Democratic candidates for Erie Mayor discuss their plans to help better the City of Erie

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We are learning more about the three democratic candidates for Mayor of Erie who square off on the May 18th primary.

Each candidate, especially Mayor Joe Schember all have different plans that will help better the City of Erie.

Mayor Joe Schember, Sydney Zimmermann and Tom Spagel are all three democrats running for City of Erie Mayor.

Spagel and Zimmermann say finances of the city are their biggest concern.

“The $1.6 million on the security in City Hall, in my opinion and opinion of a lot is that it is considerably too high.” Spagel said.

“I really wanted to see some leadership in Erie that is excited about getting community input, you know, being transparent and being action-orientated advocates for the community and I wasn’t seeing that in our options.” Zimmermann said.

Mayor Joe Schember says, under his administration, he has addressed the city’s financial debt.

“The first year I had to do a budget, we were faced with an $11 million deficit before we did anything. Well, now the fact that the next four years there’s going to be no deficit and no need to raise taxes.” Mayor Schember said.

There are many plans in place that each of the candidates have for the City of Erie.

“Yes, bringing jobs into the heart of the community is the best possible thing to do. We can have our business wherever we want to.” Spagel said.

“I know that there’s a budget issue, but there’s a lot that we can rearrange to ensure we’re doing right by our community and I think the budget is one of them.” Zimmermann said.

“Our problem right now is bringing businesses to Erie. We got no land that’s ready for business. IF a business owner wants to go to 12th and Cherry, they’ll have to tear down that building first.” Mayor Schember said.

Improving the relationship between the community and City of Erie Police is also a priority for the candidates.

“We do have one minority who will be becoming a police officer this summer, which is good, but we still need more of that. We can’t just sit back and we have to keep working on it.” Mayor Schember said.

“We need more community policing. Here at 25th and Ash I’ve been here for almost 28 years now and you don’t see the police walking around and getting to know our neighbors. You see them driving by and reacting.” Spagel said.

“We need to make sure they’re doing their job correctly, so I think reviews is one way to do it and training.” Zimmermann said.

To watch the full interviews with all three of the candidates, click here.

JET 24 is providing the candidates for Mayor of Erie an opportunity to address issues of concern.

We will air a live political forum featuring the democratic candidates for mayor.

Join us right here on JET 24 Action News for that discussion with all three candidates.

The forum is set to take place on Thursday, May 13th at 5:30 p.m.

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