Races for the 4th and 5th ward council seats are getting crowded.
In the 4th Ward race, incumbent Councilman Michael Ray is running in the Democratic primary.
He was appointed by county Democratic precinct committee members in the 4th Ward on Dec. 21 to fill the unexpired term of Carol Rimedio-Righetti. She resigned to become a county commissioner.
Milan Zordich already has filed nominating petitions for the seat, which represents the city’s lower West Side.
Also, George Doward and Howard J. Edwards, who unsuccessfully sought the appointment and lost to Ray, say they plan to run for the seat.
There are three candidates for the 5th Ward seat.
Kevin E.J. Salata, 46, of Risher Road said he’s filing his nominating petitions today at the Mahoning County Board of Elections for the seat. The 5th Ward includes the upper West Side and Cornersburg.
Councilman Paul Drennen and Anthony Catale, a school board member, say they’ll also run in the May Democratic primary for the 5th Ward seat. Neither had filed nominating petitions as of Monday.
Feb. 2 is the filing deadline for candidates running in the May primary.
Salata, who handles transportation logistics for a Youngstown company, said that if elected, he would donate 10 percent of his council salary to pay for home-security products for senior citizens in his ward.
He also said he’d donate $5,000 to start a drug-testing program for city residents who receive public assistance.
When asked if the city has the legal authority run such a program, Salata said, “Admittedly it’s a stretch. Something has to be done. I’ll be the rib of jokes with that, but it will open up options.”
Council members are paid $27,817.24 annually with full medical benefits.