POLITICS Now is the time to run for mayor, Hagan says

Hagan's platform focuses on a cleaner, safer and united city.
YOUNGSTOWN -- State Sen. Robert Hagan says he has a vision for the city, and he wants to bring his leadership skills to the mayor's seat to make that vision a reality.
Hagan, D-33rd, flanked by his wife, Michelle, their children, his mom, his brother Tim and other supporters, said he was announcing his mayoral candidacy because, "I want to make Youngstown clean, safe and united."
He had a formal press conference Monday at Mahoning County Democratic Party headquarters in the Realty Building downtown.
Hagan, who turns 56 in March, said another part of his vision is to build a consensus with city council and city residents to achieve his goals.
He said he plans to work with Youngstown State University officials and tie the university and the city's downtown together.
Hagan, of Madera Avenue, said now is the time to run. The Youngstown 2010 vision and action plan, unveiled last month, is well thought out, and he said it would be a mistake not to align with it. Part of the plan calls for revamping neighborhoods and providing more green space.
"We are now seeing a rebirth of our city," Hagan said, adding he wants to create an environment so people can move back to the city.
He has been a state legislator for 17 years and a locomotive engineer and brakeman for decades. He said he comes from a middle-class background, and he believes he has brought those values and issues to the state Legislature and would bring them to the mayor's job.
He has two years left on his fifth and final Senate term. Because of the state's term limits, he'll have to leave the Senate in 2007.
He said the city's next mayor will face some tough challenges. Gov. Bob Taft is cutting the local government fund by 20 percent, which will have a negative impact on counties, cities and villages. President Bush has cut out Community Development Block Grants, federal money also returned to cities and counties for a variety of projects.
"Making tough decisions in tough times will take honesty and leadership," which he said he will provide.
He said he's running his race on a vision for a better city -- "a new Youngstown" -- and he wants to align himself with people who will "stand with me and fight beside me" to accomplish that goal.
He said he's not concerned about the other candidates vying for mayor's seat.
"I won't be getting into personalities during the race," he said. "I feel I can help Youngstown, and that's why I want to run for mayor."
In response to a question about juggling his time as a state legislator and mayoral candidate, Hagan said that won't be a problem. He said he's been juggling his time for years, noting he's reared five kids while serving in the General Assembly and holding down his railroad job.
The filing deadline to run in the May 3 partisan primary is 4 p.m. Thursday.