Zach Winn has been an Ithaca resident since start, dwelling by way of its historical past and the varied modifications locally since. After launching Ithaca Crime — a web site devoted to Ithaca crime tales — he now seeks a spot for the First Ward’s two-year Widespread Council seat as a Republican candidate in hopes he could make Ithaca a extra affluent and protected place for its residents.
“That is my dwelling and there’s a variety of good individuals right here,” Winn mentioned. “The Widespread Council is essentially unserious about addressing issues, perhaps they’re severe about doing what they wish to do. However they’re not severe about stopping the decline and bettering the standard of life for the common particular person.”
Winn launched into an unsuccessful marketing campaign for mayor final November, shedding to Fifth Ward Widespread Council member Laura Lewis. Winn mentioned one in all his prime priorities is to appropriate Ithaca’s ongoing poverty charges and create extra job alternatives for residents.
“I might in the end wish to create circumstances the place companies would wish to function right here, and we’re wanting to rent individuals,” Winn mentioned. He additionally envisions offering significant employment alternatives for former felons and others who may need problem looking for a job.
Winn, in an effort to fight poverty in Ithaca, goals to repair the issues in a homeless encampment within the First Ward dubbed the “Jungle.”
“There’s human trafficking occurring, there’s clearly a variety of bike theft, there’s drug dealing, there’s only a entire legal economic system that’s occurring out actually at midnight,” Winn mentioned. “I recommend getting in there, actually slicing down on the streets, clearing all this brush, placing lights, fencing a few of these areas to simply make them harder to entry.”
Winn particularly emphasised how the “Jungle” grew to become an space for drug utilization and the way this utilization permeates inside Ithaca.
“There’s loads of medication and persons are flocking there,” Winn mentioned. “We may present providers for people who find themselves on the road and we are able to have a complete disaster middle. They’ve a detox facility, [but] they don’t have any nurses for it. It simply doesn’t make any sense.”
Winn additionally mentioned Cornell’s settlement to pay the Metropolis of Ithaca $4 million yearly by way of voluntary fee in lieu of taxes contributions was not sufficient for the town and that Cornell shouldn’t be a optimistic entity for Ithaca.
“Cornell must be handled as a totally hostile entity, like an occupying pressure and each alternative to trigger issues for them ought to have been taken up by the town,” Winn mentioned. “The city’s going to proceed to disintegrate. There was a serious alternative that was missed, and I wasn’t shocked that Cornell bought what it wished in the long run.”
Cornell is exempt from property taxes regardless of proudly owning 47 % of the town’s property worth. The Metropolis of Ithaca has continued to face rising homelessness, drug issues and rising housing costs.
“So I imply, in the end, issues will get unhealthy,” Winn mentioned. “Cornell will likely be a much less enticing place to go to high school with individuals because the city is filled with drug addicts. It isn’t the quaint little faculty city it was, it’s extremely costly. You already know, there’s gunfire on a regular basis — it’s bought all of the negatives of a serious metropolis.”
Winn then emphasised what he believes to be corruption throughout the Widespread Council attributable to its Democrat majority and no open resistance towards the actions carried out by the Council.
“I don’t like elections with predetermined outcomes,” Winn mentioned. “One-party rule lends itself to corruption, abuse of course of and an absence of stability. With none opposition bothers me. A number of the first issues I did was I began speaking by calling in by way of Zoom to the town conferences simply to say ‘Possibly this isn’t a good suggestion’ or ‘Have you considered this or stopped doing this?’ As a result of there was completely no actual opposition to or any form of pushback towards lots of the issues which can be occurring.”
Together with his run for the First Ward seat, Winn hopes to problem this uniformity and instill a extra contrarian voice to the Widespread Council.
Anthony Nagle ’27 is a Solar employees author and might be reached at [email protected].