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Mahoning commissioners blast SB5, approve county land bank

Published: Fri, February 25, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Sean Barron



Mahoning County commissioners adopted a resolution calling on the Ohio General Assembly to amend or defeat Senate Bill 5.

During their meeting Thursday, commissioners strongly opposed the legislation, which would drastically change the state’s collective-bargaining laws.

“Ohio is a working state with middle-class working people,“ Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti said. “It’s a political move, and I don’t think that it’s fair to the average worker in the Valley.”

Commissioner Anthony T. Traficanti predicted that the bill’s passage would further decimate the middle class, locally and statewide.

“Stripping state workers of their collective-bargaining rights is categorically wrong,” said John A. McNally IV, chairman of the commissioners, adding that many Republicans also are against it.

Before expressing their opposition to SB5, commissioners passed a resolution authorizing the formation of the Mahoning County Land Reutilization Corp., which is a land bank that would acquire vacant properties throughout the county and return them to productive use.

A 2009 law allows land banks to take over such properties and forgive current liens while giving individuals, groups and others a chance to convert them to green space, gardens and other productive uses, noted Daniel R. Yemma, chief deputy county treasurer.

The countywide entity would work in conjunction with other land banks such as those in Youngstown and Struthers, Yemma explained, adding that he hopes the larger land bank will be operational by July 1.

The county land bank likely will start with a five-member board, with plans to expand to seven or nine, he continued.

The five members would be two county commissioners, the county treasurer and one representative each from the county’s largest township and municipality, Boardman and Youngstown, respectively, Yemma said.

“We want to represent people in the outlying areas,” Yemma added. “We want them to have a voice.”


1Photoman(1064 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

I haven't read this bill yet but can only comment that, in states where government employees do not have this collective bargaining power, there seems to be few complaints from the employees. Also, I notice that those states seem to be gaining a considerable number of new jobs while we are losing massive numbers of jobs. Consequently, those other states are showing much lower unemployment numbers while most of our politicians point fingers and remain inept in enticing businesses to locate in Ohio.

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2NoBS(2213 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Photoman - that's because if they complain, they're fired. And no, those states aren't gaining "considerable" new jobs. How about some stats?

commoncitizen - maybe it's because they recognize that public servants aren't second class citizens. AND they recognize that collective bargaining has nothing meaningful to do with the state's economy. Kasich wants to get rid of collective bargaining because he wants to go union-busting.

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3walter_sobchak(2173 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

If government workers maintain their "right" to collective bargaining, then they should be prohibited from supporting or contributing to candidates for elected office. The union workers should not have a say with whom they are going to negotiate. There is no adversarial relationship now as the "management" side stands nothing to lose. In fact, they will also get the same raises and benefits as the union worker. The county engineer gives all workers a clothing allowance no matter the job, including clerical, and there is no demand that they use the money to purchase clothes. That is criminal especially since that allowance goes into their base pay which will also increase the premium paid to their retirement fund. The golden goose has crapped out!

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4countryboymark(25 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

So let me get this straight....The people elected as Commissioners are stating that they think it is wrong local governments should have the right to negotiate for the lowest amount of costs for the most amount of services? How is the taxpayer represented? Why is the Middle Class always associated with Public Sector Employees? To me, and you know, people think I am crazy, I think it is better to have more private sector middle class people than public sector...

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5saddad(646 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Frankly-I've always been sensitive to certain tensions when it comes to the public sector and the rights to organize that are absolutely neccessary in the private sector. However, I can see who is on each side in this battle and I know with whom I stand. SOLIDARITY!!

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6Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Please stop using the term free economy. The economy isn't free it is manipulated by wall street and the Fed Reseve.

Second. If you fired all the public workers in Mahoning county it wouldn't make a dent in the state debt.

In fact we can not pay the interest on our national debt.Reducing the salaries of public workers won't do anything but decrease the amount of taxes that are collected from them and decrease the amount of money or stimulus if you like that they will be able to spend into the economy.

And where do you suppose those funds will go those from the public workers ? Do you think you we will feel any relief from it.I could hazard a guess where it will go.It will go to the same place that the bail out money went-puff.

I bet there isn't one person on here that knows the real reason why the country is going financially down the drain.But I'll tell you this much it isn't working families.

I have some more news for you this country is in for another financial crash.It will have much to do with the failing dollar and the fact that it is being dumped progressively overseas.

The only thing propping it up is the crazy printing that is causing inflation.Once that dollar is dumped enough overseas no amount of printing will save it.
All the cutting in the world won't help.Even with all the printing of money there isn't enough in circulation to pay off the interest on our national debt.
We are being modeled on the Chinese government.Welcome to the third world.

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