The candidate who challenged Binghamton Mayor Richard David in last year's election is criticizing the handling of the baseball stadium improvement project.

Tarik Abdelazim, the Democrat who ran against David a year ago, is faulting the mayor for moving to seek fast approval of $2.5 million in city funding for the NYSEG Stadium renovations.

Abdelazim called WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now Tuesday morning to express concern about that lack of community debate about the use of city money. A $2.5 million state grant and $100,000 from the Binghamton Rumble Ponies ownership also will be utilized for the planned improvements.

Abdelazim said a plan of "this magnitude deserves a much more honest and robust and open discussion" with residents. He noted a special city council meeting to enable lawmakers to act on legislation related to the project was held barely 48 hours after the plans were made public.

Mayor David Tuesday afternoon said the sole reason for the quick action by council was to ensure the work at the stadium can be completed by opening day in April.

David, a Republican, pointed out the stadium improvement legislation received bipartisan support with both council Democrats voting for it.

Tarik Abdelazim during a 2017 "Binghamton Now" radio interview. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Tarik Abdelazim during a 2017 "Binghamton Now" radio interview. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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