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It's about time
March 27, 2009 - Joe Gorman
It's about time Youngstown got a big chunk of money for something.
Other than the money that was awarded for the Chevrolet Center, Thursday's announcement that the state will give the city $20 million for the V&M project from federal stimulus money is one of the few times I can remember the city -- indeed, the area -- receiving some significant largese from the government.
Of course, I would feel better if V&M officials weren't so mum about their end of the project -- around here it's hard to feel good until they start turning over dirt, given our track record -- but there was still a sense of satisfication about the announcement because we are too often ignored by Democrats who take our area for granted.
Indeed, Mayor Jay Williams said he lobbied heavily for state help and he made sure to mention not only Gov. Ted Strickland, but also Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who is head of the Department of Development who has helped out with state assistance for the project in the past.
Williams, who was an early backer of Strickland when he ran for governor, seemed to be giving the same support for Fisher when he said both invested heavily in the area and both ``will see a return on that investment.'
I can almost see the press conference with Williams endorsing Fisher for his run in the Democratic primary for the senate seat being vacated by George Voinovich.
To me, this means Williams has his finger on the pulse up in Columbus. I can't remember Pat Ungaro or George McKelvey getting this big of a monetary package -- other than the money former congressman James Traficant secured for the arena, and even then, the city was left holding a bag for over $20 million because they could not come up with more funds to pay for it.
Obviously, there is some politics involved. Fisher wants support here when he runs in the Democratic primary for senate, and this definitely helps.
But who cares? It's about time Youngstown got something back from Columbus.
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