The Final Countdown for the 2023 Elmira Mayoral Race
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Election Day this year is November 7th, and candidates are making a final push to voters before the polls open. Both Republican Mayor Dan Mandell and Mayoral Democratic Candidate Jim Hassell are wrapping up their campaign trails of going door-to-door and reaching out to community members.
Both candidates agree the City is facing multiple issues, and have different opinions on Elmira's biggest challenge. Hassell said the biggest challenge is the lack of things for younger people and kids to do. He said kids are bored and they're getting into trouble.
"I think we need to find opportunities for them to have more learning, activities, sports activities, things that'll keep them occupied, and also mentoring. I think that we can involve volunteers, retired people, and others who are interested in helping our youth. There's a lot we can do [to] develop our community centers," said Hassell.
Incumbent Mayor Mandell said the biggest challenge Elmira is facing is the homeless problem. He said it's been an ongoing issue since before he was elected, and during the pandemic, it became worse. Mandell said it's a problem the city needs to continue to work on.
"It's working for getting them decent housing, getting supportive services housing, working with our different partners throughout the community to get them into that type of housing and conquer this problem. We know a lot of it's drug and alcohol related along with mental health issues. So, that's going to be a major concern. It's going to be a major focus on getting these people help and getting them off the street," said Mayor Mandell.
Mayor Mandell said if he's re-elected, his goal would be to continue the development that's happened throughout the city. He also said he would continue to focus on public safety.
"We've done over $200 million worth of development. We're now going to be concentrating on the south side. We're going for another DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) grant. Also, on maintaining public safety, which is my number one priority to the citizens of Elmira is to keep them safe, and we will continue to do that," said Mayor Mandell.
Hassell said if he's elected, he would want to develop the community more and put more effort into the work in Elmira's downtown.
"We need to be more open and inclusive. I think we need to work on our downtown and develop a long-range plan that we will follow in a way that will lead us into planned development. Not into kind of piecemeal pieces of development we're seeing today," said Hassell.
In addition to the Mayoral race, people will also have the opportunity to decide who will represent their City Council District.
In New York, voting locations will open at 6 a.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. In Pennsylvania, polls will open starting at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. If you are in line when the polls close, you are still allowed to vote. For your polling location, contact your local board of elections.