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Johnstown residents hear from city council candidates at forum

Candidates running for Johnstown City Council participated in a forum at the Johnstown Masonic Temple Wednesday night, in preparation for the upcoming primary. (WJAC)

JOHNSTOWN -- Candidates running for Johnstown City Council participated in a forum at the Johnstown Masonic Temple Wednesday night, in preparation for the upcoming primary.

There were a few dozen people there to hear from City Council and mayoral candidates, but the two candidates running against current Mayor Frank Janakovic were not there.

With less than a month until the primary, 11 candidates for the Johnstown City Council gave their pitch on why they should be elected or re-elected to the council.

Some newcomers say there needs to be more respect among members of the council, while incumbents explained how they're going to continue to move Johnstown forward.

Sam Johncola was in attendance Wednesday night. His dad is running for City Council.

"There were some very interesting candidates tonight,” Johncola said. “They had a lot of interesting things to say. And I think it's going to be a good election."

He says the forum was very informative.

"There was a fairly nice turnout this evening,” Johncola said. “It would have been nice if all the mayor candidates would have arrived to get some insight from some new candidates."

A moderated forum was planned for those candidates, but only Mayor Janakovic was there to answer questions.

Jack Williams had to cancel unexpectedly and John DeBartola sent a statement saying he was not at the forum because “the media is biased.”

Janakovic says overall, there was a good turnout.

"It was nice to see all of our citizens and neighborhood people come out to the rally tonight and to hear our council members that are running for council, and myself as mayor," Janakovic said.

The big message of the night was to go out and vote.

"The primary is very important, as all the elections are,” Janakovic said. “We need to get out and work together. Our neighborhoods, our citizens, our residents, our businesses and our community and our region. And it will take all of that to make our community and our city better."

The only two council members not up for re-election are Charlene Stanton and Jack Williams, who is also running for mayor.

The primary is less than a month away on May 16.

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