Published July 13, 2011
I was a real believer in Jay Williams. When I first came back from exile, I asked around to find out who were the people that I should be talking with. Jay Williams ' name came up again and again. I spoke w/ Jay, interviewed Jay , wore the 'chicken suit' when Bobby wouldn't debate Jay and I was delighted and proud of this community for electing a black man---an independent - as mayor .
Last week Turner Classic Movies again showed Mr Smith Goes to Washington "An idealistic Senate replacement takes on political corruption." This film is one of those 'if only this was real life' films. I had real hope and faith in Jay Williams, the kind of faith you have in Jefferson Smith, the Mr Smith from the film --- but that was then.....this is now:
Mr Wiliams came into office with lots of pomp, but much of the circumstances remained the same. He surrounded himself with many of the same political hacks as prior mayors and brought some other un and under qualified personnel with him - spending Sunday in the same pew with the mayor should not be an attention - getter on a resume. If Mr Williams was TRULY dedicated to the change he professes, why did he surround himself with people lacking the ability(and maybe even desire) to effect that change...or was Mr Williams' intent to insulate himself with these folks? Did anyone even ask about Mr Whitehead's qualifications beyond church attendance? All the questions regarding his increased salary as Parks and Recreation director, etc. The Bozanich* questions - the answers are always " he knows where all the bodies are buried..." - gee, if that's the case, maybe someone should call homicide and the FBI ! It's my understanding that Mr Bozanich's been quite vocal regarding his 'lack of interest in neighbourhood issues, the REAL 2010 Plan,etc ...' and I was told that Mr. Bozanich expressed that same disinterest to HUD officials.
YET STILL, I understand that HUD was EAGER to work with the "articulate" Mr. Williams......
From the U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development:
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LAUNCHES STRONG CITIES, STRONG COMMUNITIES TO SUPPORT LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Obama Administration launched Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2), a new and customized pilot initiative to strengthen local capacity and spark economic growth in local communities, while ensuring taxpayer dollars are used wisely and efficiently. To accomplish this, federal agencies will provide experienced staff to work directly with six cities: Chester, PA; Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Fresno, CA; Memphis, TN; and New Orleans, LA. These teams will work with local governments, the private sector, and other institutions to leverage federal dollars and support the work being done at the local level to encourage economic growth community development.
Yougstown could have been one, would have been one...was SUPPOSED to be one of the Strong Cities,Strong Communities, this federal government programme was GOING to come here - but not now.....now Mr. Williams, having won HIS DEAL - -- Mr Williams IS going to Washington , but Washington - the HUD Strong Cities, Strong Communities programme (Community Solutions Team , Fellowship Programme,etc) is NOT coming to Youngtown.