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Mayoral candidate unveils ‘Grow Warren’ plan

Published: Tue, April 5, 2011 @ 12:09 a.m.


Jim Graham

By Ed Runyan



Mayoral candidate Jim Graham has launched an economic-development initiative called “Grow Warren” that he believes will bring jobs to the city.

Graham, president of United Auto Workers Union Local 1112 at the Lordstown General Motors plant, said the plan involves the creation of a committee of about three prominent business people willing to travel and meet with business leaders anywhere in the world to promote business opportunities in Warren.

“These guys could have gone anywhere in the country, but they chose to stay here,” Graham said of his panel of business executives.

“We have to reach out. We can’t wait for things to fall in our lap,” Graham said Monday from his campaign headquarters on East Market Street.

Graham said the area already has three to four groups that try to bring economic development to the area.

“That’s commendable, but we have to set a goal and achieve it,” Graham said.

An important part of bringing employers to Warren is marketing the city, Graham said.

“The best way to let people know there is a Warren, Ohio, is to get into publications and create a new website,” said Graham, describing the current one as “archaic.”

“If there’s a company in some little burg in California, we need to make them aware of Warren, Ohio,” he said, adding that Warren is an “easy sell” because of the amenities it offers, such as the Warren Amphitheater, Packard Music Hall and the arts.

Warren’s location, which helped the GM Lordstown assembly plant land the Chevy Cruze, is ideal, because it is the “most centrally located plant in the United States, populationwise.”

“I will make certain we are the most business-friendly small town in America,” Graham said. “It’s no secret that it’s been tough to do business in Warren. I’ll end that, day one.”

Graham’s opponent in the Democratic primary May 3 is Doug Franklin, Warren’s safety-service director.


1redcent(38 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

The continued lack of vision and foresight is disheartening. Again, we're being fed the same old - same old, and expected to believe it will work.

New website, better ads, competing with other U.S. cities and overseas locations that have a superior quality of life and lower cost of production, at least in terms of manufacturing.

Einstein once said: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

Turning recent trends around, such as the valley's declining employment base, continued population out-migration, the lack of new outside investment and shrinking tax base, along with the deterioration of our aging infrastructure, is going to require a substantially greater effort and wisdom than trotting out the well-worn politico propoganda of years past.

Graham, as well as the other candidates should get the intellectual fire power that's left here in the area on their team(s) and develop "real" executable solutions to these problems, as well as outline their timeline and measures of accountability for progress in meeting (or exceeding) their proposed objectives.

Modern campaign teams, on behlaf of thier candidates, produce whitepapers, and at minimum detailed position papers on key issues that have relevance to their community, as well as the voters.

On the surface, "Grow Warren" doesn't sound like it fits the bill. Maybe one, or all of the "three prominent business people" should think about running.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Warren is in free fall because the taxes are too high and the jobs are not there. Jim hasn't a clue how to turn this around. The only way is to reduce the size and cost of government in Warren. Downsize to meet the new Warren population levels, but he's a union man and that just isn't in his blood.

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3VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Our current dire economic situation is the result of years of overspending. The only way to stop this downward spiral of government spending us into bankruptcy is to stop the money. The children who are running our local, state and federal governments continue to spend as if they have an unlimited allowance, so the allowance has to be limited to daily and weekly periods because we cannot trust them with a yearly allowance. We trusted them too far when it came to our Social Security money and look where that got us.

I really think people still do not believe we are in as bad a shape as we really are. They are in denial because they have known no other way. Until they begin to walk the shoes of those of us who have gone thru hard times, they will continue to think, spend and live as if things are normal.

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4steelwagon(284 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I agree with Mr.Graham that setting up shop and doing business in Warren is very difficult.
The process is very over regulated and the enviorment is not business friendly.

However if he thinks having an amphitheater,Packard Music Hall and a few art galleries is going to be a big draw for business he's mistaken.

I just wonder if Mr.Graham has taken a ride on any of the axel busting roads leading in and out of the city lately.
Good roads and infrastructure are needed to drive business into any area and Warren has some of the worst roads and bridges in the state.

We might have a better chance of turning things around by downsizing local govt.to match the decline in the areas population and by showing some fiscal responsibility

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5rodhathhorn(1 comment)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I never entertained the idea of selling the name grow to Jim Graham or John Taylor.

Perhaps they could explain just what the heck they are doing.

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6Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Same old same old.

All business friendly means is business wipes themselves with your city before moving on to the next victim.

When are they going to come up with a new lie?

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7craigd(7 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

It is very sad to see how negative everyone is about the future of our city. Jim is not a magician, however, if you were to talk to him in person you would find out a lot more about the man and his plans for Warren. As most know the media does not give all the info of what is really being said, just the cliff notes. He really wants to change things here!! Being the mayor is only a means to an end; a better Warren. While Doug is a nice man that doesn't always translate into a good leader. I challange all who think bad of Jim to talk to him in person. I feel he may change your mind about the man an the city.

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