CANFIELD — As the city’s new manager, Joseph Warino has been busy in his first few weeks on the job, getting a handle on the budget and employee contracts.
Warino, who took over Dec. 1, said he’s been fortunate to have guidance from Charles Tieche, who was city manager from 1991 until Warino took over. Tieche announced plans to retire in 2007 but agreed to hold off until a replacement was found.
The city recently agreed to pay Tieche $35 an hour for a full-time position as assistant city manager, a position he doesn’t expect will extend beyond January. The purpose of the position is to help Warino’s transition.
At Wednesday’s city council meeting, Councilman Daniel Frazzini said he takes issue with the fact that Tieche, in this full-time capacity, is eligible to be paid for holidays including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Though he said he believes Tieche has done “a fine job” for the city over the years, Frazzini said Tieche’s holiday pay under the current contract could be better spent on other budget items. He added that he’s heard complaints from citizens who’ve questioned why Tieche is being paid for these days.
Mayor William Kay said he’s been out in the community and has talked with numerous citizens since Tieche’s position was created.
“No one has said a darn word to me about it,” Kay told council. He explained that Tieche is helping Warino learn the ins and outs of the city’s budget, saying he believes the position is very much needed.
Warino said he will be “the greatest benefactor” from Tieche’s knowledge and experience, and that the transition also will help the city as a whole.
Council members Andrew Skrobola, Marleen Belfiore and Steve Rogers all expressed that Tieche’s experience will be of great benefit to Warino during the transition. Skrobola said it will allow for the city’s business to continue unimpeded.
Warino was appointed in November under a two-year contract with a salary of $70,000 per year. Before becoming city manager, Warino was Mahoning County’s sanitary engineer, a post he retired from at the end of November. J. Robert Lyden, 68, of Canfield, has been appointed interim sanitary engineer for the county.
In other business, council voted to waive the residency requirement for Warino, who lives in Canfield Township. City attorney Mark Fortunato said the city’s charter says Warino must move to the city within six months after being appointed unless a majority of council decides otherwise.