October 15, 2012 Binghamton Press Sun Bulletin
Author: Dan Fitzsimmons
The Southern Tier should shout for joy at the New York State Supreme Court decision to invalidate the City of Binghamton’s gas drilling moratorium.
Mayor Matt Ryan, his former Deputy Mayor Tarik Abdelazim, and the Democrat former members of City Council that passed this two-year moratorium should be ashamed of themselves. They tried to skirt the law and the democratic process with a lame duck city council. The courts showed that they were wrong.
In the decision, Supreme Court Justice Ferris Lebous stated: “However, the City cannot just invoke its police power solely as a means to satisfy certain segments of the community. Rather, the City must satisfy the well established legal requirements that show a dire emergency; that the moratorium is reasonably calculated to alleviate a crisis; and that they are taking steps to solve the problem.” He goes on to say: “In this case, there is no other conclusion that the Court can reach, however, that the Local Law 11-006, fails to meet the criteria for a properly enacted moratorium.”
This moratorium, struck down by the Supreme Court, is one example of a City Administration that seems to be doing everything it can to run our community into the ground.
The Ryan/Abdelazim Administration was too busy trying to illegally block gas drilling (none of which would have taken place within city limits anyway), attending town board meetings in Dimock, Pennsylvania where even the Dimock residents told Matt to go home and otherwise taking silly actions that don’t benefit City residents. They should have saved the scant resources from our strained municipal budget, and instead should have spent more time focusing on the real municipal work that matters to taxpayers like plowing roads, stopping crime, picking up trash, balancing a budget and reducing taxes.
If you want lower taxes, smart government and opportunities for growth, you should pass on Matt and Tarik. On the other hand, Matt, Tarik and their friends would be a good choice if you want protesters camping out downtown for months without proper permits.
Our community is at a crossroads. Two devastating floods in recent years, the bleeding of jobs throughout the Southern Tier and the resulting, declining tax base have left our people dispirited and hurting financially perhaps worse than ever before. Natural gas development isn’t our only opportunity but it is our best opportunity right now. We need leaders who can serve the real and pressing needs of our community. We simply cannot afford leaders like Matt Ryan and Tarik Abdelazim who are too caught up in political activism to properly serve our community.
Dan Fitzsimmons is a longtime Conklin resident and is the president of the Joint Landowners Coalition of NY.