Leon Brown is the Conservative Party and Independent Party candidate for Vestal Council. He is one of three candidates running for two open seats. Brown has more than 12 years experience as a police officer with the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.

Why are you running for your position? What experiences and perspectives do you bring to the table that will help make Vestal a better town?

“I am running for Town Council because I have a long history of public service and I want to help. I feel we need representatives who are honest, ethical and have high integrity, which are all character traits I am proud to have. I have 12.5 years experience as a police officer with the Broome County Sheriff’s Office. Currently, I am a detective and investigate high-level offenses in our area. I am 36 years old and bring a different outlook on things than the other Town Board members, who are all older, may have. I have the energy and drive to work extremely hard, but also the wisdom to know that I don’t know everything. I am willing to listen and incorporate other people’s ideas and support them, no matter what party affiliation they come from, as long as the idea works.”

In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue in Vestal and why?

“After going door-to-door in Vestal, speaking with the residents of the town, the number-one concern from residents is the constant tax increases. I believe very much in being fiscally responsible and would bring this attitude to the Town Board. I personally have a TransUnion credit score of 807, so my personal spending habits reflect my position on being responsible with tax dollars. We have a lot of elderly residents in Vestal, who have told me they are very concerned about how they are going to be able to keep the house they have lived in for most of their lives. These elderly residents are on fixed incomes and are reaching a point where they can’t afford to pay their taxes anymore. Keeping spending down and finding ways to bring more businesses to Vestal are my top priorities.”

How do you envision engaging with the community and addressing the concerns they may have? More specifically, what would you do to engage Binghamton University students in these community issues?

“I happen to think BU graduates and students are the key to the future of Vestal. I would like to speak with the student body at BU and see what Vestal could do to keep them here once they graduate. BU is a top-rated school and I would like to keep these talented young adults here so they can start businesses, or enter the work field, set down roots in the community and help lead us into the future. I would like to develop more areas for indoor recreational sports leagues and find other opportunities to keep everyone entertained and willing to stay in this area. I believe in ‘We the people,’ and feel that the BU students and Vestal can benefit greatly from each other, but we have to be willing to listen to the students’ needs and have the desire to make things happen.”