BOARDMAN Campaign prepares to renew levy

Contract negotiations are under way with two MRDD employee groups.
BOARDMAN -- John Robic, Youngstown State University head basketball coach, is honorary chairman of the Mahoning County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities' campaign to renew its 2-mill operating levy.
Mahoning County commissioners last week approved placing renewal of MRDD's operating levy on the November general election ballot.
Larry Duck, MRDD superintendent, said the levy would generate $5.2 million a year for the agency.
The next step, Duck said at the MRDD board meeting Monday, is to organize a levy committee, which the superintendent said he will chair. He also announced Robic's acceptance of the honorary chairman's position.
Talks: The superintendent said contract negotiations are under way with the Mahoning Education Association for Developmental Disabled, which represents workshop and habilitation personnel, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Chapter 1143, which represents bus drivers and aides, custodians and mechanics. Contracts with both employee groups expire Aug. 31.
Duck said a four-hour negotiating session was held with MEADD Monday and two three-hour sessions are scheduled with the AFSCME chapter Thursday.
Duck reported to the board that Dean E. Soroka was hired as human resources director, effective July 30, and Roger Aiello was named adult services director, effective Aug. 6. Soroka, one of 19 candidates for his position, will make $64,369 per year, and Aiello, one of eight interviewed for his post, will make $67,250 a year.
Duck, in response to a question about the possible displacement of four clients if a leased residential facility at 923 Compton Lane is sold, said he wants to develop a strategy for handling such situations in the future. The home has been put up for sale.
In the meantime, Duck said MRDD would have at least 30 days after any sale to find a place for the client.
Another staff member said the owner of Compton House assured her MRDD clients would not be put out on the street before they had someplace else to go.

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