As the Youngstown mayoral election ramps up, The News Outlet plans to bring you exclusive insights from political analysts, community leaders and the candidates themselves. Today, Andrew Donofrio talks with outgoing Mayor Chuck Sammarone.
To a politician whether it’s a state or federal level, votes is power.
Mayor Chuck Sammarone, who will not run for re-election, hopes his successor shares his concern about Youngstown neighborhoods.
Everybody wants better neighborhoods, because that’s where they live. That’s where they have their life investment that’s where they’re kids go out and play.
Sammarone’s greatest concern – the unrelenting exodus from the city:
When you lose population, you lose money. Federal money is based on population, but you lose power.
In 1980, one year after Youngstown Sheet and Tube closed The Brier Hill Works, 115,000 residents lived in the city. Now, it’s is closer to 66,000. That loss carries with it serious problems – dilapidated and abandoned homes. Sammarone says if left derelict, these structures become breeding grounds for crime while reinforcing taxpayer’s decisions to leave the city.
A lot of crime issues are dealt because of homes that have to be torn down. If you have a house with one broken window, if you don’t do anything with it, eventually you’ve got 10.
Sammarone believes apathy on the part of government officials has contributed to Youngstown’s problems. The ex-football coach wants the next mayor to govern with a solid game plan.
The direction I’d like whoever the next mayor is to continue neighborhood improvement and development with strong demolition and code enforcement and also accountability. People want accountability. They want their government employees to be held accountable.
In our next pre-primary segment, I’ll talk with Conservative Bill Binning. For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Andrew Donofrio.