Will commissioner leave schools post?

LISBON — New Columbiana County Commissioner Penny Traina won’t say if she plans to keep her job as treasurer of the Wellsville schools.

Traina said Friday that the two positions are compatible, meaning there is no conflict of interest. The school treasurer’s post is an appointed, not elected, position.

County Prosecutor Robert Herron was unavailable for comment.

County Democrats on Wednesday picked Traina to fill the remainder of Sean Logan’s term. He’s the new director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Traina said she plans to meet with the school board early next week to discuss the situation. She also plans to be at her first commissioners’ meeting next Wednesday.

She said she was also the board’s clerk and handled a number of different duties at the district. That included having to help lay off workers because of the school district’s tight finances.

Traina added that as a practical matter, she can’t drop her duties at the school board and leave it in a difficult situation. Schools and other public agencies often have a new official train under the outgoing one, sometimes for weeks.

Dennis Johnson, chairman of the county Democrats, said the commissioner’s job is technically a party-time job so Traina could do both.

Johnson said he had told Traina to do what she thinks is right.

He also said Traina is very loyal to the school board.

“I told her to talk to them and go from there,” Johnson said.

Traina is in a very difficult situation because the opening on the commissioners happened so quickly, Johnson said.

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