Mayoral candidate John Persinger (R) announced Wednesday his 1,000 in 1,000 Days initiative to address blight across the city.

Persinger said the City will rehab or demolish 1,000 blighted properties in 1,000 days as part of his plan to clean up Erie, "Blight, if you look across the city affects many issues, it attracts crime, it brings down property values, it rots out our neighborhoods," said Persinger. "So we have to go through and get rid of these blighted properties, one by one, and that will then create safer, stable neighborhoods for our residents," Persinger continued.

The city will work with neighborhoods associations, concerned residents, civic organizations and church to identify and prioritize properties in disrepair, according to Persinger.

Under the plan, the city will create an interactive map online that will allow residents to report blighted properties and track their rehabilitation or demolition.

He said the project will be funded using a combination of city, county, state, federal and private sector funds.

Persinger made the announcement at the coroner of West 4th and Poplar where a home damaged in a fire resulting from a meth lab still stands. The fire happened more than a year-and-a-half ago, but the condemned property still stands.

After Wednesday's news conference, Erie News Now caught up with Persinger's opponent for his thoughts on tackling blight.

Democratic candidate Joe Schember agrees that the city needs to pick up the pace on taking care of the 6,700 blighted properties in the city.

He says while it'd be nice to rehab or demolish 1,000 blighted properties within three years, it's just not realistic.

Schember is involved in the city's blighted review committee, and says the city is tackling 12 to 15 blighted homes a year. But he too would like to see that number increase. "We should pick it up to at least 50 a year, we've got to work on that, but we've got to have the money and time," said Schember. "It's a process that takes time, you can't just go in and knock a home down, because somebody owns it, they have legal rights. So you have to go through a legal process that's timely and costs money. So I'm definitely in favor of increasing it, but I want to be realistic and be able to accomplish what I say I'm going to do," Schember continued.

Both candidates agree a Land bank is necessary 

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