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Binghamton City Council, Mayor Kraham prepare for year ahead

Kraham City Council WEB

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham and City Council President Phil Strawn are looking to increase efficiency and unwind tension in the way legislative items move through City Hall in the year ahead.

At its organization meeting earlier this month, the Binghamton City Council unanimously selected Councilman Phil Strawn, a Republican, to serve as its president for 2022. Strawn said he wants City Hall staff to be a bit more proactive at processing legislation ahead of Council meetings so that Council members have time to adequately review items.

"I just felt it was a good time to talk to the mayor and just say, 'Hey, let's just tighten this up a little bit. We're not disparaging, we're not throwing anybody under the bus, but I think we can do a little bit better,’" Strawn told WSKG.

Strawn said sometimes City Council had only been sent legislation and other action items hours before a meeting, leaving them with little time to study or formulate questions about the topic. He also said he would like to see city staff more prepared to answer those questions if they appear at a work session to present legislation.

Strawn said he voiced that concern to Kraham, the former executive assistant to the mayor, who began his term as mayor on Jan. 1, who agreed that the Council should have adequate time to review legislation.

"I've gone through many work sessions, so I want to make sure they're as efficient as possible and make sure that if we know in advance, that every member of Council's questions can be answered before they take a vote," Kraham told WSKG.

Kraham said he doesn’t think the city needs to add more resources or change the operations around how legislation is processed.

Strawn said he hopes by eliminating procedural problems like late legislation, City Council can save time, reduce tension and be more efficient at addressing policy-based issues.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.