On July 10, 2015, Giovanni Scaringi sat down with Michael “Vass” Vasquez for an interview about running for the Binghamton City Council, representing the 1st District. This exclusive interview covered the motivation to run, what is Mr. Scaringi’s plans for, and focus, if elected. Mr. Scaringi announced his run for the City Council on June 24, 2015.
The interview (which is available on Youtube, without edit of content) took place at the Binghamton 1st Ward Park, at noon. Mr. Scaringi, who is a first time candidate, arrived by himself and openly discussed his background and the issues recently facing both the City Council and Binghamton, NY. He addressed the doubling of property taxes for homeowners, the need for jobs, his views on the recent casino bid fiasco, as well as his motivations.
“…the level of government that affects you the most is the closest. For us that would obviously be city government, Mayor’s office, City Council, things of that nature… I think a lot of people in the City of Binghamton feel disassociated and disattached…” – Giovanni Scaringi
Giovanni Scaringi is currently a professor of Economics at Broome Community College. His is also actively working on his doctorate at Binghamton University. He is the first generation son of Italian parents, living the American dream as he states, as a Republican and now as a candidate for the City Council. He is facing the incumbent Jerry Motsavage.
In the interview, Mr. Scaringi was asked about the recent Southern Tier Star Casino bid, presented to the City Council on June 30, 2015 and rescinded on July 5, 2015. The vote in favor of the proposed casino was a 6-0 vote in favor (Jerry Motsavage was part of that unanimous vote). Mr. Scaringi noted his concerns about how the proposed deal was made, and how he would have voted,
“I would have voted no… I have 2 main concerns. The first one is while a casino can potentially bring in a number of full-time jobs,.. How many people in the City of Binghamton is that going to employ?.. Number two… with no preliminary agreement shown to the Council in terms of how much actual tax revenue is going to be kept here in Binghamton…It makes me question what betterment to the community that brings?”
In addition to addressing the recent controversy, Mr. Scaringi shared how his academic background, in political science and economics, is a boon to the City Council position he is seeking. Equally important is his ability to communicate with peers that do not share his political views. Academia is known for its generally liberal-leaning views, though Mr. Scaringi noted the lack of conflict he has encountered as well as the less publicly known number of Conservatives in the academic world.
Mr. Scaringi was also not shy about his views to improve the unemployment issue facing Binghamton, NY. Emphasizing the hub location of Binghamton, and the opportunity for space to develop and grow, he noted that he has already called for action,
“One of the things I actually called for was the push to take these dead buildings, have the city re-zone them and bring companies in… I believe that City Council can act as an additional component to the Mayor’s office.. to seek out companies and draw them in… That’s what we need here in Binghamton. We need a new set of fresh eyes and a new way to look at this.”
** We have previously contacted the Democrat Party of Binghamton, NY and offered to interview any and all candidates running for election. That offer was also been made to the Republican Party. At this time there has been no response from Democrats or Jerry Motsavage. **