Council nominee takes new position
The candidate would have had to quit the commission post if he were elected.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN — Jamael Tito Brown, the Democratic nominee for Youngstown City Council’s 3rd Ward, resigned as the city’s Human Relations Commission executive director.
Mahoning County Treasurer Lisa Antonini, who is also the county Democratic Party chairwoman, hired Brown, effective Monday, to serve as her director of operations. The job pays about $50,000 annually.
If Brown defeats Vincent Thomas, an independent candidate, in the November general election, he would have had to resign as the head of the HRC in January. State law doesn’t permit Brown to be a councilman and the commission’s executive director.
Because of that, Brown said he was looking for another job, anticipating he will win the general election.
“This is a good fit for me,” he said. “I decided to take the job now instead of later.”
The city signed a contract in August 2006 with the Greater Warren-Youngstown Urban League for $80,000 annually to run the Human Relations Commission, which handles fair housing issues and provides job training assistance to minorities.
The league hired Brown, who served as Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams’ campaign manager during the 2005 race, as the commission’s executive director. Williams has said he recommended that the league hire Brown because he was qualified for the job.
Before that hire, Brown spent four years as a community organizer with Youngstown State University’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies. He is also finishing out a four-year term on the Youngstown Board of Education.
Brown said the urban league is searching for his replacement. Thomas Conley, the league’s president and chief executive officer, couldn’t be reached Tuesday to comment.