Girard Concerned Citizens isn't representative of Girard, a new school board member says.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Newly elected school board members in Trumbull County say they want to see long-range improvements in their districts.
In Girard, where the focus has been on school administration candor with the public, two new board members were elected.
Thomas Grumley received 24 percent of the vote, with Mark Zuppo Jr. garnering 18 percent. They outdistanced seven other candidates.
Incumbent Rosemary Schmitt drew only 7 percent of the vote.
The board attracted candidates with the closing of the intermediate school in the wake of health concerns. The closing resulted in a petition's being filed with Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to remove all board members.
Of late, the board had been sending flyers outlining their accomplishments. It has been countered by mailings from Girard Concerned Citizens, a group that ran the petition drive.
Grumley said he will be listening to people to find out how to better the school system. It a continuation of what he did during the campaign.
Grumley said he is approaching the job with an open mind.
Zuppo said he does not think the citizens group played a role in the election because they "do not represent the people of Girard."
Zuppo said he has been educating himself about the system's fiscal status and vowed to work in a positive way to "pull people together."
Lordstown: In Lordstown, where the lack of money has dominated debate, incumbent Scott Thomas was defeated. He will be replaced by Cheryl Kistler, a Lakeview schoolteacher.
Kistler will be joined by Mark McGrail, Timothy Rech and Gary Koch.
McGrail, also a new board member, said the financial plight of the district played a role in Thomas' loss.
With the passage of a 6-mill levy Tuesday, McGrail said, the board may have more input with the oversight commission appointed when the district went into fiscal emergency.
Newton Falls: In Newton Falls, incumbents John Andrika and Edwin Buchanan, a 12-year board member, were defeated.
Incumbent Edwin Ballas will be joined on the board by Kevin Hartford and Sandy Kernen.
Buchanan said he doesn't know why he was defeated but added, "I guess we'll live with it."
However, he suspects a teachers strike three years ago possibly was behind his defeat. "I've had to say 'no' to some people," he said.
There were 11 candidates for the board.