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Youngstown turns corner, mayor says

Published: Sat, March 12, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

By David Skolnick



Despite sharp declines in population and income-tax revenue, Mayor Jay Williams said Youngstown has turned the economic corner.

“Every economic renaissance has a tipping point, that point at which the momentum begins to shift in the other direction,” Williams said Friday at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s annual Good Morning, Youngstown! breakfast.

“I stand here before you with the sincere belief that finally the momentum has shifted in our direction,” the mayor said.

At Friday’s breakfast at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Hall, Williams pointed to V&M Star’s $650 million expansion, other new business investments in the city as well as Youngstown’s receiving national attention for its business climate.

“While one year of [economic] growth won’t make up for several years of decline,” Williams said the city’s “best days are indeed ahead of us.”

But the city will only improve if “we continue to set the visions, continue to follow the planning, continue to collaborate as we have in the previous decade,” he said.

It’s also vital for the city to continue to work closely with the federal and state governments for Youngstown to progress, Williams said.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday that Youngstown’s population declined by 18.4 percent between 2000 and 2010. That’s the largest percentage decline of any of Ohio’s 25 most populous cities.

Williams said the data has “given us pause” and “can be disheartening.” But he added that “it means our efforts are that much more important.”

Also, the city’s income tax revenue dropped from $48.7 million in 2006 to $41.1 million last year.

“Youngstown has great employees doing more with less,” Williams said.

Connie Hathorn, the Youngs-town school district’s superintendent, also spoke at Friday’s event.

On the job for a few months, Hathorn said, “People, let me tell you. I did not know what I was getting into.”

The superintendent acknowledged that Youngstown, the worst school district on the state’s report card, is “at the bottom. But I promise we’re going to come out of this.” Hathorn promised changes to the school system. He declined to disclose details Friday, saying they’ll be announced shortly.


1michael1757(489 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

He say's several year's of decline,how about 20 year's of it? Just because V&M Star is making more steel,it's not for us. It's more than likely going oversea's,& not for our own building. Yes,more people will be at work there,but I don't see it as a major boom to our sucess here. Look at the drop in revenue,& that's because of the people leaving. As far as the decline,even college student's say their gonna be leaving here,& I for one want to leave with them.

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2Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago


"As far as the decline,even college student's say their gonna be leaving here,& I for one want to leave with them."

Well leave then.

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3UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

What are Mayor Jay and Connie Hathorn smokin'? Youngstown's population has fallen so far down, it is now smaller then Canton now and that ain't saying much. The city has high taxes and high crime rates. Unemployment is highest in the state. More people die then are born in the city these days. No respectable business wants anything to do with Youngstown. The school system is not only in academic emergency, but a finaincial failure as well. The bad news just goes on and on.

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4ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

The only way to turn this around is to actively encourage the parasite class to move elsewhere. Close down the public housing projects, cease the section 8 program and turn up the heat on demolition of delinquent and unsafe properties. We have to flush the parasites out of this town so that us law abiding, taxpaying citizens can feel safe to move back. Coddling the parasites is reason no. 1 why Youngstown is in the condition it is in.

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5Photoman(1246 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Youngstown, to many outsiders, represents nothing but crime, corruption and decay. The education system will remain at the bottom of state ratings and we seem to have pinned our future to one new company. Our "leaders" are now big fish in a little pond, rapidly devouring all of we little fish near them. I would love to be able to foresee a glorious future for Youngstown but my limited mind doesn't have such a capability.

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6city_resident(528 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

"Which is it? Up or down?"
Up from 2009, but down from 2006.

I agree with the mayor. Despite setbacks, I've seen more positive change--or the seeds of change--in the last 2-3 years than I have in the previous 10 that I've lived here. V&M just happens to be talked about most, because it is the biggest.

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7Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

It has been more like 33 plus years of decline.It isn't a new thing but it is still every bit intense.

One or two projects is not going to do it.On the bright side the demolition and tree planting businesses should be doing well.

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8redvert(2239 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

"Mayor Jay Williams said Youngstown has turned the economic corner."

He didn't mention that there was a "dead end sign" around that corner.

He has no problem, the same people that elected him last time will reelect him. The 50/50 mix between whites versus blacks and other minorities is good news for him.

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9georgejeanie(1496 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Are you sure this guy was not a community organizer b/4 becoming mayor of this dump? Sounds like the messiah talked to this guy and gave him lessons. Next he will be touting a new healthcare system just for Youngstown. a system that the entire country would want to emulate.

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