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Youngstown council agrees to hold banks accountable, install traffic cameras

Published: Wed, January 2, 2013 @ 9:46 p.m.


City council has authorized Youngstown Board of Control to contract with Mahoning County for building inspections and with a private company to install traffic cameras.

County commissioners already signed off on the agreement last month to consolidate the city’s building department into the county’s.

Mayor Charles Sammarone sponsored the legislation and said Wednesday he supports the measure as a cost-saving initiative.

The board of control also got the green light from council to negotiate a contract with Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix to install traffic cameras in school zones throughout the city.

Council also voted to amend the vacant property registry to include a $10,000 bond on foreclosed properties, a victory for residents who have been advocating accountability from banks that own dilapidated homes in foreclosure.

The legislation is a result of a Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative campaign, and the bond can be used against mowing, boarding and demolition costs the city incurs, said Gary Davenport, MVOC organizing fellow.

He said the legislation is based on laws in Canton and Springfield, Mass., and “takes a big industry to task.”

Law Director Anthony Farris violators will be prosecuted, and the city’s broad definition of a property owner can be used to hold banks accountable.

For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.


1whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Awesome !!!

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2bmanresident(607 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

The year was 1984. Traffic cameras are just a move to a bigger police state than the one that we already live in. Youngstown stands to steal thousands from honest people working in the suburbs with this new camera system. How many people on the southside are really going to pay these fines?

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3Roland_Martin(24 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago


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4NoBS(2390 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

While I agree with the move to require a $10K bond on foreclosed properties, I see the potential to siphon that full amount off, in the name of grass-cutting and so on, leaving the city just as it is now - abandoned structures and nobody willing to do anything about them. There should be language included that requires demolition of the structure once the bond money dwindles to the cost of demolition.

On the traffic cameras - they are a money-maker, pure and simple. They do not keep anybody safe, they do not deter any other crimes, and they are inaccurate and can be manipulated. For the city to be claiming these are all about the safety of the school kids is misrepresentation at its finest. You can drive impaired, you can drive on the sidewalk, you can carry as many assault rifles as you can find right up to any school, you can do anything except speed and the cameras won't even take your picture, much less stop you from doing anything else.

And I agree with previous posters - who's going to pay the tickets? The suburban workers whose tax money and water/sewer surcharge is all that's keeping the city going? Or the gang-bangers who don't even bother putting license plates on their car and have no mailing address?

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