On Feb. 2, the City Council of Binghamton’s President Joseph Mihalko held a press conference in front of roughly 100 supporters announcing he would be running for the position of Broome County clerk.
Mihalko, a Republican, stated that he wanted to invest in Broome County DMV satellite locations in rural areas to improve hours and wait time, as well as invest in technology to help improve county services and lower costs. Mihalko also stated his opposition to any new taxes or fees on county residents and businesses.
“We want to see if we can make things move faster,” Mihalko said. “We need to continue moving Broome County forward in the 21st century and ensure that the best services are provided to all residents.”
Mihalko has served on the council for the past six years. As county clerk, he would be responsible for overseeing the Broome County DMVs, keeping county records and presenting budget reports. The county clerk handles all county records, mostly related to population, such as birth certificates and death certificates.
“I felt that it was time to take the next step, and serve a wider population,” Mihalko said. “I love helping people out. I saw this position was going to be open and I thought I could expand my help to all of the citizens of Broome County.”
During the press conference, which was held at the at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Church on Binghamton’s West Side, Mihalko was joined by Binghamton Mayor Richard David, New York state Sen. Fred Akshar, current Broome County Clerk Richard Blythe and Broome County Legislature Chairman Daniel Reynolds, all of whom spoke in support of Mihalko’s candidacy.
“He is passionate and relentless,” David said. “He is someone who will knock on doors and listen to what your concerns are. He is someone who will be a passionate and tireless advocate on your behalf and he is someone who will win.”
Blythe, Broome County’s clerk for the past 12 years, has decided to step down this year, which will leave the county clerk position open and put it on the ballot this fall.
“Joe Mihalko knows Broome County,” Blythe said. “He knows what our community has been through over the years, [and] he wants to use his time and talents for the county.”
Many who attended the press conference were optimistic about Mihalko’s announcement. Some, such as John Flynn, a resident of Vestal, cited Mihalko’s experience as president of the council.
“Joe is a great candidate,” Flynn said. “He brings his experience from the Binghamton City Council and he is going to be a great county clerk.”
People who attended the event also described Mihalko’s character and personality, in addition to his qualifications. Rosalie Catalano, a resident of Endwell, spoke highly of Mihalko.
“He’s going to make a great county clerk,” Catalano said. “He’s a nice gentleman and he did a good job on City Council.”