WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — With just over a month until primary elections, candidates for Warren mayor debated at the podium Wednesday evening over topics voters have expressed concerns about.
Warren voters filed into the Warren G. Harding High School auditorium for the mayoral debate for the democratic primary.
Incumbent Mayor Doug Franklin and Councilman at-large Ken MacPherson candidates answered questions from the crowd.
One of the biggest issues: Crime and policing.
Franklin wants to incorporate a police training program at the high school.
McPherson’s approach would implement newer technology in policing.
“We believe that if you want to change your police department, you have to recruit from your city,” Franklin said. “We’re starting a cadet program in Warren City Schools so that people from our school system can be a part of that.”
“Cameras that we have bought in the past lacked technology,” MacPherson said. “As a technology guy, I can tell you that having cameras that don’t read license plates is primitive.”
Flooding has plagued parts of the city, filling homes and basements with contaminated water during heavy rains. MacPherson described his engineering background he could lean on. Franklin shared some of the work the city is already doing.
“One of the first projects I worked on out of college was the Suez Canal sewer treatment project. At the time, it was the world’s largest project,” MacPherson said.
“We’ve invested $120 million that’s already financed into our sewer system,” Franklin said.
The implementation of a charter continues to be a contentious issue. Franklin is opposed and MacPherson is in favor.
“I’ve seen good charters and bad charters. Good statutory government and bad statutory governments — you know what the difference is? The quality of leadership,” Franklin said.
“If we take an auditor and a treasurer, which is a fairly archaic way we do it, because it was developed in the law — the statutory law from the state over 100 years ago,” MacPherson said.
Ohio’s primary is May 2.