Johnson City mayoral candidate Barrett Esworthy says the village should institute programs to encourage residential property owners to make improvements to their buildings.

Esworthy is the Democratic candidate challenging Republican mayor Greg Deemie in the November election.

Esworthy is suggesting a section of Johnson City's South Side be rezoned as part of the implementation of a new rental unit registration program.

Under his proposal, rental units would have to be inspected by a code enforcement employee each time a new tenant moves in.

Esworthy wants owners to properly maintain their building and he also wants renters to be held accountable for damage they cause.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Esworthy said code enforcement now tends to be reactive, frequently checking properties after problems have been reported.

Esworthy said landlords should be able to press criminal charges against renters who have damaged apartment buildings.

Esworthy also is proposing property tax breaks to provide incentives to owners to repair their properties and to encourage first-time buyers to purchase homes in the village.