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The Youngstown mayor-elect expects to select his cabinet by mid-December

Published: Tue, November 12, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.


Youngstown Mayor-elect John McNally IV, seen here on election night, takes office Jan. 1.

By David Skolnick



Mayor-elect John McNally IV expects to make decisions on who will serve in his cabinet by mid-December, about two weeks before he takes office.

McNally said he will be seeking resumes shortly for those interested in those jobs.

“I want to gather information by Dec. 1, look through it, talk to folks as well as talk to [current] department heads and see who’s interested in staying” before making those decisions, McNally said.

McNally, who takes office Jan. 1 after his general election victory last week, said the people he hires for cabinet posts will be chosen solely by him with no assistance from a screening committee.

“I’ve received phone calls from people interested in positions,” he said.

Those jobs are: chief of staff/secretary, police chief, fire chief, finance director, water commissioner, deputy director of public works, buildings and grounds commissioner, law director, prosecutor, and attorneys in the latter two departments.

McNally said he will talk soon with outgoing Mayor Charles Sammarone, re-elected last week to his previous job of city council president, about the mayoral position.

McNally, a Democrat, won a convincing victory last week over five other candidates, though it was a two-man race with DeMaine Kitchen, Sammarone’s chief of staff/secretary and an independent candidate. McNally received 54.5 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Kitchen.

Kitchen took a six-week leave of absence to run for mayor. His first day back was Monday, but city government was shut down because it was Veterans Day.

Kitchen said he’d be willing to “help [McNally] if he wants help [during the transition]. Obviously, it’s up to him to determine what, if any, help he needs.”

McNally, a former city law director and Mahoning County commissioner, was noncommittal Monday about meeting with Kitchen to discuss city operations.

“I need to talk to the mayor first,” he said.

After McNally won the election, he said he would make calls to discuss ways to improve education in Youngstown with Connie Hathorn, the city’s superintendent of schools; Bishop George Murry of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, who oversees the city’s Catholic schools; and the office of Gov. John Kasich.

Kasich, a Republican, said Oct. 28 that he wants to help fix the city school system and to discuss improving education in Youngstown — without providing specifics.

McNally said Monday that he’s had a couple of brief conversations with Hathorn and preliminary discussions with the bishop and principals of some of the Catholic schools.

Instead of the governor’s office, McNally said he’s talked with the county’s state legislators, who are all Democrats, to develop a united front before talking with Kasich’s administration.

Meanwhile, an investigation into sexual harassment claims by Lyndsey Hughes, a city council employee, against Kitchen doesn’t seem that close to wrapping up.

The investigation turned over by the city to Steve Sample, a retired Summit County sheriff’s detective, started Oct. 7.

Kitchen strongly denies the claims and had contended the accusations were politically motivated as Hughes is a McNally supporter.

Kitchen said he talked with Sample just before the election asking to schedule a meeting for some time after the election. As of Monday, Kitchen said he hasn’t heard from Sample since that initial call.

Sample — being paid $60 an hour up to $10,000 — sent Hughes’ cellphone to an outside agency to verify the authenticity of inappropriate text messages supposedly sent by Kitchen to her.

“Once the technical report is done, [Sample’s investigation] should be done shortly thereafter,” city Law Director Anthony Farris said. “It’s my speculation that he’s pretty much doing all the things he needs to get done. Once [the technical work] is done, he’ll probably have a report done shortly.”


1bmanresident(607 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

The Cafaro puppet strings are now in place. Let the seeds of greed and corruption take root. We are in for one heck of a show here in Youngstown.

Also, now that Kitchen has lost the election maybe Miss Hughes will go back into obscurity.

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2YtownParent(1069 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Hopefully McNally has the brains to keep Foley on as police chief. The last thing Youngstown needs is to slip back to the days of Jimmy "do nothing" Hughes.

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3jfgiancola(177 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm not too optimistic......he was the lesser of three evils, but not by much.

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4author50(1121 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

John Sweirz is telling everyone (who will listen) that McNally promised him the water Commissioners job. Say it aint so John!

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5vinglass(295 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Fontana, why do the Cafaro's feel the need to bribe so many officials in the Mahoning County?? Could it be because in all their leasing contracts, the participants must agree to settle all lawsuits in the Mahoning County courts??

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6TERRAPINST(321 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Fontana-have to agree with you that bdmnresident is by far the biggest jerk on the website. Valleypolitics and Flick are neck and neck for second, but bdmn that guy is really, really dumb. Can't understand how the people on this board can be so hateful of people you know would never associate with them, and I bet they go to church and pretend to be good folk. Well, we all answer for cruelty in some way, some day....that's what I believe.

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