NY Mayor Eager to Address Numerous Issues After Conference
Thursday, March 30, 2023
A New York state mayor is eager to implement new initiatives he observed during the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference.
Earlier this week, elected officials from across the country convened in Washington to explore different means of helping their respective municipalities.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said he is eager to address housing concerns. While most cities are grappling with an affordable-housing crisis, he said Jamestown is dealing with a different kind of housing issue.
"We have a really difficult housing stock," said Sundquist. "We've had a lot of loss of investment in the city and very excited to hear about the creation of a new housing accelerator that we're hoping to be a part of to talk about how do we revitalize, and how do we reimagine what housing should look like?"
Sundquist noted that this is especially important for seniors because most of the housing stock in Jamestown isn't designed for someone with limited mobility.
But, most homes in New York's rural areas aren't, and modifications can be costly. A study from the Rural Housing Coalition of New York finds 28% of homes in New York's rural counties were built before 1940.
Cities such as Jamestown and others across the U.S. are also facing the issue of redefining public safety.
Across the country, different municipalities have been training officers in mental health practices to better understand how to deal with a suspect who might be mentally ill.
Sundquist noted that mayors from across the country discussed this during the conference.
"We talked about having folks in the community agencies also help in this work, and how we can say what should public safety look like," said Sundquist. "Police officers are great, but we also need mental-health counselors. We also need people who are going to target the root issues of some of the crime that we're seeing."
This re-evaluation comes as the U.S. is facing a shortage of police officers.
According to a 2022 survey from the Police Executive Research Forum, there was a 3.48% decrease in officer staffing levels between 2020 and 2021.
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