Boak earned the support of most Canfield voters
In his column of Jan. 4, David Skolnick shared his opinions regarding the sealing and expunging of the criminal record of Sam Boak, recently elected Canfield City councilman.
He assumed that the people of Canfield closed their eyes and pretended that Mr. Boak's criminal record did not exist when casting their votes in November. Well, I am one of the city residents who voted for Mr. Boak, and I can assure David Skolnick that my eyes were wide open.
Quite simply, I did not care that Mr. Boak had a federal felony conviction for attempting to evade taxes. That's right. It simply did not matter. When I cast my vote for Mr. Boak, I was not voting for the man Mr. Boak was almost 10 years ago, but rather, I was voting for the person he is today.
My family has had the pleasure of being a neighbor of the Boak family for over eight years. In addition, our companies have had a professional relationship for just as long. While Mr. Boak may have made some unfavorable choices in his past, he has faced the consequences and dealt with the issues his conviction created in both his personal life and professional contacts. I would guess that most of the 1,502 votes that Mr. Boak received were from people who know him either personally or professionally or both. They voted for him because he will do a good job, and they are confident in his abilities.
The columnist also stated that Judge Lisotto created a problem for himself by going to work and doing the job that taxpayers expect him to do -- he handled a case which was part of his courtroom's docket. Mr. Skolnick said that Judge Lisotto should have recused himself from this case because he lives in the same community as Mr. Boak and (lest we not forget this crucial bit of investigative journalism) both men have daughters who play on the Canfield High School basketball team. Because of this, the writer says, "at least the appearance of a conflict of interest exists." Where?
If this is a case of conflict of interest, then Judge Lisotto should recuse himself from every case in his court that may involve any person in Canfield who has a child in school with a child related to Judge Lisotto. I have a child who is a student at Canfield High School, and while I do not know Judge Lisotto personally, I may have sat near him at some school function. Would this mean that if I had a case in this court, Judge Lisotto should recuse himself? I think not.
A person is elected a judge because voters believe that the person can use his judgment. Judge Lisotto used his judgment to decide that he had no reason to recuse himself from this case. He has been in the same gym as Mr. Boak watching the same basketball game, maybe even exchanged some pleasantries or opinions about the game.
If the writer thinks that this would affect Judge Lisotto's ability to do his job, then where would the line be drawn? Would he be able to listen to a case involving a family member of his mail carrier? A worker at the local pizza shop where he gets his pizza? A clerk at the drugstore where he may fill a prescription? Where would it stop?
Mr. Skolnick appears to be the only person having a problem by trying to make a situation out of something that simply is not a situation. However, there is a positive side to the writer's comments about these two gentlemen -- they both are obviously involved in their daughters' extracurricular activities. And when I vote (with my eyes wide open) parent/child interactions are something that I take into consideration when determining if a candidate will earn my vote. So far, these two gentlemen are winning.
Mayor fought for the jobs of Girard city workers
Are we missing something? We keep reading all the negative comments from certain city employees, about how Mayor Melfi is dealing with the financial situation the city is in. We have to wonder, do they care about our city or do they have a personal agenda? When the performance audit is released, they may realize the mayor fought hard to save their jobs.
NICK and BARBARA MELFI
X The writers are the parents of Mayor James Melfi.