Johnson City mayoral candidates talk future of village

By Jillian Marshall

October 24, 2013 Updated Oct 25, 2013 at 11:44 AM EST

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The battle for Johnson City mayor will soon come to a close, but the two candidates vying for the seat haven't given up the race.

Republican Greg Deemie and democrat Barrett Esworthy are head-to-head in the 2013 Johnson City Mayoral race.

Deemie is currently the mayor was first elected as a trustee in 2010 and then appointed to the mayor's office in 2012.

Barrett Esworthy was born and raised in Johnson City, and currently owns multiple properties in the village. Esworthy ran as a third party candidate for State Senate in 2012.

Deemie and Esworthy both say they have what it takes to improve the village's future.

Both candidates have similar platforms: fighting against blight, taking down crime and revitalizing Main Street.

Blight has been a major issue in the village.

"I'm looking at bringing in some other kind of code enforcement, some kind of third party code enforcement," Deemie said.

Esworthy said he wants to improve code enforcement.

"Blight is caused by the people that actually live in those neighborhoods." Esworthy said. "They leave the shopping carts on the lawns, they break the windows, they cause the vandalism."

The revitalization of Main Street is a main focus for both the Republican and democrat.

Esworthy said he wants to make a "property tax free zone" for the main blocks of Main Street.

"All these buildings in the downtown core of Johnson City, we would eliminate their village property tax from the tax world," Esworthy said. "The goal would be to make this some of the cheapest office real estate in the area."

Currently, the Main Street grant is helping revitalize the heart of the village.

"It's going well, we're getting there, things are happening," Deemie said. "A lot of it you don't see because it's going on inside buildings."

Crime is always a hot topic and has affect many areas of the village.

Both candidates have their own ways to try to reduce crime.

"We're looking to get some kind of camera program going, camera down Main Street, camera down by the parks, give us a better insight at what's going on," Deemie said.

"I'm all for more police, I'm in favor of more effective code enforcement," Esworthy said.

Esworthy said as mayor he would reduce some taxes around Johnson City for property owners. To do this, Esworthy would transition the village from an all-paid fire department into a blended fire department, with part volunteer fire fighters and part paid fire fighters, plus look into sharing services.

But in order to reduce taxes, Esworthy's plan would rely on getting agreements with the Town of Union and in some cases may need state legislation.

Deemie said he will continue to fight to keep their taxes as low as possible.

Both candidates said the most important part of elections, is having people voice their opinions and cast their vote.

Click here for more information about General Election on November 5.