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Painful shrinkage

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)

Published April 14, 2009

Youngstown is a city with a plan... and now without a planner.

We've admitted we won't grow to the size we once were... but demolition is expensive, and the tax base isn't growing.

We've got some federal funds to apply to crisis neighborhoods... but City Council insists on spreading the money according to thirty-year-old needs.

As for the plan, it's great to be recognized for it, but we've got to keep producing. A dormant city planning office is only going to stymie our prospects for advancement. 

As for demolition, be sure to attend the public meeting on deconstruction with David Bennink on April 23 at 7pm in the Ohio One Building's first floor auditorium. The coming months and years will require us all to come together and assist the city and neighborhood groups in securing vacant structures, maintaining abandoned properties and demolishing lost causes. The city has limited resources, and it's time to step things up.

Also, come to the Wick Park cleanup and potluck this Saturday, April 18, from 10am to 1pm. New plans for Wick Park have been drafted, and if things proceed according to plan, Wick Park will be the most exciting recreational asset on the north side.

As for City Council, we need to discuss how the members are serving their communities, and if they're looking at problems with an eye toward the best interests of all city residents or whether short-term, parochial interests are inhibiting shared progress. Do we have the right number of councilpersons? Shouldn't they be full-time positions? Are our wards right-sized in keeping with the 2010 vision?

What are your thoughts on the state of the city? 

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