The Jambar - News
Youngstown 2010 will "Unveil the Plan" Jan. 27
By BJ Lisko
Anthony Kobak has a vision for the future of Youngstown. The chief planner for Youngstown 2010 says there is work to be done in making the Mahoning Valley a better place, but it is not unattainable.
"If you establish that you're trying to give good outreach and are genuine about your message, you'll get people to put their guard down," Kobak said. "They've been taken advantage of so many times."
On Jan.27, Youngstown 2010 will hold "Unveiling the Plan," at Stambaugh Auditorium. The organization has held meetings over the past two years to give area residents a forum to voice their comments, concerns and hopes for the future of the city. The event later this month will culminate those ideas in a draft of the organization's plan for Youngstown.
"We're going to highlight some of the main goals in the plan that night," Kobak said.
"We will also unveil a future land use map. It's a general foundation for the city to plan by in the future."
Apathy runs rampant in the Mahoning Valley, but Kobak says Youngstown 2010 has had little problem combating it.
"The attitude in the community is definitely changing, so I think that was an old obstacle," Kobak said.
But even with area apathy well in hand, Kobak admits there have been other obstacles to overcome.
"The biggest obstacle now is planning and a planning process," Kobak said. "It's kind of foreign to this area because it hasn't been done for so many years. It hasn't happened in a generation or more. It's probably been 50 plus years since a real plan has been around."
A major key to the success of Youngstown 2010 is keeping area residents and businesses from relocating.
"We have to work on the assets that we have in the city," Kobak said. "The wonderful art community, Mill Creek Park and businesses big and small - we have to make sure that they don't leave. We have to patronize them and give them a reason to stay. We have to build on what we have with making the city and neighborhood a cleaner and more presentable place."
Ultimately time will tell if Youngstown 2010 can turn around the fortunes of the city. Kobak thinks it can be done, and he is looking for as much support as he can get.
"Youngstown 2010 is only going to succeed if everyone supports the plan and gets involved," he said.
"Unveiling the Plan," is set for 7 p.m., Jan. 27 at Stambaugh Auditorium. For more information on the event or Youngstown 2010, residents can visit the organization's Web site at www.youngstown2010.com.