YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Members of ACTION say they’re unhappy with how the city of Youngstown handled the eviction of tenants from 20 Federal Place. They say they welcome growth and development in the city but this situation should have been handled differently. They say tenants should have been warned that they might have to close or relocate before getting an eviction notice.

Activists with ACTION wanted an apology from Mayor Tito Brown which they said they did not get when they spoke to Brown Wednesday afternoon. Instead, they say the mayor filled them in on more of the story from the city’s perspective.

“From the beginning, we believed that eviction notice was an unfair way for those tenants to find out officially from their landlord about this development,” said Vicki Vicars, the lead organizer for ACTION.

She said they originally called this protest over a lack of communication with city leaders.

“We held a town hall, which many people attended so that they could tell their story and how this eviction impacted that. At that time, we reached out to the mayor and various members of city administration to at times and participate in that town hall, and none of them were able to attend,” said Vicars. “His comment was that, you know, we didn’t ask him when it was good for him.”

Wednesday they finally got some of the answers they were looking for.

“He said that we don’t have all the information, that there’s some background information that will kind of color this whole story that he has not been at liberty to publicly share,” said Vicars.

First News was not privy to that conversation. When our cameras showed up at the impromptu meeting with the Mayor, the conversation did not last much longer after that but what was said influenced members of ACTION to amend their prepared statement.

“We love and appreciate the matter. He has supported much of the work that we’ve done in the city. So we respect him. We just feel on behalf of the tenants and other businesses in the city that this was not handled well, that it showed disrespect and the lack of compassion for those tenants,” said Vicars.

Vicars plans to call the mayor’s office Thursday to schedule an appointment to speak with him further. After Wednesday’s sidewalk conversation, Vicars believes the mayor is open to dialogue about the eviction. Still, there is no financial assistance available from the city to help tenants at 20 Federal Place move.