TRUMBULL COUNTY Political watchdog Jobe fails to unseat incumbents
Incumbents also retained their seats in Brookfield.
By TIM YOVICH
and STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITERS
WARREN -- William Jobe, the self-appointed political watchdog who sparked Ohio Election Commission hearings into Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere's campaign practices, was unable to break past two established candidates in the race for Howland Township trustee.
Incumbent Richard Orwig, who has served as trustee for 20 years, and Sally Wehmer, a 17-year Howland Board of Education member, both cruised to re-election, leaving others in the field of six candidates far behind.
Jobe and Larry Sudano each got about 14 percent of the vote, compared with 30 percent for Wehmer and 32 percent for Orwig.
"I think because I have worked in the schools for so long, and I've done so much in the community, people know I'm always there to do whatever my position requires," said Wehmer, who was appointed to a vacant Howland trustee seat last year.
"Obviously, we would have liked to have won the election," Jobe said. "A lot of this you have to say is the complacency of Howland residents with the way the township is being run."
Jobe said the trustees have not been diligent in monitoring the township budget, which has increased dramatically in recent years. He also questioned pay increases for the township administrator and the process by which political appointments are made.
Liberty: In Liberty, where controversy has swirled around the police department, incumbent Jack Simon was re-elected trustee with 21 percent of the votes.
He will be joined by Gary Litch, a former trustee who served previously with Simon and gathered 20 percent of the vote.
Simon said the township must focus on infrastructure such as extending water and sewer lines if the township is to attract development.
At the same time, the township has lost about $500,000 in inheritance taxes.
Some of the 10 candidates in the race campaigned to eliminate the position of township administrator.
Simon and Litch said the township needs an administrator because its $8.1 million budget can't be managed by part-time trustees.
Like Simon, Litch has his eyes on development to follow a comprehensive plan by Youngstown State University in hand.
With disputes in the police department, Litch said he believes the hiring of new police chief Anthony Slifka will make the department stronger.
Brookfield: In Brookfield, where a lack of zoning resurfaced this year, incumbents J. Philip Schmidt and Gary Lees outdistanced challengers William Lordo and John Miller, a former trustee.
Although all the candidates favored creating a zoning plan for the township, the issue was defeated by 52 percent of the voters Tuesday. Brookfield is one of only four townships in Trumbull County without zoning.
One of those who voted against the zoning issue was Teresa Salow, a 51-year township resident.
"The people don't want people telling them what to do with their own property. We have a lot of people that don't like zoning," the 75-year-old Salow said, noting the issue first appeared on the ballot in 1955.
She attributed the latest effort to "people in the township that want power."