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Rome Mayoral Forum held at The Beeches

By JOLEEN FERRIS

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - At times, they were, as incumbent Rome Mayor Jim Brown said, "on different continents," but it was a largely civil exchange of ideas and opinions Wednesday morning at the Rome Mayoral Candidates Forum at the Beeches on Wednesday morning.

Republican incumbent Brown pointed to his track record after eight years in office.

"As a team, what we promised, we have executed every objective. This city is a model in NY state. A model. A model in Brownfield development, a model in technology, a model in the educational component when it comes to minorities and what we've done," says Brown.

Conservative challenger Joseph Fusco says incumbents have the advantage of gaining inside knowledge of things like the budget process. But he says that advantage doesn't always translate into solutions for Rome's problems.

"He has a distinct advantage but the bottom line is, taxes are high, thousands of people have left, we've lost thousands of jobs in just the last few years, and those are issues that aren't going to go away," says Fusco.

RFA students attended the forum. One senior just received his voter registration card in the mail.

"I thought that both had good points and I listened to both of their viewpoints and being now a registered voter, just got the card in the mail, I'm going to take both of those into thought and make the right choice to pick one since I live here and I'm a citizen here and seeing this helped me chose the right person," says Michael Kobito.

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