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MAHONING COUNTY More interest expressed in auditor position



Published: Sat, August 20, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The auditor appointment meeting is tentatively set for Sept. 14.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- The Mahoning County Board of Election's director and a Struthers councilman who owns a mortgage brokerage company are interested in replacing George Tablack as county auditor.

State law requires the county's Democratic precinct committee members to select Tablack's replacement because he was a registered Democrat.

The appointment meeting is tentatively set for Sept. 14, said county Democratic Chairwoman Lisa Antonini. At least 100 of the 300-plus Democratic precinct committee members are needed for a vote under party bylaws, she said.

Elections Director Michael Sciortino and Struthers Councilman Daniel Yemma of the 3rd Ward are joining the pack of those seeking the appointment.

Newest candidates

Sciortino, of Austintown, served as assistant county administrator from 1993 to 1996 before becoming the election board's deputy director from 1996 to 1999. Sciortino was named board director in 1999.

Sciortino has a master's degree in public administration and a law degree.

"With my background, credentials and county government experience, I can do the job and I want to do the job," he said. "This is about qualifications and leadership, and have both."

Sciortino said he has legal, financial, management, budgeting and organizational experience.

Sciortino, who is close to Antonini, appears to have the inside track on the appointment, Democratic insiders say.

While not supporting a particular candidate, Antonini said Sciortino "brings a lot to the table with his years of government experience and background."

Yemma, a councilman since 2000 is running unopposed in the November general election for his fourth two-year term.

Yemma, council's finance and legislation committee chairman, has served as president and owner of Capital Financial Solutions Inc., a mortgage brokerage firm. Yemma has worked in the financial sector since 1978, and has a master's degree in business administration.

Yemma had planned to run next year for the 60th Ohio House District seat that will be vacant at the end of 2006.

But Tablack's surprise resignation, effective July 31, as county auditor after 181/2 years, changed everything for Yemma.

"I feel it's right up my alley," he said of the county auditor post. "My background lends itself favorably to the job."

Brian Beck, a certified public accountant for the Cafaro Co., told Antonini he was considering seeking the appointment and has contacted some precinct committee members, but hasn't made a final decision.

Already announced

Those who already announced they are seeking the appointment are:

UAnne Marie Vross of Canfield, the county's interim auditor.

UJohn Leskovyansky Jr., Campbell's finance director.

UMichael Klim of Campbell, a former New Middletown mayor who runs MJK Financial Services in Poland.

UMichael Fortine of Canfield, a CPA.

Youngstown Finance Director David Bozanich is still a potential candidate. But he said if Sciortino is seeking the appointment, he wouldn't.

"Mike would do a great job, and I'd be willing to support him in that capacity," Bozanich said.

Those interested in seeking the appointment must inform Antonini no later than a week before the party meeting.

Tablack quit to become the chief financial officer for the clerk's office of Palm Beach County, Fla. The county auditor position pays $79,745 annually.

The person selected by the party would fill the remainder of Tablack's term, which expires March 8, 2007.

skolnick@vindy.com




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