"By 1981 we were on our way, and now the issue is how do we make it better. Somehow this council has brought the dollars back to this city."
Successes include widened streets, improved wells and millions of dollars in new businesses and new housing, he said.
He and Adams said the development of the north side of Compton Boulevard, across from the new Town Center shopping center, is the next step in redevelopment. James said another goal for his next term would be to bring a private firm to town that will work with the city in teaching business technology to the unskilled unemployed.
Hays, the 28-year-old YMCA director, agreed that redevelopment should be a key issue in his campaign against James, but he said such development was bound to occur and is directed by professional city administrators, not part-time councilmen.
And he was critical of the way in which redevelopment has occurred. "It is helter-skelter; meaning we're going to put up whatever we can, as quick as we can, wherever we can."
Hays, a 1979 communications graduate of Cal State Dominguez Hills, said Compton's residential neighborhoods have been forgotten as the city has built a new Civic Center and business core.
That, he said, is symptomatic of city officials' lack of contact with the public. "We've been doing a door-to-door survey, and we've found that the majority of the community doesn't know who's representing them. I tend to be very visible and very active in the community."
As director of the YMCA's many youth sports programs, he said he is in touch with the electorate and has found that citizens are very concerned about crime.
The city's 150 block clubs, which have been touted by the Police Department as the reason for declining property crime rates, are not as organized as they should be, said Hays, a unsuccessful candidate for City Council in 1981.
"I think (police) need a public relations-type program to give them strength in the local neighborhoods," he said.