producing jobs in the region.
While Ryan said the city's best days lie ahead, he acknowledged times are tough for many residents and gave a $500 donation to the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse of the Broome County Council of Churches.
"Our food pantries are facing an unprecedented amount of demand," he said while handing the check to Deacon Ed Blaine of CHOW. "I want to make sure people get fed in the city in these tough times."
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