Broome County Executive Debbie Preston presented her Blueprint for Broome late Thursday.
It was her second State of the County Address. One goal of her administration is to start developing the Airport Road corridor in Union and Maine, including an extension of the sewer system. Preston also believes the soon-to-be built high-tech incubator in downtown Binghamton will be a big economic boost to the county. She touted welfare fraud prevention efforts and the recently created Office of Energy Development. Preston says she will work to develop a compressed natural gas fueling station in the county.
Debbie Preston says, "We are working and looking at converting our buses, trucks and other vehicles in our fleet to compressed natural gas. CNG is the cleanest burning fuel operating today. That means less vehicle maintenance and longer vehicle life."
Minority Leader, Democrat Dan Reynolds, says much of the speech was good with its focus on economic development. He says he's concerned that Preston hasn't given a timeline to returning to a 50 - 50 sales tax split with municipalities. And, that she didn't commit the county to always operating a nursing home. Preston says she's considering a range of options in regards to Willow Point Nursing Home, vowing that seniors will always have a place to call home. Preston also gave each legislator a white rose of peace in the hopes of working together in the coming year.
Dan Reynolds says, "I was presented with a white rose, which I thought was very nice. That was, I'm told, in the spirit of Valentine's Day and in the spirit of working together. I'm all for that. We really do need to put partisan politics behind us. I'm always saying the election is over so let's work together to do what we can to work on some projects for Broome County."
Republicans hold a decisive majority on the legislature by a 10 to 5 margin.