Senate Majority Leader Smith Visits Binghamton to Discuss Economic Development with Local Leaders


(BINGHAMTON, NY) State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith visited the City of Binghamton today where he and Senator David J. Valesky met with Mayor Matthew Ryan, Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo to discuss Upstate economic development and other local concerns. After their meeting, the public officials met with over 40 area business and community leaders from throughout Broome County.


Today’s visit marks the fourth Upstate city that Senator Smith has visited since being elected Majority Leader earlier this month.


“The top priority of the State Senate is to revive our state’s economy and enact policies that bring new jobs to the Southern Tier and all of Upstate,” said Senator Smith. “The City of Binghamton has some great leaders and the area’s colleges provide a significant base for economic growth and community revitalization. The Senate is committed to working with local officials to develop legislation and other initiatives that create new jobs and put our economy back on track.”


"In the three weeks since we have taken the Majority, my colleagues and I have been reaching out to Upstate mayors and other officials to discuss ways that the Senate can work hand in hand with them on a number of projects related to economic growth," said Senator Valesky. "This type of cooperation will be a hallmark of the new Senate and will mean good things for those of us who live here."


Among the topics of discussion at today’s meeting were:

·      The benefits of building a high speed rail system that connects Upstate communities with consumer markets statewide.

·      The importance of environmental protections and a maximum economic benefit to proposed natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

·      Closing budget shortfalls while protecting vital services and not pushing extra costs onto taxpayers.

·      Cleaning up brownfields throughout Broome County, and getting those properties back on the tax roll with businesses that bring new jobs.

·      Developing more affordable and efficient government through the consolidation of services.

·      Creating stronger ties between Binghamton University, Broome Community College and the community in a way that helps graduate remain local with a good paying job after completing their studies.


“I’m very happy that the new State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith is coming to Binghamton,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “His visit shows the importance of the Southern Tier to the overall economic vitality of New York State.”


"Binghamton has made significant gains in the last few years, and now with Senator Smith's ability to lead smart legislation through the Senate, we anticipate that our main initiatives will generate that much more positive momentum," said Binghamton Mayor Ryan. "Revitalizing our neighborhoods and catalyzing economic development are my administration's top priorities, and I look forward to partnering with Senator Smith, Governor Paterson, the Assembly majority, and all our partners as we make Binghamton an even better place to live, visit, and do business."


"We are delighted to have the Senate Majority Leader here in Greater Binghamton so that we may inform him of our many assets, as well as educate him on our many challenges," said Broome County Executive Fiala. "He has vowed to work for a “one” New York and I am optimistic that he will live up to that commitment. I am anxious to partner with him and all of our state leaders in getting New York State back in a competitive position."


“I thank the Assemblywoman, Mayor, County Executive, and the people who live here for welcoming me to Binghamton and for leading a frank and insightful discussion,” Smith said.


“Though the challenges facing Binghamton may be similar to other upstate communities, it is so important to listen to the thoughts, ideas and concerns from the people who actually live here,” he concluded. 


01/29/2009 - 12:58pm