Rome Mayor Jackie Izzo agreed to a debate on WIBX's Keeler in the Morning Show on Thursday, even though her opponent opted not to participate.

Izzo agreed to answer questions, and take calls from listeners and discuss and answer a multitude of questions as she seeks another term as Rome's Mayor.

One line of questioning discussed three contentious issues with her opponent - the fact that he doesn't live in the city, a dispute between a resident and a city hall employee, and whether or not Lanigan is receiving disability benefits.

On residency, Izzo said Lanigan lives outside the city lines and pays taxes to another municipality.

Regarding a dispute that occurred over his disability with a Lanigan supporter and a city hall worker, Izzo said no such altercation was reported by the resident, and the dispute did not reach the level of concern for a police officer, who was present at city hall at the time. Lanigan said the city worker attacked his supporter over the fact that he was on disability and she questioned how he could then serve as Mayor. Izzo said upon investigation, the confrontation started in the parking lot and the debate continued into city hall. She said the city employee and the resident are close friends, and it never reached a level that was out of control. Izzo added that the issue was about Lanigan's disability classification and was never about a person's disability.

The other issue surrounded the fact that Izzo said her opponent continues to say that he retired, and that he does not receive disability benefits. Mayor Izzo presented a document from New York State that showed that Lanigan did not meet the required 20 years needed to receive retirement benefits, and his benefits are classified as Disability Retirement Benefits from the NYS Disability system.

Izzo concluded the interview by defending her recommendations to the Common Council for ARPA funding, including investment to update the Intensive Care Unit at Rome Memorial Hospital. Izzo said ARPA funding came from financial distress caused by a virus (COVID) so it seemed important to make sure some of the money went to the hospital, which was the front line of defense against the virus when it was at its peak.

Listen to the complete interview here.

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