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Williams leaves city stable



Published: Fri, August 5, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick (Contact)


On the side

Filing deadline: Wednesday is the filing deadline for those running in the Nov. 8 election for nonpartisan offices such as township trustee and fiscal officer, school board members and some city and village mayors and councils.

Democrats to meet: Mahoning County Democratic Party precinct committee members in Youngstown’s 2nd and 3rd Wards and all of Struthers will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at party headquarters to fill vacancies.

Youngstown 2nd Ward members will select someone to serve the unexpired term of Councilman DeMaine Kitchen and replace him on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Kitchen is resigning Monday to be administrative assistant/secretary to Youngstown Mayor Charles Sammarone.

Those in the 3rd Ward will be doing the same because of Jamael Tito Brown’s resignation last Monday. He left to be council president.

Both terms expire Dec. 31.

Struthers committee members will replace former Councilman at-large Dan Yemma, now county treasurer, on the November ballot. The members appointed Carol Crytzer to the unexpired term, and are expected to select her as Yemma’s replacement on the ballot.

When Jay Williams resigned as Youngstown mayor, what did he leave behind for Charles Sammarone, his replacement?

The city’s population is decreasing at an alarming rate, despite a focus on economic development the city’s unemployment rate is high, the quality of life in many neighborhoods is declining, property values continue to drop as does the amount of income tax collected by Youngstown.

In Williams’ defense, these are not new. He inherited many of these problems that have existed since the late 1970s.

Despite the struggles, the city’s image improved during Williams’ 51/2 years as mayor. It took some hits, primarily because of high-profile murders.

But several national and international publications and companies recognizing Youngstown as a good place to do business with Williams as the mayor.

The biggest success story was V&M Star, which is building a $650 million expansion project.

V&M Star could have located the facility anywhere in the world, but chose Youngstown.

Also, Williams and his administration worked hard to bring other businesses to the city during a terrible economic climate.

There are those who say housing demolition during Williams’ time as mayor was an uncoordinated mess — “shotgun demolition” as Councilman Paul Drennen, D-5th, calls it.

Demolition

But 2,400 vacant structures, mostly dilapidated residential houses, were demolished during Williams’ tenure as mayor. That’s probably more demolition done in any other 51/2-year period in the city’s history.

The city-owned Covelli Centre will never make enough money to cover its debt payments.

Williams inherited several terrible contracts and was instrumental in finding ways to get out of many of those bad deals. That reduced the city’s annual cost to run the facility by about $1 million a year.

Also, the center has helped bring people and businesses downtown.

Williams resigned Monday to be the executive director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers in the President Barack Obama administration.

Williams worked to make Youngstown a better place to live and work.

Did he succeed? He made modest improvements in a very economic challenging time.

After delivering a farewell address the day he resigned, Williams told me: “I’m my own harshest critic.”

Apparently he doesn’t read the comments made by readers on Vindy.com.

On a personal note, I’ve had more conversations with Williams than I’ve had with any other politician in my 23-plus years in the newspaper business.

Williams was always accessible to and honest with me. He always treated me with respect and was very easy to talk to. While he rarely showed it in public, he is one of the funniest people I’ve met.

I wish him and his family all the best.


Comments

1Anonymouse(36 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Most people in the Vindy forums aren't being critical, they're just trash-talking.

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

"The city’s population is decreasing at an alarming rate, despite a focus on economic development the city’s unemployment rate is high"

Cut the crime and you will stop the exodus . Industry generating goods for export needs to be lured to the city . The SouthSide has been ignored for far too long . Let's generate some jobs there to alleviate their plight . Plenty of land exists there to build upon .

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3johnyoung(241 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

...And the love affair burns on.

Unconditional love is a beautiful thing-except when it happen between a politician and a newspaper.

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4crimelander(122 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

/ Williams leaves city stable /

Problem is someone needs to clean up the horse crap that lingers in that stable, cause it stinks.

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5westside(47 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

"But 2,400 vacant structures, mostly dilapidated residential houses, were demolished during Williams’ tenure as mayor. That’s probably more demolition done in any other 51/2-year period in the city’s history."

At a cost of about $5,000 each (demo + asbestos testing/abatement + City admin), that's $12,000,000 that has been spent. Soooo, which neighborhood did that massive amount of money stabilize????

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6Westsider(222 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

I wish Mr. Williams and his family much luck in his new position - but you will pardon me if I do not rejoice over the state of affairs in Youngstown. I just found out that the home I purchased on the west side twenty-four years ago is now worth ten thousand dollars less than we originally paid for it. The west side was always the "best side" but now Chaney High School students are best known for their prowess with weapons and gang membership. Roll up the sidewalks, Youngstown - I am glad I got out.

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7crimelander(122 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Property values in much of Youngstown are at or below 1970's numbers. It's very bad, unfortunately.

Perhaps part of the solution is citizens who have seen their largest investment, their home be devalued take action and sue the city for negligence? Really I mean it.

The city is either negligently turning their heads and ignoring reality or they are intentionally devaluing property in mass to reclaim it freely for gentrification and other more corrupt issues.

If the city wants good people to come back to Youngstown inner city and invest in rehabs in mass they need an insurance program. One that guarantees when someone goes to sell their property in the future, that their property will sell for at least what they paid.

If they can't get what they paid, then the city insurance program steps in and makes up the difference.

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8James_S(268 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

"The biggest success story was V&M Star, which is building a $650 million expansion project."

That's if you appreciate the fact that Globalist Mr. Williams, working in conjunction with Globalist Barak Obama and our Globalist Congressmen, brought the European Union, French-owned Globalist company Vallourec, parent company of Vallourec & Mannesmann Tubes of which V&M Star is a division, into our Valley using $650,000,000 STIMULUS FUND MONEY. (VALLOUREC managed to, after WW2, "acquire" the rolling process for seamless steel tubes' technology off of the GERMAN Mannesmann brothers. The Mannesmann brothers’ invention revolutionized the tube industry.)

VALLOUREC didn't invest 1 cent of their own money. They gladly took $650,000,000 from the Globalist USA's FEDERAL RESERVE and, for all intents and purposes, make it appear like they are investing their $650,000,000 when in reality the $650,000,000 was money given to them so that our Globalist Government and the Globalist Congressmen/women hired by them can further their Globalist Agenda.

They want to eventually link with the European Union and have a common World Currency.

Goodbye USA as we knew it. The Globalists, of which Mr. Williams is more of an integral part of now that he is "THE CAR CZAR", have complete control.

It's sad that VALLOUREC describes V&M Star as a "minimum capacity" mill. Like it's not really that important to their operations being that they have bigger and better projects going on in CHINA and BRAZIL.

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9pgurney(281 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree with Stan.

"Cut the crime and you will stop the exodus . Industry generating goods for export needs to be lured to the city . The SouthSide has been ignored for far too long . Let's generate some jobs there to alleviate their plight . Plenty of land exists there to build upon. "

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10mcluvin(72 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

James_S: Your comments are insane.

Stan: I completely agree with you crime must be cut. Do you have any suggestions? You have been very critical of Mayor Williams. Do you have any advise for Mayor Samarone?

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11Lbpiston(2 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

I was just recently hired at V&M earlier in the year and just to be clear, Vallourec built the plant in Ytown because itof its proximity to the Marcellus shale and its customers. Also because of expertise of the workforce. Williams, Obama, Strickland, Ryan etc had nothing to do with it whatsoever. $20 million stimulus was used, but the project was goingforward either way.

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