By Susan Tebben
After reviewing applications from other candidates in a closed session meeting Thursday, Austintown Township trustees decided to persuade their current zoning inspector to stay.
The decision was made to give Trustee Jim Davis authorization to make an offer to current inspector Darren Crivelli, who accepted. Crivelli was set to start as the inspector in Boardman Township on Monday.
“Boardman has issues, but so does Austintown,” Davis said. “But we decided you just can’t replace a guy like that.” Davis said the township could not afford to take the time to train someone for the busy Austintown zoning department, with projects such as the Hollywood Slots at Mahoning Valley Race Course back in the construction process, the Austintown Local School District construction projects and various businesses locating in the area, said Davis.
“We had to do what we had to do to keep Darren with Austintown,” Davis said.
While many of the 17 applicants that had applied to replace Crivelli were qualified, the trustees felt that they had a strong team already, said Trustee Lisa Oles.
“We didn’t want to have a weak link, and we didn’t want to make the same mistake that Boardman did five years ago in letting Darren go,” Oles said.
The trustees committed to making the budgetary adjustments necessary to give Crivelli the same salary — $70,000 — and benefits that he would have had in Boardman Township.
Boardman’s administrator, Jason Loree, could not be reached Friday.
Fiscal officer Laura Wolfe is still working out the details of the budget adjustments, Oles said. But to keep Crivelli the township would do “whatever it takes,” according to Oles.
“We have so many projects on the table in Austintown ,and there would be a learning curve for anyone coming in,” Oles said. “We want to keep moving the township forward.”
Crivelli could not be reached to comment, but Oles said Boardman Township administration has been notified of the change and that Austintown is willing to forward the zoning applications it had received to Boardman.
Crivelli also has offered his part-time services to Boardman while it continues to search for a new zoning inspector.