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Commissioners will do it all, and get the glory or the blame

Published: Fri, May 13, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

While we have long believed that running a county the size of Mahoning is complicated enough that hiring an administrator was prudent if not absolutely necessary, times do change.

And in Mahoning County change has come in the way of two of the three commissioners deciding — largely in private, though hardly by surprise — that the contract of County Administrator George Tablack would not be renewed.

Well, as we said, times change, and we can only surmise through this action that the commissioners have decided that the time has come for them to treat their own jobs as full-time jobs — which for most working stiffs means a minimum of 40 hours a week in the office and, as all managers know, evening and weekend work as the tasks demand.

That’s the least that can be expected from Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti and Commissioner John A. McNally IV, who signed the letter telling Tablack to clear out his office and turn in his keys by today. And obviously it would be bad form of the third commissioner Anthony Traficanti to put in any fewer hours, even if he didn’t sign on to giving Tablack the boot.

The job of a county commissioner in Ohio can be as demanding or as undemanding as the jobholder chooses to make it. A commissioner answers only to the taxpayers as to the hours they keep. And the taxpayers don’t have access to the commissioners timecards because commissioners don’t punch time clocks.

People who spend a lot of time at the Courthouse have a pretty good idea of who keeps regular hours and who doesn’t, but it’s no one’s job to be keep tabs on the men and women at the top. And it’s been our experience while interviewing dozens of commissioner candidates from three counties over a couple of decades, that even those commissioners with a reputation for putting in long hours are reluctant to rat-out their less industrious colleagues.

Full-time salary

Commissioners in counties such as Mahoning, in the population range of 200,000 to 400,000, are paid about $77,000 a year, plus handsome fringe benefits. So it’s not unreasonable to expect these officeholders to put in full-time hours and to have the skills necessary to run what is equivalent to a major company.

To the extent that they don’t, an experienced and knowledgeable administrator can make up for any number of deficiencies.

Rimedio-Righetti and McNally have now proclaimed that they need no such backup. They are telling their constituents that they can make whatever executive decisions need to be made. They will, however, hire a budget director at about two-thirds the salary Tablack drew as administrator/budget director. Due to Tablack’s experience as county auditor and his education as a CPA, finding his replacement will be challenging. Obviously Rimedio-Righetti and McNally are confident someone just as good or better will be happy to take the job.

If there isn’t, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves. For that matter, whatever happens in Mahoning County government now, there will be no one to blame or to take credit but the commissioners.

Rimedio-Righetti, McNally and Traficanti are Mahoning County’s triumvirate. What could possibly go wrong?


1author50(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

That last question...

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22muchtax(889 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I worry that the Cafaro's are behind the commissioners and making the decisions! Antonini just admitted it, now hopefully she rats out the rest of the democrats on the Cafaro payroll. This area could use some independents that don't need a mouth like betra's to back them.

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3fedupwithcrap(317 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Seems to me that there has been only one person in the Mahoning Valley that has been telling the truth, opening eyes that have been closed, and of course exposing the area for what it really is!!! Disappointing at least!

Government is not going to fix this area, anymore than a bandaid is going to fix a severed arm!! It is the people that have to open their eyes, find out how deep the corruption goes, and then stomp it out; Permanently!!

Jamie Ludt has been persecuted, prosecuted, and perpetuated as a nut for saying, exposing, and outrightly finding several other problems that the political arena wants to keep quiet!!

How does a Police Captain from Struthers Police Department Patrick Bundy, threatens to beat Jamie Ludt's "ass", and told Mr. Ludt he had his badge and gun on him at the time, and nothing is done about it?

Read, " youngstown man caught tailing officers", and you will find one of the most one sided stories I have ever read in my life. You want to stomp out corruption, quit hiding it in the politicians offices, newspapers, and the police departments, and maybe the area would be a better place!!

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