Editor’s note: On July 25, 2013, Jimmy Hughes announced he was dropping out of the mayoral race in Youngstown.
Youngstown’s former police chief is running for mayor in this November’s election. Jimmy Hughes, an Independent candidate, sat down with reporter Andrew Donofrio.
Hughes plans to take a community police approach to help solve Youngstown’s crime problems. He calls for more daily interaction between officers and community members.
I have counseled individuals that actually go knocking on peoples’ doors … ‘Please don’t commit crimes.’ You know, I think that’s necessary. I think that’s what as mayor that’s something I would do. I would ask individuals not to commit crimes.
The ex-cop says more studies should focus on reducing crimes committed by the city’s young black male population.
We don’t want to bring it up. Very few people want to say, ‘Hey, young male blacks is the cause of these crimes.’ Well, they are. There’s something that’s broken there, and we should look into it a lot harder than we have been.
Hughes wants the city to invest more into neighborhood pocket parks.
We used to have a part in almost, pretty much, every neighborhood. The facilities sometimes seem to be daunting for the city to maintain, but we need to rethink how we do that.
As far as blight, Hughes is tired of seeing so many beautiful homes demolished, and he believes:
A lot more resources should be put into saving these houses, to taking possession of these houses and making them available for people. Even if it means, Youngstown is into the real estate business or the landlord business. We got into the demolition business.
To ensure downtown continues its growth, Hughes says, he’ll address its parking and transportation issues.
What are you going to do about the parking? Is that not a concern? We don’t try and even encourage a shuttle service. You can easily come up with a shuttle service that in-house or contracted with the WRTA, who we need to partner with.
Hughes says he’ll improve the city’s ability to collaborate with nearby townships, particularly in joint economic development districts or JEDDs. Put simply, JEDDs allow a city to provide a township with necessities like water or sewer in exchange for the right to levy taxes without an annexation.
Youngstown water is a treasure. When really comes down to it. You know, we have to look at ourselves and see how much effort we put in to trying to sit down at the table with the surrounding communities. We have to be less afraid to lose things.
Reporting for TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Andrew Donofrio.