Johnson City mayoral candidates debate at JC High School

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. - Some first time voters at Johnson City High School are learning more about the candidates running for Mayor.

Incumbent Republican Mayor Greg Deemie and Democrat Andrew Holbert faced off in a debate on Friday inside the High School Auditorium.

The questions were posed by students and touched on blight, crime, revitalization, and the impact of the Binghamton University Pharmacy School.

Deemie says since being elected he's brought back the Police K9 division and started the Community Action Team.

In regards to blight, the Republican says he's helped to secure grants to address run-down, vacant properties in the Village.

Deemie says he's a 24-7 mayor who has the necessary experience.

"You're running a $30,000,000 business, overseeing 125 employees. You need management experience and job experience in order to oversee what goes on on a daily basis," said Deemie.

Democrat Andrew Holbert says he's new to politics and wants to work with everyone involved to improve the Village.

If elected, he'd like to have more officers patrol the Village on foot, and would look into tax exemptions for properties developed to create low income housing.

He'd also like to revamp JC's Code Enforcement Department.

Holbert says the Village needs a new vision led by a team player.

"The biggest thing is that I'm new. I haven't been there for five years and have all of these projects fall into my lap and claim they're mine. We need someone in there that will work with the trustees.  Two of them ran against him, so that shows they don't have any confidence in him," said Holbert.

The debate took a light-hearted turn when candidates disagreed over who has the best pizza in the Village.

Holbert is fond of Rossi's, where he used to work growing up.

However, Deemie says he had Brozzetti's that day for lunch, citing it as a JC staple.

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