Careful planning and fiscal responsibility are the keys to recovery, the new councilman says.
By PETER H. MILLIKEN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
GIRARD -- Clyde Wagner said getting the city out of financial distress and solving the problems at Liberty and Girard Lakes will be top priorities for him as the new 3rd Ward councilman.
City council appointed Wagner, 71, of 516 E. Kline St., a 40-year resident of the city, in a special meeting Tuesday to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Brian Kren, who is attending law school.
"Our city is in serious financial condition. I do believe that a solution is possible. It will require a long-term commitment to fiscal responsibility and careful planning and decision-making by people who understand finances," Wagner said.
Noting that he has no immediate family members on the city payroll, he said, "When I make a decision, it will be entirely in the best interests of the Girard city as a whole. The job needs to be done, and I can do it."
Wagner said the city never should have bought the lakes from Consumers Ohio Water Service. The lakes need extensive dam repairs, and the city should sell them, he said. "They've been an albatross ever since we've had them," he added.
Wagner, who was appointed to serve through the end of next year, said he wants to run for election to a new two-year term in that office next year.
A Democratic precinct committeeman and a retired Youngstown school teacher, he previously served a two-year term on Girard City Council ending about 10 years ago.
A graduate of Niles McKinley High School, he received his bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Youngstown State University. He is a member of the Girard First United Methodist Church and a member and past master of the William Farr Masonic Lodge in Girard.
The new councilman and his wife, Sally, own the Pride and Joy real estate and appraisal company in Girard.
Wagner received four votes -- those of Councilmen Reynald Paolone, D-1st, and Joseph Lambert, Joseph Christopher and John Moliterno, all D-at large.
Another contender, Peter Shelby, of 600 E. Kline St., received votes from Kathleen O'Connell Sauline, D-2nd, and Charles Doran, D-4th.
Council made the appointment after the ward's four Democratic precinct committee members deadlocked 2-2 on the same candidates.