Patrick J. Ungaro doesn't take over in Liberty until June 3.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
LIBERTY -- Township trustees say they're getting along fine temporarily without a township administrator.
"It's a slow time for us, luckily," said Trustee Jack B. Simon. "We're not totally in the dark."
Trustees have hired former Youngstown Mayor Patrick J. Ungaro to become the township's third administrator since 1998, but he doesn't start work until June 3.
Ungaro replaces Darlene St. George, who has left the Liberty post to become Howland Township's administrator.
Simon said Patrick F. Durina, trustee chairman, is now wearing two hats -- one as a trustee and the other as acting administrator as department heads funnel information to him.
"We haven't missed a beat," Durina said. "Actually, we're doing pretty fine.'
"Everything seems to be going fine," said Trustee Gary Litch. "The lines of communications [from department heads] are there."
"It's a transition period," Litch noted.
Attending meetings: Litch and Simon said Ungaro has been attending township meetings when he can and St. George has kept close contact with the township.
"She's a phone call away," Litch pointed out.
Fortunately, Simon said, all labor contracts are settled and there are no outstanding grievances from employees.
Litch said St. George had briefed trustees on all the projects that are in the works and their status.
Durina said the township should have had an administrator on board a month ago. Ungaro can't start until June when he finishes his job as an assistant principal in the Youngstown schools.
The delay in Ungaro's inability to start work at the township is one of the reasons Durina voted against Ungaro's hiring, he said.
Fire chief: Just as Ungaro is becoming familiar with township business, so is Youngstown fire Capt. Michael Durkin, who will become township fire chief at the April 8 trustee meeting.
Trustees said Durkin has been spending time at the fire department to become familiar with its activities.
Also, current Fire Chief Robert Catchpole will return to the rank of captain and is available to help Durkin.
Experience: Simon said he's looking forward to working with Ungaro and "tapping" into his experience.
Economic development and growth to increase the township's tax base are primary concerns.
Simon explained he wants to create a Joint Economic Development District with Youngstown to extend water lines into the township.
Ungaro has said he is looking forward to working toward in the area of economic development for Liberty.
Litch said he believes that with St. George now in Howland, and Howland and Liberty being the two largest township by population, they can work together to further their development projects.
Liberty's population is 12,661, while Howland's is 17,546. Warren has a population of 48,232.