Citizen Legislation Proposal By Binghamton Activist Raises Tension At City Council Work Session
On Monday at the Binghamton City Council work session, a citizen legislation proposal was given by a well known activist in Politics John Solak. The proposal involves dissolving the Binghamton Police Department to help Binghamton tax payers Solak said.
Solak says he is frustrated with 4th District Council Member Nate Hotchkiss who expressed his doubt on the proposal moving forward to local media outlets earlier on Monday.
"I am disappointed in Nate Hotchkiss that he would telegraph to the media that more is less this is a dead letter item," said Solak.
During the session tensions would be high as Solak would blast the City Council members comparing them to the previous members. Shortly after that Solak left the stand leaving much of his proposal not discussed.
Council Member Hotchkiss says that he would have been more than happy to have a conversation about the proposal but says that clearly it was a one sided conversation.
"I wish he wanted to just stay on the conversation and have a conversation about what he presented," said Hotchkiss. "That is not what happened tonight".
The plan would involve having the proposal on the November ballot and having the department dissolved by January of 2025.
Prior to the work session, Broome County Republican Committee Chairman Benji Federman released a statement saying:
"Tonight, Binghamton Democrats are moving to ultimately abolish the Binghamton Police Department. We're calling on every Democrat elected official, including Lea Webb, Donna Lupardo, Jason Garnar and Josh Riley to condemn this blatant disregard for public safety and slap in the face to every police officer who protects our city. We reject this brazen policy that undermines our local law enforcement in the strongest terms possible."
When asking Hotchkiss in regards to this potential proposal moving forward he said that it is very unlikely.
If the proposal does go through it will be discussed at the councils next business meeting. On Tuesday February 6, Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham will speak with the media regarding the Monday night City Council work session. Fox 40 will have the details coming up at 6 P.M. on Tuesday