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Engineer’s office requires a top-to-bottom evaluation



Published: Sun, January 15, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Mahoning County Engineer Richard Marsico has expressed “surprise and disappointment” at not receiving the endorsement of the county Democratic Party’s central and executive committee, resulting in his decision to leave office when his term ends in December.

Did Marsico not expect that he would be punished for granting pay increases of $70,242 to five engineers on his staff and then arguing that the county engineer’s office is independent of the general fund because it gets its money from gasoline tax, license plate fees and fines? Who does Marsico think pays the tax, fees and fines?

In an editorial early last year when the county engineer and county Prosecutor Paul Gains granted pay raises to some of their employees in the midst of a national economic recession and a reduction in state funding for local governments, we had this to say: “Gains, Marsico and every other officeholder be warned: Get with the program, or you’ll be trampled in the rush by private-sector taxpayers to oust you.”

Marsico is on his way out, and Gains’ political future looks bleak. The county prosecutor, seeking a fifth four-year term, also failed to win the endorsement of the Mahoning County Democratic Party, which embraced Youngstown City Prosecutor Jay Macejko.

Both Macejko and Patrick Ginnetti, a political newcomer who won the party’s endorsement over Marsico, used the pay raises as the defining issue.

The central and executive committee is made up of precinct committeemen and women and others who operate at the political grass roots level. Their decisions on endorsement reflect the attitude of the larger community.

Unlike Marsico, Gains has said he intends to remain in his race for re-election and will leave his future up to the 57,000 Democrats who are expected to vote in the March 6 primary. He will find himself being forced to explain the pay raises at every public event he attends. That isn’t a good political position to occupy.

Ginnetti, on the other hand, will become county engineer — by default. Not bad for an individual who has never run for public office before.

But while there won’t be a contested primary and perhaps not even a general election — there is no Republican candidate and an independent would have to submit 1,000 signatures to be on the ballot — the taxpayers of Mahoning County deserve to know how the new engineer intends to regain the public’s trust in the office.

Comprehensive evaluation

We would suggest that one of Ginnetti’s first acts should be to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the employees, the equipment and the roads and bridges under the engineer’s care.

The complaints about the poor condition of the county’s infrastructure are unending. We’re sure Ginnetti has heard them. Likewise, the charges that workers in the engineer’s office don’t earn their keep may be an exaggeration, but we hear them regularly.

Then there’s the issue of certain staffers being permitted to drive county vehicles, even though their jobs do not require them to be on call 24/7.

And because the pay raises granted by Marsico led to his undoing, Ginnetti should conduct an analysis of the payroll. What qualifications do individuals have for the jobs they’re doing? How do their wages and benefits compare with tthose of similiar-size county engineers’ offices?

Ginnetti comes from the private sector, and it will be interesting to see whether he is able to apply that experience to the public sector.


Comments

1mcluvin(72 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Hear that Pat? The Vindy is "warning" you already. Better not give out raises! LOL

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2Silence_Dogood(1388 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

" Likewise, the charges that workers in the engineer’s office don’t earn their keep may be an exaggeration, but we hear them regularly."

This should have read...

" Likewise, the charges that workers in the engineer’s office don’t earn their keep may be an exaggeration, but we MAKE them regularly."

I am sure that this was an honest mistake.

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32muchtax(415 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Marisico was reelected by the good ole union boys who work for him and put up all the signs doesnt change anything and let them get away with doing nothing. sneak into the corner restaurant at 9 am to run in the far corner out of site. This dept is so bad, you know county trucks sitting in front of houses or hiding. Hopefully Ginetti c
Has heard of GPS tracking of vehicles you know how trusmbull county did and caught the employees clocking in then going to the campground, etc. Marsico was like Wellington a do nothing joke! Let's pray genetti and sheriff green can make a dent in the union do nothing mentality.

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4stonehead(25 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Just so you know the engineers have g.p.s in there trucks. the ENGINEERS. who take county trucks home [including wendiom Ohio] DO NOT HAVE THEM IN THERE TRUCKS. as far as 'god Ole union boys.. all he does is blast the union .. I COULDN'T GET CONCESSIONS FROM THE UNION SO I GAVE RAISES TO MY TOP STAFF.is what he did and said at the sports grill on meet the candidate night... then said miller rd. was not the county's it was the township ... its the county's rd. .. kenner was not there to tell him ...

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5stonehead(25 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

The union #377 asked for a performance audit 2 years ago .. they com binded it with everyone Else's when the union members called down town to ask where it is they were told it will take longer.. then 4 weeks later .. wait for it....WHAT AUDIT..............

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