BINGHAMTON, NY – Mayor Richard C. David today announced that Binghamton City Hall will be open to the public from 9 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, starting on Monday, January 6, 2014. Currently, City Hall is closed to the public at 3:45 p.m., with offices closing at 4:00 p.m.
“In order for City Hall to become more user friendly for residents, visitors and business owners, we must be open during standard business hours,” said Mayor David. “I have been concerned for quite a while about the limited public access to City Hall and feel that it is frankly unacceptable. We are here to serve the public and that begins with being accessible when the public needs service from various departments.”
The reason City Hall is currently closed to the public starting at 3:45 p.m. is because the New York State Court System provides screening and security on the first floor, and hours of operation at City Hall are based on the hours of the courts, which end at 4:00 p.m.
Effective on Monday, the Binghamton Police Department will pick up where the Courts leave off and provide screening and security so building safety is not compromised and City Hall can be open until 5 p.m. The staffing will be done with existing police resources, no officers will be pulled from street patrols and no overtime expended. Coverage will be provided by staff from the Traffic Division which is also housed on the first floor. In addition, the Mayor has ended the unofficial practice of closing individual offices to the public during lunchtime.
“I was also equally troubled over the past few years to see various departments close to the public on a semi-regular basis during lunch time,” continued David. “Two of the most popular times for people to visit City Hall are during their lunch break or on the way home from work and for individual offices to be closed or the whole building closed during those times is counterproductive and frustrating for everyone.”
David added that the County Office Building is also open to the public until 5 p.m. and stressed the importance of having standard hours of operation for visitors who may need to access offices in both City Hall and County Office Building.