In his bid for mayor, Democrat John McNally faces four Independent candidates: former Police Chief Jimmy Hughes, the mayor’s Chief of Staff DeMaine Kitchen, as well as John Crea and Frank Bellamy.
News Outlet reporter, Andrew Donofrio, will sit down with each of candidates. First up is Bellamy who outlines his plans for the city.
Bellamy earned a master’s in applied politics at The University of Akron and has served as a political consultant and campaign strategist.
For Bellamy, it’s a no-brainer: safer streets in Youngstown neighborhoods equals the revitalization of the city.
When I’m elected mayor – for the first year – city of Youngstown would be in a state of emergency, citywide.
Bellamy believes declaring a state of emergency creates an atmosphere and shows the city’s commitment to cleaning up criminal activity in its streets.
Youngstown has to stop itself. You can put a cop on every corner in Youngstown with lights flashing, and crime will not stop here in Youngstown.
Drug dealing, Bellamy says, is an industry in Youngstown, and he feels it’s time to target and profile suspicious activity within the city’s neighborhoods.
I’ll stop all the clown cars with the jacked-up wheels and the rims. Why do you drive a $100,000 car through the South Side of Youngstown? Something’s wrong with that picture, and we need to address that.
On blight, Bellamy feels too much attention is directed at demolishing homes.
Because when you just demo a house, you kill the tax base – forever.
He says those who believe that demolition is the solution to Youngstown’s housing problems will only be left chasing their tails.
Fighting blight in Youngstown is like flattening water in a balloon. When you press down on one side of the balloon, it pops up somewhere else.
The focus, Bellamy says, needs to be on refurbishing salvageable homes and creating a safe environment that encourages people to move to the city.
You can’t kill the blight in Youngstown until you bring new bodies back into Youngstown, new families. If we can make it safe to the point where citizens, and families, and business owners from outside of Youngstown could come here – Youngstown will come back because the property prices are so damn low.
In our next segment, we’ll sit down with Mayor Sammarone’s Chief of Staff, DeMaine Kitchen, who is also running for mayor in the upcoming election.
Reporting for TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Andrew Donofrio.