Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 6:05:54 PM

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David, Rennia Spar over Jobs, Economy, Police Staffing

(Source: Jason Weinstein)

Jobs, the economy, and crime. These were the issues Democrat Teri Rennia and Republican Rich David spared over at a debate in front of the Binghamton Rotary Club this afternoon, with Rennia saying the city has made economic strides recently, with an increased fund balance and praise from the State's Comptroller's office. David stressed City Hall needs to be more friendly to business and investment.

"We talk about creating jobs, creating jobs, creating jobs. We're going to go out there and create jobs. City Hall doesn't go out there and create jobs. City Hall creates the environment that's conducive to business owners, developers, and investors," said David.

"It's an outlook that's brightening because of wise investments, because of smart precision cuts where they need to be made and hard decisions where they needed to be made," said Rennia.

The candidates differed over police staffing. David says the Mayor's 2014 budget which calls for three additional officers is proof he's right in his call to gradually increase the force from it's current level of 128 to 148. Rennia opposes that plan saying 20 more officers would cost the city $50 million over 20 years.

"If you're talking about 20 officers I don't care if you do it over two years or 10 years. You're talking about 50 million dollars of additional tax burden on our residents," said Rennia.

"Her position on public safety has evolved as I've continued my calls for advocating for more officers and also criticizing and shining a spotlight on the administration for cutting 20 police officers," said David.

David painted himself as the candidate of change, while Rennia dismissed the idea  hers would be a continuation of the administration of current Mayor Matt Ryan.

"All of a sudden she's her own person when she spent her time on City Council supporting the administration is really concerning and insincere to me," said David.

"I am not Matt Ryan. I'm a little disappointed that in these last few days of the campaign my opponent has decided he's going to run against someone who's not running instead of running with actual ideas," said Rennia.

****In Binghamton, Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News****

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