By Ed Runyan
The new township supervisor and administrator will earn $60,000 per year.
CANFIELD — Trustees have appointed Richard A. “Dick” Puerner, a member of the township’s zoning board, to fill the vacant trustee position, and hired former trustee Paul Moracco to a newly created position.
Trustees also awarded a $394,000 contract to a Lordstown company to begin constructing the township park.
Puerner, 75, of Leffingwell Road, was a member of the zoning commission for almost one year until resigning from that position Tuesday. He also served on the township zoning board of appeals for one year before that.
He retired as superintendent of the General Motors van plant in Lordstown in 1992, when it closed.
Puerner said he doesn’t have many goals as trustee for now, just to become more familiar with operations of the township government. He has attended township trustees meetings for four to five years, he said.
He said he hasn’t decided whether he will run for the job when voters are asked to fill the final two years of the term in November 2009.
Trustee Randy Brashen said he and Trustee Bill Reese each had four people on their list of candidates for the trustee position, but Puerner was the only person on both lists.
Puerner replaces Paul Moracco, 55, who has been a township trustee since 1994, having served three four-year terms and part of a fourth one before resigning at a trustees meeting June 9.
The resignation came about six weeks after Moracco resigned from his job as grounds superintendent at the Canfield Fair, a position he held for 28 years.
Moracco, who worked at the fairgrounds 37 years in all, said he quit his trustee position because he feared the job could interfere with his ability to find new employment.
Wednesday, Moracco said he quit his job with the fair April 25 “to find something better and move on to the next step in my life.”
In the days after Moracco’s resignation, Brashen and Reese agreed to advertise for a new position for the township: highway superintendent and project administrator.
The job makes Moracco supervisor over longtime road supervisor Gary Cook, and puts him in charge of developing the recently acquired 58-acre township park on Herbert Road, which may eventually house a new township hall.
Cook has worked for the township in various capacities for 32 years and was not in favor of Moracco being hired as his supervisor, Brashen said.
Reese denied that the administrative position was created for Moracco, but said Moracco had the qualifications to hold the job.
Brashen said the township received 12 applications for the administrator position. Moracco will earn $60,000 per year in salary plus health care benefits. Wednesday was Moracco’s first day on the job.
Trustees have also awarded a contract for $394,000 to Danco General Contracting of Lordstown to create a retention pond, move dirt around the site to create five soccer fields, and to create parking and an entrance to the park.
Additional soccer fields are likely to be located there in a later construction phase, Brashen noted.
Danco hopes to have the area seeded by fall and ready for use by soccer teams by the spring, Brashen said.