Councilman becomes latest to relinquish post
The city's precinct committeemen will meet after March 15 to fill Joseph Manente's seat.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- The merry-go-round of public officeholders here is revolving again.
Joseph Manente's at-large council seat is the latest in a string of positions that have opened in the past two years.
Manente, a Democrat, announced his resignation in a letter Monday to Louis J. Adovasio, council president.
In the letter, Manente wrote that he was stepping aside on the advice of his physician.
Fifteen city precinct committeemen will vote on a replacement for Manente, who was in his fifth year as a councilman. There are 16 precinct slots, but one is vacant.
Nick Melfi, chairman of the Trumbull County Democratic Party, said Tuesday he will call the committee members together after March 15 to fill the vacancy.
By law, the party must fill the post between five and 45 days of the vacancy being created.
Melfi, of Girard, who is one of the 15 committeemen, said Leo Grimes, former council president, has inquired about the vacancy.
Grimes was defeated by Adovasio in the May 2001 Democrat primary for council president.
Relinquished seats: Melfi called attention to the unusually large number of elected offices relinquished in the city.
John Martin became treasurer in January 2000 when Melfi's son, James J., gave up the treasurer's post after being elected mayor. Martin has since been elected to a full term.
Kathleen O'Connell Sauline was named 2nd Ward councilwoman, replacing Mark Zuppo, who resigned that seat to become head of the city's park and recreation department.
Sauline was elected to a full term in November; Zuppo was elected to the school board.
Thomas Grumley was named 4th Ward councilman in March 2000 to replace Carmelo "Charlie" Lamancusa, who was shot to death Feb. 4 during a robbery at his grocery store.
Jerry Lambert resigned as president of council when he was appointed service director by Mayor Melfi. He was replaced on council by Grimes.
Last year, Lamancusa's son, Sam, resigned as city auditor and was replaced by Sam Zirafi.
Unusual: County party chairman Melfi called the turnover rate very unusual. He doesn't know if it helps or hinders a community, but he said there is a system in place to handle such situations.
He pointed out that a change by the Ohio Legislature calls for committeemen, rather than council members, to fill vacant council seats, making the selection more representative of the entire community; precinct committee members work at the neighborhood level.