As a candidate running for President of City Council, a leadership position in the City of Youngstown, I was asked to comment on the alleged charges of sexual harassment and the proper procedures that were or were not followed.
According to the city ordinances, the matter should have been investigated, and interviews should have been conducted with written documents compiled from the interviews. We do not know if Mayor Sammarone created such documents. I suspect that he did not.
But the comment made by Mayor Sammarone (as reported in the media)”, "What did you expect, you are a pretty young girl?" is unconscionable! I believe that this statement indicates that he did not take the matter seriously. Mayor Sammarone did not just fail to protect Lindsey from her alleged perpetrator; he failed to protect the city by failing to follow the law as outlined in the ordinances.
This CERTAINLY raises the issue of how Mayor Sammarone handled this situation when he was President of Council. As an elected official in a leadership position Sexual Harassment and Discrimination charges should ALWAYS be taken seriously and policies and procedures outlined in the Administrative Code 163.53 should have been followed.
I believe that ANY form of harassment or discrimination in the workplace toward women or men MUST NEVER be tolerated and should ALWAYS be taken seriously. Laws have been set up to deal with such allegations. A person is innocent until proven guilty and we need to let this issue play out through the proper legal channels.
Now, I initially ran for this position because of the lack of communication and accessibility experienced at our “public” council meetings, but through more intense observations and research into the way our city is being run, IT IS SO CLEAR that radical and proactive changes are necessary if we are to move forward as a healthy community.
For recommendations to increase efficiency in Youngstown, see a thorough summary of the Youngstown plan written by Phil Kidd. The $250,000, 251 page study is called the “Youngstown Plan”, part of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative.