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Mayor targets justice system in community gala address

Published: Sun, January 9, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.


The Vindicator (Youngstown)

Mayor Jay Williams and his son Ethan meet and greet attendees of the Mayor's Community Celebration at Stambaugh Auditorium.


The Vindicator (Youngstown)

Sonja Williams, wife of Mayor Jay Williams, and their son Ethan welcome the attendees of the Mayor's community Celebration at Stambaugh Auditorium on Saturday.

By Denise Dick



It’s time to end the dysfunction of the criminal justice system in Mahoning County, said Mayor Jay Williams.

He told the crowd Saturday at the Mayor’s Community Celebration at Stambaugh Auditorium that he’ll accept responsibility for the aspects of that dysfunction that occur within the city.

“But I won’t take responsibility for the failures and indifference of the criminal justice system outside of the city, in Mahoning County,” Williams said.

Firearm specifications that would result in mandatory prison sentences shouldn’t be dismissed, and high-level felonies shouldn’t be plea- bargained down, he said.

“It’s time for fewer plea bargains, more trials, stiffer sentences and more accountability,” Williams said.

The mayor also said that 2011 would see the completion of the revision of the city’s code-enforcement system and the strengthening of Youngstown’s partnership with Lien Forward Ohio.

The city also will continue to build on its relationships with Youngstown State University, the city schools, Youngstown Development Corp. and Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative.

Youngstown must develop its vision for the future.

“Youngstown 2010 must become Youngstown 2020,” Williams said. “Where we’ve been successful, we must continue to build on that.”

Where there have been failures, the city must learn from them, he said.

The mayor said that 2010 marked many accomplishments and challenges for him both on a personal and professional level.

Bishop Norman L. Wagner, pastor of Calvary Ministries International, whom Williams called a mentor, died last year.

But 2010 also saw the birth of Ethan, the first child of Williams and his wife, Sonja.

Professionally, a national food chain announced plans to open grocery stores at several locations within the city. The VXI call center and other businesses are expanding, and student apartments are being built in the city for YSU students.

“The momentum has finally shifted,” Williams said, to the applause of attendees.

The city also received recognition in national magazines for its potential for job creation.

Saturday’s black-tie event was in support of the Mayor’s Community Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that has given about $30,000 to organizations and grass-roots projects that have the goal of improving the community and quality of life for residents.


1Photoman(1237 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

When a plea bargain is considered a win for the prosecution and where the effectiveness of the prosecution is based on wins, there will be no change in prosecutorial procedures.

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Just a bunch of BS ! When the mayor has his chief of police raid known drug houses then I'll be impressed .

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3Silence_Dogood(1666 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

He has a name, it is Paul Gains.

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4seminole(476 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

It isn't about rentals, it's about the trash and ghetto crawlers that these jacka-- slumlords rent to. Not all renters are in these catagories, but when the renters trash apartments/duplexes and the landlords continue to allow it you will have trashy locations among the single family homes. The landlords bitch and whine when they are going to get clipped for not keeping their locations tight because they don't care who they rent to, as long as they get their units rented.

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5CompMan(152 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Williams and Hughes must both go as a start. It is this mayor and his generals that have allowed the city to deterioate to a polution of violent crime by their ineffective leadership and follow through. Pretty words are neutered by lack of action; except when the priest embarasses them. The entire area is held hostage fearing to drive through Youngstown let alone live and work there. (Bertram can confirm) This is an 8 to 5 downtown and for the rest of the city a continuing nightmare. Yet they continue to bully with the highest income tax of 2.75% in the state and with threats of water rights. Without hospitals (knife and gun clubs of YNG) , YSU and courts; Youngstown is scorched earth as the largest town in the county. They need to learn to work with the county prosecutors and not be in rival situations with them. Gains as well needs to learn from Trumbull county how to prosecute high profile cases and not just manage his subordinates to keep his record clean for the next election. To the respectful people who live and work there; fear has replaced pride of the cities cutural and arts heritage. The leadership audicity of 2010 to 2020 should make everyone ashamed of these leaders. .

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes, yes ! The next decade of decay should have all working people run off and a total welfare city foraging into the suburbs to do battle . Twenty-twenty should have us back to the dark ages .

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7palbubba(794 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

What has Williams done to correct any of the cities problems, like "slap on the wrist judges"? He is just trying to keep the heat off himself and Chief Jimmy by deflecting it to the county. Anyone complaining about plea bargain Gains needs to look in the mirror and ask "did I vote in the last election for prosecutor and who did I vote for?" It didn't take a genius to know this do nothing hack was not going to improve the situation.

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