facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

Mayoral hopeful finally comes clean



Published: Fri, April 12, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick (Contact)


On the side

Dueling endorsements: The Youngstown Warren Black Caucus endorsed Youngstown council President Jamael Tito Brown for city mayor over John McNally IV, who received the endorsement of the Mahoning County Democratic Party.

The president of the caucus is Jaladah Aslam, the county party’s vice chairwoman of labor relations. She didn’t score any points with county Democratic Chairman David Betras when she, and other union officials, backed a Republican-nominated judge last year over the Democratic-endorsed candidate.

Betras tried in late February to change the party’s bylaws placing restrictions and penalties on committee members and executive officers who support candidates not endorsed by the party. Party members voted to not consider that proposal and several others.

The caucus is also urging Youngstown voters to reject the charter amendment proposal on the May 7 ballot. In Warren, the caucus endorsed council President Bob Dean, incumbent Councilwoman Cheryl Saffold in the 6th Ward, and Felicia Davis for the open 1st Ward seat.

Matthew Smith, a Democratic candidate for Youngstown mayor, is not a college graduate.

There’s nothing wrong with that except he’s contended he is a college graduate a number of times until finally admitting earlier this week to The Vindicator editorial board that he isn’t.

Smith told the 7th Ward Citizens Coalition, before its members sponsored a March 21 candidates debate, that he had a degree in political science from Youngstown State University. That was included in the debate program.

At the event, Bertram de Souza, Vindicator columnist and editorial writer, asked about the degree. Smith said he went to YSU but graduated from the University of Akron.

Smith then told me last week that he went to Akron, but earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from YSU in 1982.

During his endorsement interview, Smith changed his story again claiming he started at YSU and went to Akron.

After being confronted by his repeated contradictions, Smith said he was mistaken.

He said he took classes at both universities and thought that was the same thing as graduating.

What’s worse: another lie to cover your previous lies or complete ignorance about knowing what it means to graduate?

Smith also complained about drugs in the city. When further questioned, he admitted he was convicted in December 2002 on a drug-related misdemeanor after initially being charged with felony possession.

Smith said he was unaware that a guy driving him had drugs in his vehicle.

Smith also acknowledged he has a handgun possession conviction, and his explanation is comical.

Smith said he saw a gun on the ground, thought it was a toy, and picked it up. It turns out it was real, though Smith said it was broken, and police arrested him.

“It was stupid,” he said of picking up the handgun.

And he wants to be Youngstown’s next mayor.

Behind closed doors

On to a different issue of trust, the credibility of Youngstown city officials took a hit this week.

Six of city council’s seven members met Monday in private with the Cardinal Mooney High School board of directors at the Catholic school as the bishop considers moving the school out of the city.

City Law Director Anthony Farris, who was in attendance, said he determined it was not open to the public even though a majority of council members were there.

“The public business of Youngstown City Council is legislation,” he said. “The council members were not there to deliberate or discuss legislation.”

The “interaction” with Mooney wasn’t a meeting “as defined by” state law, and thus could be held in private, Farris said.

But David Marburger — an attorney for this newspaper, among others, and considered one of the state’s top public record experts — sees it quite differently.

“I have no doubt in my mind that’s a public meeting,” he said. “It was a prearranged meeting with a majority of council members in attendance. It doesn’t matter who called the meeting. I handled a case in the Ohio Supreme Court on something exactly like that and I won it. It’s not even a debatable issue. It’s a public meeting.”

Not one city council member felt strongly enough to refuse to meet privately even though some were hesitant.

I doubt any deals were offered by the city or any big secrets were shared. But closed-door meetings rightfully shake the public’s trust.


Comments

1peggygurney(391 comments)posted 1 year ago

After these discretions, I doubt that anyone has to worry about Smith 'splitting the black vote". This "minister" has quite obviously been caught in at least 2 lies. Wow.

Suggest removal:

2TERRAPINST(285 comments)posted 1 year ago

Don't necessarily think the 8 family members that would have supported Smith really "split" the black vote. Look at previous off year mayoral elections, there will be about 4-5 thousand total cast and they will all come from 5th and 4th wards. If Tito can motivate African American voters could be interesting. He can't but let's just say.

Suggest removal:

3gdog4766(1265 comments)posted 1 year ago

Smith for mayor, Smith for Mayor.

Suggest removal:

4Ianacek(856 comments)posted 1 year ago

The Cardinal Mooney High incident deserves more investigation .The Law Directors claim that it doesn't matter bcause no decisions were made is rubbish . Read the Auditor of State's 2013 Guide to the Sunshine Laws , which is online.

If the Council passes legislation later which directly affects Cardinal Mooney High , how do we know it wasn't on the basis of understandings canvassed or agreed last Monday ?

Contrast this with a meeting called by Council for small businesspeople at the Newport Library recently . That meeting was in public . You have to ask how much has really changed in Youngstown .

Clearly , as host for the meeting , the school had a reason for wanting the whole Council there & for not wanting the public to know what was said . Bishop Murry & his staff should know better . They should attend the public forum at open Council Meetings like everyone else .

The suspicion over the years that much Youngstown Council business is conducted in secret with cronies is a big reason for the blight in the City , as businesses flee to more transparent municipalities .

Section 109.43 of the Ohio revised Code requires elected officials or their designee official to attend an official Sunshine Laws training seminar at least once in every term of office . They are issued a certificate to prove it . Who was / were the certificate holder(s) last Monday ?

Suggest removal:


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes | Pittsburgh International Airport