Where are the incumbents?

On the side

On the attack: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which already recruited a candidate to challenge two-term Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson in next year’s 6th Congressional District race, is running a radio ad against him.

The 15-second ad, titled “Wrong Priorities,” criticizes Johnson of Marietta for the five-week U.S. House recess, saying he left Washington, D.C., without Congress agreeing to legislation on job creation, transportation and comprehensive immigration reform. (Of course, every member of Congress is on recess, but not every member is on the DCCC’s list of potentially vulnerable Republican incumbents.)

Former state Rep. Jennifer Garrison of Marietta says she’ll run next year for the Democratic nomination in the 18-county 6th District. The DCCC recruited Garrison to challenge Johnson in the 2014 race.

Here are a few observations on the nonpartisan filing deadline for the Nov. 5 general election.

Wednesday was the deadline to file for several village councils, township trustees and school board seats.

First, how frustrating must it be to serve on the Youngstown Board of Education?

All three members up for re-election this year opted not to file.

Lock P. Beachum Sr., who is finishing his 16th year on the board, likely isn’t seeking another term because of the number of years he’s served.

But the two other members — Rachel I. Hanni and Andrea Mahone, the latter has missed some meetings in recent months and changed her telephone number making it difficult/impossible for some to contact her — had enough even before finishing their first terms on the board.

And with three vacancies, you’d think there would be several people interested in filling those positions.

But only five people filed for the seats by Wednesday’s deadline.

And what is going on in Austintown, my beloved hometown?

There are 10 candidates for three positions on the township’s school board. Of those nine, only two are incumbents. Two others are former board members.

My thoughts are there is concern and frustration about major changes at the district that have occurred in a relatively brief period of time.

Another bond issue?

That includes the reduction in hours for bus drivers, the closing of the neighborhood elementary schools and the opening of two new schools, residents to be asked next year for more money for yet another bond issue for another new school building, dissatisfaction with some about the superintendent, among other things.

While Youngstown City Council plans to put a charter amendment on the November ballot to get rid of the park and recreation commission, and anti-frackers want to put another proposal on the November ballot, those in Canfield and Campbell have already filed charter amendment proposals for their respective cities.

In the city of Canfield, there are two citizen-initiative charter amendments on the ballot.

One would permit public comments and questions at all meetings of city boards, commissions and committees before a final vote in take.

The other would have term limits on those bodies of up to two consecutive three-year terms.

These two ballot issues come a year after two others in the city to reduce the length of mayoral terms and have term limits for the mayor and city council members were easily approved in 2012.

In Campbell, proposed charter amendments would give control to the mayor, with majority approval of city council, to appoint the police and fire chiefs.

The amendments would no longer require civil service tests or force the city to consider only the most senior-ranked members of those departments for the top jobs.

Finally, in Lowellville, Councilman Keith McCaughtry’s re-election is assured as he is one of four incumbents running unopposed while his wife, Michelle, is running for the board of education. She, too, will win as she is among three candidates who filed for three seats.

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