Father-son officials blast office-holders

SALEM — First-term father and son officials from Salem, who have their eye on higher elected offices, have criticized their respective governments.

Clyde Brown, a Democratic Salem at-large councilman who plans to run for mayor this year, issued a statement Friday criticizing council “for not doing enough to save jobs and doing much to eliminate jobs.”

His son, Craig Brown, the Democratic Columbiana County recorder, asked the commissioners, also on Friday, to immediately give him more money after he cut two of his four workers. He is seeking to be appointed to fill the county commissioner’s seat left vacant by Sean Logan, who this week was named the director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Clyde Brown was elected along with two other councilmen and the president of council after council had voted to create a fire district to save money. The State Employment Relations Board has since blocked the move because Salem had a contract with its fire department at the time.

The senior Brown said Salem’s government has done nothing to help prevent the loss of local jobs. Two manufacturers closed since 2004 and a third is in trouble.

He urged community leaders “to stop taking a Band-Aid approach to a very serious injury and start protecting our current assets.”

He also urged the city to follow Youngstown’s efforts by creating a joint economic development district plan and to begin viewing job retention and creation as a regional challenge.

Council agreed earlier this week to meet Monday to discuss its economy.

Craig Brown said in his statement that he was frustrated because “no other office in this building has had to reduce hours and eliminate 50 percent of staff [sic] in the last 15 days.” He also reduced public hours.

Other county offices have not filled vacancies or recalled workers laid off in past years. The recorder’s office is apparently the first county office so far this year to make staff cuts.

The commissioners approved a spending measure in December for January for all offices. But this week the commissioners agreed to enact a 0.5 percent sales tax that will bring in more money later this year. The 2006 carryover balance of $759,000 was not set until Thursday. It funds operations until other taxes are collected.

The younger Brown asked the commissioners to appropriate immediately an additional $8,971 for his office to recall the two workers and resume full hours for the public.

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