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Mahoning elections board to cut 37 precincts



Published: Wed, June 9, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Mahoning County Board of Elections officials say they’ll eliminate at least 37 precincts by the November election and make other cuts in an effort to reduce operating expenses.

Elections Director Thomas McCabe and Deputy Director Joyce Kale- Pesta met Tuesday with the three county commissioners, county Administrator George Tablack and Prosecutor Paul J. Gains to talk about ways to cut costs at the board.

The elections board is on pace to be $185,000 over its $1.32 million budget this year, McCabe said.

The elections board hasn’t made any final decisions on any additional cuts — the board reduced its costs by about $200,000 in January.

McCabe said further cuts probably would add up to about $90,000 to $100,000.

The reduction of precincts from 287 definitely will happen, he and Kale-Pesta said.

Right now, the plan is to get that number down to 250, but it could go lower, they said.

“We could go down to 200 if we have to,” McCabe said. “We don’t want to, but we could if we have to.”

Each precinct costs about $700 to operate per election, they said.

The board also might eliminate two to four of its 14 positions, McCabe said.

Other cuts being considered by the elections board include:

Increasing the employee health-care premium contribution from 10 percent to 20 percent.

Closing on Fridays during the slow months of the year, thus reducing salaries of those working at the board by 20 percent for those weeks.

In January, the board made six of its clerks nine-month employees, cutting their annual base-pay salaries by 25 percent: from $35,600 to $26,700. The board also reduced the starting pay for full-time clerks to $21,800. It also reduced the number of part-time workers during busy election periods and eliminated part-timers during slower months.

Requiring board employees to pay about 10 percent of their state retirement contribution.

Not training poll workers, who receive $20 for the training. Instead, the board would train only presiding judges.

Eliminating color copies.

No longer using “authority to vote” slips, pieces of paper given by a poll worker to voters after they sign in to cast a ballot. The voter then gives the slip to a poll worker who places it in a pouch and takes the voter to a voting machine.

The county commissioners praised elections officials for their cost-cutting efforts.

Commissioner Anthony Traficanti said he wished the county’s judges would come to them with ways to reduce costs.

Commissioner John McNally IV added: “The board of elections is to be commended for looking to cut costs. They’ve got to look at staffing, and they are. We need to consider how much staff we need. There’s no growth in the county’s budget next year.”


Comments

1author50(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

The Board of Elections is only needed twice a year... the staff should be seasonal. The Elections Board members should all be serving for free as a service to the public and not receive salary and benefits. Does Mike Morley and Clarence Smith really need this paying job?

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2nmurdmur(4 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

How about going to a three or five member board and eliminating the deputy director position. Has the director or deputy director proposed giving up anything?

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31970mach1(1005 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

They have a director and deputy director each of opposite political parties and that is mandated by state law.

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4Nunya(1356 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

@author50

You're right,..

This is a prime example of how the fleecing takes place. Where along with and outside of that it's also how you " cage " votes in a manner of rigging elections.

Youngstown and the surrounding " Scruburbs " flat out comprise a full blown cesspool. Not from geographic[s] nor demographics and in fact as far as natural resources. The area is second to none in regards to what nature provides the area.

Natural parks, multiple waterways, barometrically located in a no flood, rare tornado and virtual hurricane free locality makes it a gem that's been ruined by sickness.

See the area isn't a cesspool by any act of nature but totally and mind you only, because the citizens have allowed worthless criminals. To cyclically seize positional levity under the guise of politics and judicial disorder.

It started by foolishly supporting their local crook[s] based up gender, color, dissent and or blasphemous idolatry of sharing a same or like false prophecy as a fraudulent faith .

To where it has now became so blatant the collection of criminality has became culture. By so many having gotten accepted that their acts of autocracy are brazenly orchestrated as routine business.

Never has an area that nature has graced with given so much in abundance. Been deemed so non appealing by the mere cowardice and ill will of the natives.

I routinely surprise acquaintances when informing them I spent time in the area during my formative years.

Via values, heart, sense and decorum it's consistent that I hear they'd have never thought, known that nor be of the belief that I'd ever even heard of such a place.

It's so profound that those whom gears themselves for success falls into a variety of either never or exceptionally rarely if ever come / go back.

The area and the State are only holding on by a thin and deteriorating thread of such individuals whom were once natives ever returning.

But only via their having sparse family and or friends that remain in the area. Thus brief and periodic re-visitation is the only accord with the area that's deemed suitable to tolerate.

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5burford(95 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

What is wrong with this story?

The commissioners praise the board of elections for coming to them and telling them 5 months into the year they are $185,000 over budget. And they propose to cut $26,000 in precinct costs which still leaves them $160,000 over budget.

No other department overspends like this and gets praised.

Here are some savings that will make up the deficit: get rid of Tablack and his $140,000 in salary and benefits; Traficanti should resign and save over $100,000 in salary and benefits (leave the spot vacant since he doesn't do anything anyway); reduce or eliminate the salary of the deputy director of the board; don't allow Judge Dellick to spend over $600,000 dollars remodeling her courtroom in the middle of a recession, like that couldn't have waited.

By the way, where is the Vindicator outcry and editorials?

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6exposed(66 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

You are right. The commissioners allocated the budgets for all departments on 2005 numbers, the last time the sales tax failed.

If the Board of Elections is $185,000 over budget why would the commissioners or the BOE be even telling anyone about their stupidity?

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