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Will Youngstown get its share?

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)

Published January 5, 2009

Where are we headed as a city? This question comes to mind after reading the news that Youngstown--after being given a relatively paltry $2.7 million for neighborhood stabilization in September--was completely passed over in the final round of disbursements for 2008.

The governor's office placed the blame at the federal level: "The federal government created a formula that places cities like Youngstown ... at a distinct disadvantage." Maybe.

I can't help wondering, though, does Youngstown have the right level of influence at the state level? And if we had more influence, would the governor's office have found a way to get us the funds we deserve? Can the goals of 2010 really be implemented without the state support required?

Speaking of 2010, the blog Youngstown Moxie posted a lengthy and detailed indictment of city progress in the 2010 vision, along with a heartbreaking story of hope put in Youngstown that was squandered by an administration that had an opportunity to put up and, instead, it shut people up:

"I have tried to find out to the best of my ability some reason for the actions of the city in this case. However, I have been unable to conclude anything other than someone in city government owed someone living near the couple a favor. The ultimate outcome of this tale is that several city officials had their jobs threatened. In fact threats were made to cut entire city department budgets over a couple of goats, yes goats. In other words all of us would ultimately be punished by these cuts should the city official in charge of the department not tow the party line."

The ultimate question is: if our leaders are preventing progress at home and unable to secure help from the state, what exactly is being accomplished?

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