'It's downtown, anything can happen'
February 16, 2013
The story in Saturday's Vindy about the sewer line mess downtown is a lesson for the city in a couple ways.
As the city was expressing concern two weeks back about poor information from the state regarding a brine spill in the city, downtown business owners were equally concerned about the city not giving them the best knowledge of a sewer project that has the core area torn upo and blocked off.
Here's a story on the issue from Saturday's Vindy.
The downtown business owners aren't entirely accurate as there were various alerts. I saw a city email to about seven businesses, including names of two businessmen who said they had no notice. It was in The Vindy twice; on TV and radio.
But the effort fell clearly short given the new investment in downtown and impact of a project of this size — and the fact that it's just 200 steps from city hall.
The city's project boss, Charles Shasho, was shuffling around on Day 4 of the work doing his best to address concerns. On that day I saw Shasho, I heard him outline some things that would be adjusted.
On Day 9, one adjustment still wasn't made -- as I stared at it from my favorite front-window table at Roberto's.
It was probably for good reason, I assume. It's a complicated project. And as Shasho said on Day 4 when I saw him — "when it's downtown, anything can happen."
But it's because of that truthful quote, the city needs to overplan with its new business community and develop a solid plan.
There is a public works boss, a downtown coordinator, a councilperson, a mayor, a council president, and a contractor. Somewhere in that pool, there can be some brain burst to say "let's get the business community together for coffee and map out the plan."
And because it's downtown, develop a Plan B. And because it's downtown, a Plan C.
On Day 4 of the project when I was down there, a lamp post in front of the new pizzeria had just been hit, and sent into a tree at a 30-degree or so tilt.
On Day 9, that pole sat in the same place — untouched.
There's a better way to manage downtown.
Posted by YoungstownBornRaised (anonymous) on February 17, 2013 at 10:56 a.m.
Good Point. But all we hear about is "accountability," "plans for demolition," and how the city is "broke."
Posted by kurtw (anonymous) on February 19, 2013 at 12:20 a.m.
Re: "a better way to manage downtown".
Maybe if we brought Ben Lupo in to run things we'd see some action! He'd cut through the bureaucratic BS in no time- you could count on it.
If something stood in his way- a light pole, a traffic light, a pedestrian island- Ben would issue an order and it'd be gone, just like that!
Why are we indicting him? We should make him City Manager.
Posted by kurtw (anonymous) on February 19, 2013 at 12:31 a.m.
Ben Lupo (even the name is funny) will go down as one of the "Great Immortals" of Youngstown History, along with "Jimbo" Traficant and "Bull Moose" Hanni. What an interesting town we have the great fortune to live in!
Posted by 1970mach1 (anonymous) on February 22, 2013 at 7:54 a.m.
Youngstown made Forbes Top 20 Miserable cities for 2013.
Posted by zz3 (anonymous) on March 15, 2013 at 9:28 a.m.
Close the place theres nothing there anyone wants to risk their life for. Tear it down and plant some grass