SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Common Councilor Khalid Bey won the Democratic Primary by 36 votes. He knows, as well as anyone, that each one matters.
He might have another close one between now and next Tuesday. Bey feels his race against incumbent independent Mayor Ben Walsh is a dead heat.
Every last flyer and every last sign put in a lawn might win another vote, so he didn’t stop despite the torrential rain on Tuesday from hitting the streets.
He says the soggy ground “makes it very easy to put signs out.”
Bey is the only candidate in the race raised in Syracuse. He’s had a front-row seat to city government the last ten years as common councilor.
When asked about his biggest concern about what he’s seen during the Walsh administration, Bey says: “The very first issue was in year one. There was an effort to raise taxes 3.5 percent. That’s not a small jump.”
Instead of raising taxes, or an expensive police contract, Bey says he’d cut the wasted spending and labor redundancies he says exists. He’d consolidate each departments’ hiring, accounts receivable, and accounts payable into one unit.
Even before day one, not long after Election Day, Bey says he’d “deploy our efforts to reduce gun violence.”
He’d redeploy the police force so officers know the neighborhoods, put volunteers on a community patrol, and build police precincts around the city.
Safety is part of his mission to stabilize families. So it’s pairing people who need jobs with employers who can offer them.
“When you’re reducing crime,” Bey explains, “you’re improving a person’s lot and empowering their ability for first-time homeownership. That is what is really going to change the trajectory of the city.”
Bey had to choose running for mayor instead of running for common council again. He hopes this race is a new beginning, not the end.