Updated 09/19/2012 09:59 PM
Broome County Executive candidates face off in forum
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BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- They've had much debate through the media throughout the campaign, but Wednesday evening, the candidates for Broome County Executive had the chance to exchange ideas face to face.
Incumbent Debbie Preston and challenger Tarik Abdelazim took part in a forum hosted by the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. Among the topics discussed were how each candidate would combat crime, handle natural gas development and promote business within Broome County.
Abdelazim says he wants to reconfigure sales tax distribution and create an economic development fund, while Preston wants to continue to cut costs and lower taxes.
The County Executive was able to do that in her first eight months in office, but her challenger has repeatedly said that she is taking credit for initiatives that were put in place before she took office.
Preston said, "You may have talked about it last year, but now I'm doing it, okay? But if somebody wants the credit, take the credit. I don't care as long as the projects are getting done for the people. I'm at the point where I've got a job to do and it's not about who gets the credit, but if that's the case, take the credit."
"When she said she finished, for example, the landfill contract, I think that means she signed the dotted line, but that's about it. That contract was passed July 2011, the meeting minutes of the Board of Contract and Acquisition of Broome County are on my website, so I just find it disappointing that she just can't own up to some of the times she misled the public," Abdelazim said.
It wasn't all disagreement at the forum. Both candidates say they want to bring more jobs to the area, as well as repair aging infrastructure.