Taking a stand against crime and blight in Johnson City

By Jillian Marshall

October 25, 2013 Updated Oct 25, 2013 at 6:50 PM EST

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Election Day is less than two weeks away, and the Johnson City mayoral candidates are outlining their visions to voters. Republican Mayor Greg Deemie said he is focused on keeping the streets clean and cutting down on crime.

Deemie released his Blight Plan on Friday afternoon.

The plan consists of three steps: initiating a yearly third party code inspection for all rental properties, create a "whistle-blower policy" for tenants, which is a system were they can safely report issues and misconduct of landlords, and give hefty tax penalties to landlords who have abandoned and uninhabited buildings for over a year.

"The penalties would be applied directly to the owner's taxes and increase drastically each year there after," Deemie said.

In response, Democrat Barrett Esworthy released a statement saying quote, "Blight and crime is mostly caused by a new group of renters who have moved into the village over the past ten years who are not invested in the community and show no respect for the neighborhoods in which they live. Earlier in the campaign I called for a new rental unit registration program that will give code enforcement the authority to hold tenants legally responsible for the blight they cause."

Deemie says crime and blight work together, so he wants to add another police officer to the force and another K-9 by the end of the year.

Esworthy agrees with adding more police.

In a statement he said, "Johnson City needs to hire more than just one police officer to keep up with crime in the village. Instead of spending so much money disproportionately on the fire department, we should be working to hire more police."

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