Trustees-elect in Boardman focus on frail finances

By Denise Dick

One trustee-elect plans to meet with the fiscal officer within the next couple of weeks.

BOARDMAN — Finances are at the forefront as two new township trustees prepare to take office in January.

“I think just from the results, the first thing people want to see is unity between the trustees,” said Brad Calhoun, the top vote-getter in this week’s township trustee election.

He and Thomas Costello, who served as a Boardman trustee from 1999 to 2005, ousted incumbents Robyn Gallitto and Kathy Miller. Gallitto had served one term, and Miller served two.

Trustees have to work with the township fiscal officer to ensure everyone is comfortable with the same budget numbers upon which to base decisions, Calhoun said.

Involvement from community and union leaders as well as trustees, fiscal officer William Leicht and the administration is needed, he said.

“The first thing we need is to have trust in the numbers,” Calhoun said.

Last month, representatives from the state auditor’s office announced that though the township doesn’t meet the criteria for fiscal watch, it has no carryover going into 2010, and a deficit is expected.

The township has been spending more money than it takes in for the last several years, relying on carryover from the previous year’s budget to fill the gap.

For years the township relied on its inheritance tax, money received from the estates of residents who have died, to meet its budget. Over time, that money has dried up.

Costello said he met Tuesday night with Leicht and asked to meet with him soon to learn more about township finances.

Costello said he hopes to have a plan to address finances when he takes office.

Trustee Larry Moliterno, the only trustee now in office who will remain in office in 2010, also hopes the new board can develop a plan.

“I want to start working Brad and Tom and sharing the information that I have as soon as we can so they can hit the ground running,” Moliterno said.

He wants to develop a shared vision from a “cohesive board” with the two incoming trustees.

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