Filippi says the spike in violence could possibly be stopped if the neighborhoods had representation on council. "I think it is a factor when you have neighborhoods that are deteriorating lack of jobs lack of investment and lack of hope and they don't have anyone to look to someone who is living around the block who hears gunshots every night" Six out of the seven council members live in the fifth ward and one in the fourth ward.
According to Dr. Bill Garvey the government form in the city of Erie has changed at least three times since the 1900's. It's current at-large representation on council started in 1961. The last time the city had ward representation was in 1914. In Garvey’s opinion it's time for a change of government in the city.
Councilman Bob Merski Jr. has a different opinion " Everyone that's on council now, and I'm very comfortable speaking for my colleagues, we respond to everyone. We go to meetings no matter where they are lower east side lower west side upper east side upper west side."
Filippi says council could pass an ordinance to study the form of government. And he says he may even lead a group that's going to do just that.
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