Patronage doesn't inspire confidence in government
Upon reading The Vindicator's coverage of the Mahoning County commissioners' meetings held recently, I see that political patronage is alive and well again in their little fiefdom.
First, commissioners Ludt and Traficanti voted to hire a human services director, James Petraglia, a local attorney without any of the experience or educational qualifications the county commission itself established for this critical position.
This after turning a deaf ear to the sage recommendation of fellow Commissioner John McNally, and the only commissioner with experience in labor contract negotiations, to widen the county's search for an individual possessing the necessary qualifications.
As for the pathetic justification for this appointment by county Auditor George Tablack and commissioners Ludt and Traficanti that Petraglia can "learn on the job," have they lost sight of the fact that contract negotiations with some county workers' unions is just over the horizon?
Also, a political crony of Mr. Traficanti, Judith Tesone, secretary to Traficanti during his campaign and a neophyte to county government, was hired to be the commissioners' office manager over three experienced county government employees who applied for the position.
In this case, Mr. Ludt and Mr. Traficanti voted for Ms. Tesone. Given her close ties to him, I believe Mr. Traficanti should have recused himself in this matter, so as to avoid any appearance of impropriety.
If the county commissioners want the voters to trust them, they must be above reproach; these appointments do not instill such confidence as far as I'm concerned.
Mr. Traficanti was quoted as saying, "I'm trying to put a new team together." This seems to speak volumes about his personal agenda.
Is he ignorant of the fact that there is an "us" but no "I" in "consensus," the keystone of good governance in a democracy?
Who's policing the police when they break traffic laws?
Not a week goes by that the readers of The Vindicator do not read how a Youngstown police officer made a traffic stop of an individual who broke a traffic law and was pulled over for it. But the question that all the people of the city of Youngstown should be asking themselves is how come the police can pull over people for breaking the traffic laws when they do not follow the laws themselves .
For all of us who have at one time or another followed a police car in traffic, you can watch as one law after another is broken, but no one pulls the police over to give them a ticket. On more than one occasion I have watched as the police made left turns where a sign said you are not to, watched as the police change lane after lane and do not signal the change and watched as the police make turns and do not signal.
If the police are going to pull over people for breaking the traffic laws should they not first obey the laws themselves? If the police want the people of the city of Youngstown to follow the traffic laws, then they should take the lead and have the rest of us follow them.
JAMES D. VAUGHN II
Pope remains inspirational
Recently Pope John Paul II had a case of the flu and millions of believers and non-believers paid deep respect by their concerns and prayers. Thank God our prayers have been answered and he has made a complete recovery.
I do want to strongly object to those TV people who call for him to retire and making ignorant statements that there is something wrong with his mind or his judgment. He is serving us to the best of his abilities.
True he has some physical problems, however, this does not affect his keen mind or his sound judgment. Some of our young people talk like they will never get old. I'm now 80 and I feel much better than when I was much younger.
THOMAS P. GILMARTIN Sr.