McNally to Celebrate Downtown in ‘State of City’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio –The redevelopment of the Erie Terminal and Federal buildings and endeavors including the Gatta, Wells and Wick building projects and the proposed downtown hotel show “folks want to make downtown a place to work and to live, and I think that’s something that we have to celebrate,” Mayor John McNally said.

McNally, now in his second year as the city’s mayor, will trumpet downtown’s resurgence this morning when he delivers his state-of-the-city address before those assembled for the Regional Chamber’s Good Morning, Youngstown breakfast at Youngstown Country Club.

Scheduled to join the mayor as speakers this morning are the city’s new coordinator of downtown events and special projects, Michael McGiffin, and Monica Jones, dean of the Youngstown Early College program.

“We always talk about the fact that we have more people coming to downtown Youngstown on a more frequent basis,” McNally said in an interview previewing this morning’s speech.

In addition, he will discuss the downtown wayfinding signage plan. “It’s important for those folks who don’t come to Youngstown that often or haven’t been downtown for 20 or 25,” he said. “We have to do a better job of helping better orient people downtown.”

One of the destinations people travel downtown to attend events at is the Covelli Centre, “a big success point for us,” as he describes it. Last month, the city put out a request for quotes from qualified firms to develop an amphitheater and greenspace area adjacent to the downtown arena. Architectural and engineering firms are seeking more information in advance of the March 24 deadline for submissions, McNally said. In addition, some entities have expressed interest in potential naming rights for the amphitheater and the park area.

Other topics McNally plans to address include the merger of the city’s community development, economic development and planning departments; road improvement projects; perceptions of crime and criminal justice, particularly the third consecutive year of major crime numbers decreasing; the community policing initiative that he hopes to launch in April; and, following the lead of Gov. John Kasich in his State of the State Address, “the very unpretty picture in terms of infant mortality” rates in the state and city.

“Some folks may say why add that into the mix. I say because it’s not just a Youngstown problem. It’s a Mahoning County problem. It’s a state of Ohio problem,” he said.

“It’s something that the business community needs to be aware of,” he continued. “Because of poor educational attainment, because of poor health guidance, we have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the state, if not the country, and that’s something we should be paying attention to.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.