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Rimedio-Righetti must handle commissioner’s job with care

Published: Wed, October 13, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Mahoning County voters made it clear in the May primary election that they are ready for a change when they gave the Democratic nomination for county commissioner to Carol Rimedio-Righetti.

While voting to renew a critical half-cent county sales tax, county voters also took the opportunity to assure that there would be at least one new face on the board of commissioners. Rimedio-Righetti defeated three-term commission David Ludt, who himself had been the beneficiary of voters caught up in a mood for change 12 years ago.

In her campaigns last spring and this fall, Rimedio-Righetti has been questioning the need and cost effectiveness of a county administrator. The job is now held by George Tablack, who also functions as the county’s budget director. Tablack, a former county auditor, has as firm a grasp on county finances in general, and Mahoning County’s in particular, as anyone you’re likely to meet. If Rimedio-Righetti has a concrete plan for how the county could function better without him than with him, she hasn’t laid it out. Vague observations about how the county could be better run by three full-time commissioners than three commissioners and an administrator don’t inspire confidence.

Still, Rimedio-Righetti certainly gives the impression of someone who is ready to work as a full-time commissioner and to push her agenda.

Among her areas of interest and goals are these:

Moving ahead on the long-stalled consolidation of the 911 emergency call system,

Pursuing economic development opportunities.

Advertising broadly, even nationwide, for a new head of the office of Job and Family Services.

Moving ahead on the development of Oakhill Renaissance Place, the former South Side hospital complex that is already home to several county offices.

Rimedio-Righetti has been a past critic of the Oakhill purchase, but said the other day, “Oakhill is ours now; we have to make it work.”

This paper has long supported the Oakhillbecause it offered enough space to allow consolidation of various county offices, especially the coroner’s office, which had access to the old hospital morgue. Also, allowing a complex that sits on the edge of the downtown business district to fall into vacancy and deterioration would have been a travesty.

Experienced politician

Rimedio-Righetti, Youngstown’s Fourth Ward councilman for eight years, is an experienced politician. She says she has a track record of being about to bring people together and get things done.

Certainly there is no shortage of things to be done by a county commissioner, and in endorsing her election of Nov. 2, The Vindicator trusts that she’ll work harder at bringing people together than building a coalition designed to run people over.

Rimedio-Righetti’s election certainly promises some changes will be made in the way things are done at the Courthouse. We’re hoping, though, for constructive change, not change for the sake of change, and that she does her homework after getting into office and before moving to dismantle some things.

Rimedio-Righetti’s opponent in the general election, Don Manning, did not avail himself of the opportunity to attend an endorsement interview with the editorial board.


1davidjohn(144 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

if tablack has such a firm grasp why is the county in chaos

the editorial the other day praised trumbull county

no full time adminstrator

no tablack

stop the propaganda that oakhill is in or near the business district

in that case so is the vacant belpark building near st. es

should the taxpayers buy that as well

and does the proximity of the old morgue to the coroners office dictate the wasting of millions on a bad building

the coroners office for gods sake

how many autopsies do they do a year

righetti should take out the scalpel and do some serious cutting

if she doesnt get rid of tablack she will have gone back on her campaign promise and be a one termer

no the papers only goal is to protect tablacks $105,000 job

almost pathertically begging rhigetti to keep tablack

move slowly


dont run over people

save his job at all costs

for whatever reason

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2author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

david john is tough on the eyes, but brings valid points to this post.

Oakhill is and will always be a financial disaster -- that is why Ludt was given the boot (amongst other things - ie failure to fund the jail over his 12 year reign).

Interesting that the special interests have made it to Carol's ears and she now is in favor of Oakhill, where during her campaign she bashed it. Now, that you fired a warning shot across her bow about your love affair with Georgette Tablack, let us see if Carol cares more about the SPINdicator's editorial words or her own.

The big question for Carol will be who she wants to see replacing McNally and Traficanti? McNally will be gone, once the evidence starts to come clear and Traficanti will cut his deal to move to the Auditor's office with Georgette once Sciortino leaves ala McNally.

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3burford(95 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

I agree with the Author and David.

It is odd how hysterical this paper is to retain Tablack. Like there are no other people in this area who can be a budget director for the county. At a much lower salary I might add. Tablack is only indispensible to the three cmmissioners who are clueless. But he intentionally divides our community with his bullying tactics.

I agree with Author that Righetti was openly against OakHill. That was a reason I voted for her. And during the presidential election I voted at the Board of Elections. How will OakHill handle the hundreds of people.There is not enough parking. And it is an unsafe neighborhood. It is never too late to say we made a mistake and stop the bleeding. Look at what Christie did in New Jersey. Stopped that tunnel project and said enough is enough.

I also agree with David that this argument Oak Hill is downtown or near downtown is nonsense. Those workers are prisoners up there, afraid to leave the building until it is quitting time. And the employees say the building is full of mold, asbestos and vermin.

Traficanti and McNally should resign, Tablack should go back to Florida and lets have a fresh start.

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4commoncents(53 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Effective solutions to any problems first require a knowledgeable understanding of the actual problems. Rimedio-Righetti might have neither.

The county's financial woes have little to do with Tablack's or the commissioners' budget management or Oakhill and everything to do with out-of-control union wages & benefits paid to county workers and inept economic development. If anyone thinks we don't need a skilled financial administrator, they should consider whether three politicians with no financial or budgetary skills is really better!

If Rimedio-Righetti is such an improvement, let's not forget that her experience is purely political and only with the city of Youngstown - hardly a success story for bringing people together or improving bad situations. The Vindy editorial is right - we don't need to focus on politicians' rants about what's wrong, but on how sensible are their solutions - if they have any.

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5davidjohn(144 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

If anyone thinks we don't need a skilled financial administrator, they should consider whether three politicians with no financial or budgetary skills is really better!

trumbull county is working fine

no $105,000 administrator

commissioners with no more financial background then mahoning county

if you dont admit what is wrong how can you fashion solutions

nothing more be said

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6palbubba(794 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Once again voting for change just gets you more of the same old, same old. All you had to look at was her record as a council person for Youngstown. Did things improve? No. Did she leave it any better for having served? No. Why would anyone in their right mind believe she would do a good job for the county?

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7ytown_kills_me(67 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

haha she doomed the 4th i live there and its sad at what it has become ...lol...same ol ytown chithole

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