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New Members Sworn into City Council

By Emily Girsch.
Broome County residents voted for new delegates in November and tonight new members of Binghamton City Council were sworn in.

Republican Giovanni Scaringi of District 1 was the first to swear an oath for office for the new year.

19-year-old Democrat Conrad Taylor of District 4 also drew attention at the ceremony tonight.

Taylor said he hopes to focus on the many problems that plague the north side of District 4, including blighted houses.

"We do see revitalization happening in Binghamton," said Taylor.

"But for a North Side resident, they walk out onto their front porch and they look to the left and they look to the right and they see a blighted house across the street and down the street and they don't feel that resurgence."

Also tonight Republican Chris Papastrat of District 5 was elected President of City Council, by a 7 to 0 vote.

"Everyone wants to work together for the benefit of the city and I don't think there's going to be room for partisan politics," he said.

Republican Leighton Rogers was elected City Clerk by the new majority and Republican Leana Testani was elected Deputy City Clerk.

Republican John Matzo of District 6 will be the new majority leader and Democrat Bill Berg of District 7 will be the minority leader.

"Just because it's a change in parties does not mean it's a change in direction and that's the important thing," said Berg.

This is the first time Republicans have controlled the majority in City Council in 13 years.