©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Mayoral Candidates Talk Ideas
|The snow didn't stop community members from coming out to see a Mayoral forum hosted by the Galesburg NAACP.
The event wasn't set up as a debate--more a casual conversation between the community and the three candidates.
Questions from NAACP members and the audience were answered regarding several topics, including: race relations and Galesburg youth. Former Alderman Margaret Hall told the crowd it starts with money management and working with those groups who are most at risk.
"Because of the state that the state and the nation is in, organizations for the poor and for those of color are having real problems with funding," says Hall. "I would like to pull these groups together to A, save money and to make it go farther, because to me, they're falling through the cracks."
When the question of jobs and job creation came up, the forum almost turned into a debate.
Mayor Sal Garza told the crowd he was proud of the way the City has approached job growth and believes they've been successful.
"We have turned around the economic development approach and direction in the last three years, the the extent that we've been successful and instrumental in working with private sector of small and large companies that we have help to retain and or create over 1,100 jobs."
Garza continued to say they've been able to stop the hemorrhaging and established a new trend, but Mayoral candidate John Pritchard didn't agree with Mayor Garza's assessment, saying the City is taking credit for job creation they really had nothing to do with.
"I don't know that I've seen a whole bunch of people being hired around here, I think that many cases, United Facilities, they take credit for 77 jobs. The only thing they did was come in after the fact, after the company announced they were hiring and said can we give you a $25,000 training grant that way we can write down that we help create 77 jobs. I think that's a cynical approach."
Mayor Garza did try to respond to Pritchard's comment, but was told no by NAACP President Candy Webb, giving the reason Garza and Pritchard didn't really answer the question asked.
After the question was repeated and Margaret Hall answered Webb allowed Garza and Pritchard a second chance to answer her original question.
|02 21 13 by Newsroom
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