What a difference four years has made in the fiscal health, community attitude and physical appearance of Liberty Township, one of Trumbull County’s largest suburban communities.
In 2009, the township’s financial picture looked bleak. Spending practices were at times dubious at best. The township’s premiere thoroughfare, Belmont Avenue, showed visibly decrepit signs of the economic devastation wrought by the Great Recession. Community pride had sunk to an all-time low.
Today, the township has worked to correct the errors of its former fiscally irresponsible ways of borrowing to meet payrolls, improperly transferring funds to stay afloat and granting pay raises to employees that it could not afford. Economic and aesthetic development has blossomed along Belmont, and residents have fewer gripes about governance and more pride in their hometown.
Clearly it’s no coincidence that Liberty’s transformation has played out against the backdrop of the election of Stan Nudell and Jason Rubin as township trustees in November 2009 and in their nearly four years of attentive, active and detail-oriented public service to community residents.
In that time, Nudell points out that trustees have cut spending by $1 million. “We’ve done a yeoman’s job,” he said. He and Rubin both worked to clear up procedural accounting errors and to right the wrongs of improper and excessive borrowing.
MORE WORK FOR THEM TO DO
Nudell’s and Rubin’s achievements clearly merit their re-election Nov. 5. Although their successes have been many, Liberty’s transformation is far from complete. Township residents should ensure both men gain the opportunity they seek to continue to steer the township toward solvency, progress and growth.
Just earlier this month, Nudell, Rubin and fellow Trustee Jodi Stoyak passed resolutions that effectively resolved budget improprieties dating back to 2008 and that most believe meet the requirements to exit state-designated fiscal caution. Ironically, the state placed the township in that early stage of state monitoring on the very day the corrective action took place.
Clearly, however, the district is not out of the fiscal woods yet. The state is still keeping a watchful eye on the district’s spending practices. As such, the township can ill afford to lose the fine stewardship that Nudell and Rubin have provided and will continue to provide.
Both Nudell and Rubin have well-honed expertise in business management from their leadership in the private sector. More communities in the Mahoning Valley would profit from such private-sector prowess.
Though working as a team on the majority of positive developments in Liberty, Nudell and Rubin each has his own singular achievements. Nudell, for example, lobbied the U.S. Postal Service persistently to re-establish a post office in the township at the Church Hill Giant Eagle.
Rubin went above and beyond the responsibilities of township trustee in working to restore and renovate the township’s Center Park.
Both can also point to other achievements, many of which brought savings to Liberty, such as consolidating township emergency 911 services with those of Trumbull County. Both advocate more cost-saving service-sharing operations in the future. Both also have supported and contributed to the privately financed township beautification projects.
Clearly, Nudell and Rubin have worked to bring Liberty back from the precipice of disaster. Their steady hands and thoughtful minds should be retained for another four years.
A third candidate in this race, Greg Cizmar, did not attend an interview session with The Vindicator Editorial Board and is, therefore, disqualified from endorsement consideration.