Residents decry rental agreements
One resident asked the commissioners to put the sales tax on the ballot.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Two Mahoning County residents asked the commissioners to consider ending rental agreements and house county employees in one facility.
John Paulette and his son, Bruce, both of Austintown, spoke during the county commissioners' public comments portion of their weekly meeting. John Paulette said new commissioners Anthony Traficanti and John McNally IV unfortunately would be left cleaning up the mess left by "corrupt public officials, corrupt department heads and special-interest groups."
He said the county should seek to end sweetheart rental deals that cater to special-interest groups and apply the money paid out in rent toward perhaps putting county employees in one county-owned facility. His son, Bruce, echoed those comments, saying rental agreements "are way out of whack" and must be eliminated.
John Paulette said now that the city of Youngstown was moving forward to buy the Phar-Mor Centre, it would be a good time for the commissioners to open a dialogue and perhaps discuss ways to move county employees to that building.
The county last year had thought about moving the job and family services department and child support enforcement agency from the McGuffey Plaza on Youngstown's East Side to the Phar-Mor Centre.
The plan fell through, however, mainly because the city did not own the building.
Praise for commissioners
John Paulette said he was glad the commissioners would have an open-door policy to hear new ideas that could help improve county government.
Bruce Paulette also praised the commissioners for working together. He reminded the board the county doesn't need a lot of administrators and that they need to cut there first "before one deputy is laid off."
Andrew Hamady of Poland Township said it's fine if the commissioners didn't see eye to eye on some things because "some divisiveness in government is OK," so long as that divisiveness doesn't disrupt their ability to effectively oversee county government.
He added that he thought the commissioners should put the half-percent sales tax back on the ballot as quickly as possible.