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Steubenville candidates weigh in on the issues

WTOV

A debate style forum Thursday in Steubenville gave residents an opportunity to hear from the candidates and about the levies and issues on this year's ballot.

At Eastern Gateway Community College, representatives behind a number of issues and levies were in attendance as well as candidates for Steubenville city council and mayor.

The debate in the mayoral race took up a large portion of the evening's event. Dozens in attendance were waiting to hear what each candidate had to say. One of the first talking points was medical marijuana. Each of the 4 mayoral candidates said they were in favor of dispensaries coming to the area.

“Of course it would be an economic boom, because to my knowledge, there's going to be two dispensaries within a 4 county area, so those jobs that would be created by that would be right here in Steubenville,” said Royal Mayo. “If not, it's just going to the next county.”

“I believe every job is necessary,” said Frankie DiCarlantonio. “I believe that since it is legal in the state of Ohio, it's coming to this area whether you like it or not to be honest with you and I believe we need to support any business that wants to locate right here in the city of Steubenville."

“My view is, if it's beneficial for someone to relieve that pain rather than getting on some heavy duty drug, I would certainly support medical marijuana,” said Jerry Barilla.

“I'm in full favor of medical marijuana, as a matter of fact, I'd like to see marijuana decriminalized completely,” said Michael Walenciej.

The second topic of discussion, echoed throughout the debate, was business. Each candidate broke down how they would make Steubenville a more business-friendly environment.

“Definitely the regulations, any kind of tax incentives that we could give them would be helpful," Walenciej said.

“I think we need the spirit of fairness, the spirit of equality, the spirit of ‘let's do what's best for our community’ and not what's best for the individual,” Mayo said.

“Fees, process and regulations--those are three things that we need to review each and every day, each and every meeting that we have to review these items to make sure that we are the friendliest locality in the Ohio Valley for them to locate in,” said DiCarlantonio.

“It should be more of a welcoming, ‘hey, we're here to help you out,” Barilla said. “These are the things you need to do to become a business in Steubenville and we're here to help you."

A variety of other topics were discussed throughout the evening, as well as issues and levies.

The election takes place November 7. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

Visit your county board of elections’ website to see which races are on your ballot.

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