Tuesday, August 26, 2014

City Councilman John Matzo Receives Documentation Calling Into Question the Residency of Councilwoman Lea Webb

- Councilman Sends Copy Of Documents To Mayor, City Council & Broome County Board of Elections, Calls For All Council Members To Prove Residency -
(CITY OF BINGHAMTON, NY) Councilman John Matzo (District 6) has released a report and photographs compiled by a local investigator that brings into question the residency of Councilwoman Lea Webb.
The report is written by Dennis Redner of Eagle Eye Private Investigations, LLC, of Binghamton. Redner is a retired investigator for the Binghamton Police Department.
The report, dating back to October 3, 2013, cites multiple attempts and difficulty in reaching Councilwoman Webb at her public address at 17 Yager St., Apt. 2 on the City's North Side. The investigator cites several instances where he traveled to the 17 Yager St. address, found no one home, left a business card with contact information and did not receive a response. The report details discussions with neighbors who said, "Webb doesn't live at this location and only uses this address for her City Council position," according to the report.
The report also states that all electric meters at 17 Yager Street, including Councilwoman Webb's, were red-tagged and shut off, except for an apartment belonging to Connie Joy. Mr. Redner spoke with Ms. Joy who stated, "she has lived at this location for 6 months and she has never seen Webb in or around the property," according to the report. Joy, who works for the landlord, stated "Webb is being evicted for non-payment because she owes approximately $4000 in rent," according to the report. 
The investigator also provided photographs of a mailbox at 1207 Vestal Ave. on the South Side that lists the names "Lea Webb" and "Andrea Webb." 1207 Vestal Ave. is located in Councilman Matzo's district, on the opposite side of the City from District 3, the district Councilwoman Webb was elected to represent.
"Investigator Redner provided me with this report because it appears Ms. Webb is not living in the district she was elected to represent," said Councilman Matzo. "Our City Charter clearly states Councilpersons must live in the district they were elected to represent at all times, or they are subject to immediate removal. I am very concerned by the content of this report which appears to reveal that Councilwoman Webb has been living outside her district for quite some time. I have sent copies of the report to Mayor David and the Broome County Board of Elections for review. I am also asking all seven City Council members to bring documentation proving their residency to the Council work session on Sept. 2 so we can get to the bottom of this."
Mr. Redner came across the information about Councilwoman Webb’s residency as part of a separate investigation involving the Councilwoman, according to Councilman Matzo. After Mr. Redner tracked Councilwoman Webb to an address outside her council district, he recognized the apparent residency violation and reached out to Councilman Matzo as a community service.
The City of Binghamton Charter states:
ARTICLE II § C-13. Eligibility. [L.L. No. 1-1951, § 1; L.L. No. 3-1955, § 1; L.L. No. 4-1962, § 1; L.L. No. 1-1963,§ 1; L.L. No. 3-1966, § 2; L.L. No. 6-1977, § 1; L.L. No. 8-1977, § 1; L.L. No. 5-1978, § 1; Amended 1- 22-08 by Ord. No. 3-2008]
"No person shall be eligible for appointment or election to a City office or as a City employee, unless, at the time of his or her election or appointment, he or she is a bona fide resident of said City, nor to any ward office unless he or she shall be at the time a bona fide resident elector of the ward for which he or she is elected or appointed, nor to the office of Councilperson unless he or she shall be at the time a bona fide resident elector of the Councilmanic district for which he or she is elected or appointed; and whenever any elected official of said City shall cease to be a resident of said City or of the ward or of the Councilmanic district for which he or she was elected the office or position shall thereby become vacant; and whenever any other employee of said City shall cease to be a resident of the County of Broome the position shall thereby become vacant. Notwithstanding the residency provisions of this section, the Municipal Civil Service Commission of the City of Binghamton shall have the power to waive the residence requirements hereinabove set forth, for City employees, except elected officials..."

Monday, August 25, 2014


BINGHAMTON, NY.   Debra Hogan recently announced her candidacy for the Broome County Legislature. She will be running in Legislative District #14, which covers the east side, the north side, center city and a portion of the first ward.

Debra Hogan detailed some of her priorities. “Four of the most important things I want to work hard for are improving public safety, beautifying our neighborhoods, increasing the cooperation between the City and the County and putting a renewed emphasis on constituent services. I know that there will be other issues that come forward over the coming weeks and months. But these four issues are crucial to Legislative District #14. I know that as someone who has been actively involved in the community for many years.”

Steve Snitchler, chair of the City of Binghamton Republican Committee, added, “Debra would be a great partner with for City officials like Mayor Rich David and the Councilmembers to address problems facing our neighborhoods such as crime. We’re all in this together and it’s only through working together than we can succeed.”


Monday, August 11, 2014

Judge Rick Miller officially announced his candidacy for Broome County Family Court Judge

(Endwell, NY) Richard H. Miller II last week formally announced his candidacy for Broome County Family Court Judge in front of a crowd of family and friends at Highland Park in Endwell.

“Today I’m here to make it official: I’m running for Broome County Family Court,” said Judge Miller to loud cheers from those in attendance.

“Family Court serves some of our most vulnerable citizens going through some of the toughest times in their lives,” he added. “We need a Family Court Judge who will uphold the highest level of honesty, compassion, and integrity to help produce the best possible outcomes for the individuals and families who come before the Court.”

A lifelong resident of Broome County, Judge Miller is currently the elected Town Justice for the Town of Union (the most populous municipality in Broome County) and elected Village Justice for the Village of Johnson City. He also operates his own private law office in Endwell.

As a dedicated community volunteer, Judge Miller has served on the Board of Directors for the Roberson Museum and American Civic Association.

He has also dedicated countless hours to helping our community’s children as a coach for Johnson City Little League, Pee-Wee Football, AAU and CYO Basketball, and many other sports programs.

“My dad taught me that giving back to your community wasn’t something you thought twice about. You give back because it’s the right thing to do,” said Judge Miller. “He and my mother taught us to be caring, compassionate, and tough when necessary – all traits that are needed in our next Family Court Judge.”

Judge Miller’s father, Richard “Dick” Miller, served for many years representing the Southern Tier as a legendary State Assemblyman and local elected official.

Aside from his current judgeships and law practice, Judge Miller also has served on the Law Guardian Panel for Broome and Tioga Counties and as an Assigned Counselor for Broome and Tioga County Family Courts. He previously served on the Board of Directors for the Broome County Magistrates Association (including service as President) and New York State Magistrates Association, and as a member of the Broome County Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and National Judges Association.

Judge Miller is a graduate of Johnson City High School, Broome Community College, St. Bonaventure University and the University of Bridgeport School of Law.

He lives in Johnson City with his wife, Dr. Julie Miller, and their four children, Ricky, Lauren, Julianna and Joseph.

Two Family Court judgeships will be on the ballot in Broome County in the Fall 2014 election. Judge Miller and Mark Young are running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines while Peter Charnetsky and Daniel D. Reynolds are running on the Democrat and Working Families lines. The top two vote-getters out of the four candidates will take office on January 1, 2015.

City Council Republicans Express Concern Over Council President's Requirement That New City Clerk Or Deputy Clerk Perform Political Activities & Gather "Political Intelligence"

- Candidate Also Required To Spy On Mayor, City Hall Employees & Council Republicans -

(CITY OF BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) Binghamton City Council members Joe Mihalko (R - District 2), Chris Papastrat (R - District 5) and John Matzo (R - District 6) expressed concern and disappointment over a recent e-mail sent to Broome County Democrats at the request of Council President Teri Rennia, advertising a vacancy in the City Clerk's Office. A copy of the e-mail is attached.

"We do not feel the function of the taxpayer-funded position of City Clerk and Deputy Clerk is to gather political intelligence to undercut the opposing party in power," said Council members Mihalko, Papastrat and Matzo. "We should be working with the new Mayor and his team on behalf of the residents, not trading public positions for political gain."

"What this e-mail reveals is a peek behind the curtain as to how the Council President and some members of Council's leadership view the City Clerk's Office," said the Council members. "What we're seeing here is not in the best interest of the taxpayers. We applaud one recipient of this e-mail for recognizing the job requirements were unethical and wrong, and exposing these activities to the public."

"We were elected to work on behalf of all City residents," said the Council Members. "We support the new administration's efforts to pave more roads, add police, attack blight, better manage City finances and address quality of life issues in our neighborhoods. We've had enough of the obstruction that's followed the change in administration. After reviewing this e-mail, what we thought was just resentment from losing the race for Mayor, is actually a more serious and organized effort to undercut Mayor David, City employees and Council Republicans."

"We feel this incident has compromised Councilwoman Rennia's ability to effectively represent this body as President," said the Council Members. "Not only has she failed to renounce this scheme, but she is identified in the e-mail as its architect — requesting it be sent and personally collecting resumes for review. At the next City Council meeting, we will call for a vote to select a new Council President. We urge our Democratic colleagues to support a change, and encourage them to think long and hard about the message they want to send to their constituents."

The author of the e-mail is Marty Doorey, Chair of the City of Binghamton Democratic Committee. Doorey is also Chairman of the Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC), an official City committee responsible for coordinating citizen input regarding the $1.9 million Community Development Block Grant program and submitting recommendations to the Department of Planning Housing and Community Development and City Council. Doorey represents the 7th Council District on the committee — Councilman Bill Berg's district. CDAC members receive a $500 annual stipend.

"In light of Mr. Doorey's participation in these unethical political activities involving taxpayer-funded positions, we are calling for his resignation from the CDAC, effective immediately," said the Council Members.

The Council members will also consult with the City Attorney because they feel the public trust has been breached. The Council Members will explore next steps with the City Attorney to pursue an independent external review of the matter.

"Candidates should be selected based on experience and qualifications, not political affiliation or years of service to the party. We encourage the Council's Democratic majority to implement a transparent hiring process. The positions should be publicly advertised and any member of the public should have an opportunity to apply."

The source e-mail was supplied anonymously to the Republican Council members. Its legitimacy was then confirmed by a Democratic member of City Council.

For more information, contact Councilman Joe Mihalko, (607) 765-2352.