Rome Mayor Jackie Izzo (R) and her Primary challenger, Jeff Lanigan (R) appeared separately in radio interviews over the last week on WIBX's First News with Keeler in the Morning.

Mayor Izzo defended her record against accusations from Lanigan and also touted her accomplishments over the last 7 years, as she finishes up her second term as Rome's first female mayor.

Lanigan, a former police officer with the Rome Police Department, said he feels there should be term limits for the mayor's position in Rome and that the city now needs new blood. Lanigan cited issues with crime in the city, the absence of things to do for kids, and a lack transparency by the current administration.

Izzo, said this would be the wrong time to change administrations because of everything she's already accomplished, and the many projects she's currently in the middle of completing for the city. Regarding crime, Izzo said that the police department has done a very good job in dealing with a national trend of increased crime, and that once arrests are made, the matter moves to the courts and out of city hands. Izzo cited COVID, New York State's bail reform, and the state's raise the age program as reasons for the increase in crime throughout the state. She said the city is fortunate that it hasn't had the murders and shootings that other cities have had to combat.

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In reagards to COVID, Lanigan said the administration failed its residents when City Hall was shut down for two years. Izzo disagreed, and said while the city was forced to follow Governor Cuomo's state law on limited occupancy, City Hall and city government never stopped serving the people. "We were there every day," said Izzo.

Lanigan also looked to the lack of things to do for young people in Rome, comparing it to the days when he was a kid when ball fields and parks were filled with active kids. Mayor Izzo challenged Lanigan's assessment and said that when she took office, the previous administration had eliminated all youth programs. She said one of her first duties as mayor was to reestablish those programs and ultimately create even more for youths and adults by adding the Kennedy Arena as a 4-season venue for recreation.

Finally, Lanigan criticized Mayor Izzo regarding trash pickup with CWSI. He said if he were mayor he would consider a second hauler to be on standby in case CWSI failed to pick up. He said the pick up of trash is still a problem in the city. Izzo disagreed and said that having another contract in place for trash collection would cost the taxpayers over $1 million and that it was state law that mandated that the city accept the lowest bidder for trash services, which was CWSI. She added that she's monitoring the company on almost a daily basis to make sure they follow through on their commitment, and a problem that occurred last week where recyclables were picked up late was caused when one of the garbage trucks was involved in an automobile accident, and another had mechanical problems. Otherwise, she said, the company has improved tremendously.

The Primary voting begins with early voting from June 17 until June 25th, and the Primary election on Tuesday, June 27.

Watch the interviews below with both Mayor Izzo and Lanigan.
Jeff Lanigan

Mayor Jackie Izzo

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