YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown and Judge Carla Baldwin were the subjects of a town hall meeting Tuesday night at Youngstown State University.
In a room full students, one of the main topics was getting them to stay.
One of the first questions asked was about the future of young people in Youngstown.
Marissa Snyder, a YSU student, asked, “Do you have any plans on doing millennial engagement?”
“I’ll bring you into chambers. I’ll talk with you. I’ll explain the system. I’ll show you how the process works,” Baldwin said.
“Mayors on the west coast are very good and crafty on how they get the millennials to come out to the west coast. What can I do? I need to start looking at their playbook,” Brown said.
Student Jaylin Archie had his own suggestion after his friends had three tires blow out in the past two weeks.
“What can be done about the potholes that’s in Youngstown? I know you said that you want to keep millennials here and I can definitely tell you that fixing those potholes is definitely a good solution,” Archie said.
“The father in me says slow down, the mayor in me says we have to look at best practice and how we can get better at keeping those potholes filled and keeping them closed up,” Brown said.
“Up until recently, the contract negotiations haven’t gone well,” said YSU professor Dr. Cryshanna Jackson-Leftwich.
She referred to the recent contract signed by YSU’s faculty union, which she says kept them among the lowest paid in Ohio.
“We’re not going to be able to keep the millennials here. We’re not going to be able to keep the people here, we’re not going to be competitive with the other universities in the area,” Jackson-Leftwich said.
Mayor Brown said he understands. He cited his police department as an example.
“Let’s say they make $14 an hour. Akron, Ohio is taking them from us, they’re starting at $24 an hour,” Brown said.
Mayor Brown said maybe there needs to be a collaboration between the city and Youngstown State on how to keep the people from leaving.
Snow removal, or the lack thereof, was also discussed since a lot of YSU students use city streets to get to class. Mayor Brown said there’s nothing he can do this year, but some options for next year could be partnering with other communities or possibly hiring outside contractors.