Dear Editor,

This citizen sees a great deal of difference in the two candidates in Binghamton’s mayoral contest and he would like to take a New York minute to describe his thoughts. A New York Minute is the length of time between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the guy behind you honking his horn. Anyway….

The mayoral race is a contest between Tarik Abdelazim, a man with 12-years of award-winning city project management experience (8 Binghamton, 4 nationwide) who is running against a man with less than 4 years at work. Mayor David’s prior jobs involved public relations and television work; neither an experience that applies to running a city.

Tarik Abdelazim was primarily responsible for turning many eyesores into parks and other usable properties at zero cost to the taxpayers. Rich David turned many eyesores into empty lots while charging taxpayers $725,000 for the service.

Tarik Abdelazim knows not to auction city property to slumlords, just like other cities know. Rich David allows slumlords to buy property in town.

Tarik Abdelazim did not re-write newspaper headlines and use them in publicity statements attributed to the newspaper. Rich David’s team re-wrote the headlines of the Press and Sun-Bulletin and presented them as “newspaper true” in their publicity machine. (Yes, the newspaper caught him at it.)

Tarik Abdelazim knows people of Binghamton and this valley built devices that went to the moon–IBM miniaturized circuits that were essential to the moon shot. Our valley also placed computers almost everywhere in the world. Binghamton and people of this valley invented and built lots of amazing aircraft simulators at Link Aviation. And there are other world’s firsts few know about. The world’s first production digital aircraft flight control (F-18 jet fighter) was designed and built in Johnson City by General Electric personnel as well as stealth aircraft systems developed secretly on a classified program.

Tarik knows our valley could be positioned for contracts on the upcoming Mars voyage and contribute to a headline of the future, “Man On Mars!” Yes, Binghamton and our valley contributed mightily to that amazing headline of the past, “Man On Moon!” Something also in the future, Tarik knows that computers will be smarter than human beings in the year 2030. Understanding how these computers will think is an industry that Binghamton can be positioned for. Tarik’s view involves many ideas on bringing more industry large and small to the valley. Could it mean a raise and a promotion for you and your family? And increased status for the city?

Binghamton has set some world’s firsts outside of aerospace and computing, as well. Binghamton and our valley have world’s firsts in cigar-making and, for all we know, it was combat boots made in our valley that were on the first feet to hit the beach on D-Day. Many of you know about the fine cigars and all of you know about our heroic action on D-Day. Further about D-Day, it was a force about the same size as the population as the City of Binghamton that hit those beaches that day. Binghamton is a city of funny names just as the Army is a place of funny names–so you know there were people named Kowalski, O’Shaughnessy, and Zurenda on the beach getting shot at. Okay, we’re going to talk about Tarik’s funny name.

Yes, Tarik is the mayoral candidate with the funny name. He is born and raised here and one of Binghamton’s most-experienced and best-educated citizens. His dad is the well-known doctor and his mother well-known throughout the city. Rich David’s only connection to the city is job-related. Tarik’s name is pronounced, TAH-rick Ahb-DELL-ah-zem. To dispel the problem with the funny name, please congratulate yourself of all the times you have reached out to someone different from you and found that they were the same as you.

Tarik’s background is Syrian and a football quarterback for the New York Jets, Joe Willy Namath, who won the biggest Superbowl of all time, had two lawyers from Syria. In his autobiography, Joe Willy talked plenty about how good his Syrian lawyers were and how much he loved them. Yes, Binghamton is a town with many funny names and that is a plus for the community.

Let’s discuss Binghamton Mayor Rich David, the man who fired two men he himself hired. This occurred 24 hours into a record deep snowfall that stalled the snow removal efforts of the two men–both were top city works people. A record snowfall is defined as, ‘Having way more snow than you can handle.’ Firing people that you yourself hired is defined as, ‘Not knowing what in hell you are doing.’ And the forecast that day was for a mere ten-inches of white stuff. The 32 inches was a huge surprise and a huge surprise is defined as, ‘Getting yourself elected mayor and then wondering how to do the job.’ Rich David is a media specialist with no city experience other than creating the media attention that got him elected. He showed that lack of experience by not recognizing that a world-class snowstorm tends to overwhelm everybody. It sure overwhelmed him. Anyway, all of the people of Binghamton pitched in and dug out those deep drifts. Thank you for your help.

Tarik Abdelazim has much more city-improvement experience than our media specialist turned mayor. Tarik also has an exceptional academic record at two of America’s finest universities. Tarik schooled first at Hamilton, the 65th-best college in America. Rich schooled at the 371st school in the rankings. Tarik graduated with a Masters at New York University, America’s 52nd best school. Rich did extra schooling at BU, a school which should be ranked much higher than 127th. (See Forbes Magazine college rankings.) When times are tough, the family gets together, the team gets together, and the platoon gets together, and they nod to the smart guy. Tarik Abdelazim is that smart guy. Tarik won awards for amazing work on several projects. His work today is nationwide in a sort of world’s first effort to improve neighborhoods across the country.

Okay, we gave Rich David some heck today. It seems Rich deserves a little heck. Rich David is a good guy and fine media specialist–but media specialists can’t always run a city. This citizen recommends a vote for Tarik Abdelazim for mayor but does concede that both candidates are good men who deserve your vote. Thank you all for this minute and please get out and vote for the future of our city.

Jefferson Rose, citizen of Binghamton.