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Retain Davis, welcome back Carano as Austintown trustees



Published: Mon, October 21, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Regardless of which two candi- dates for Austintown Township trustee stand in the winners’ circle in the Nov. 5 election, no township residents will be losers.

Each of the five candidates vying for two opening seats on the three-member township governing board has an impressive resume and decades of dedicated service to the Austintown community. Each is armed with creative ideas to move the township of 30,000 forward.

The candidates in the Austintown trustees race are incumbent Jim Davis and challengers Ken Carano, Robert “Bob” Raymond, Bruce Shepas and David Stryffeler.

The Vindicator Editorial Board endorses Davis to continue his four years of effective leadership, particularly in overseeing development of the $125 million Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course. We also endorse Kenneth Carano for his more than four decades of results-focused leadership in the community as a Fitch High School teacher, speech coach, township trustee, state representative and regional director for former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.

STRENGTHS OF OTHER CANDIDATES

Stryffeler, an engineer for First Energy Corp., has given nearly two decades of public service on the board of Austintown Community Baseball and now serves as director of the Tri-T Pony Baseball Board. His private-sector experience in overseeing multi-million-dollar First Energy projects would serve him well in overseeing the completion and opening of the racino and in monitoring township spending.

Shepas, a correctional system officer for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and former reserve deputy sheriff, is running on a solid platform that prioritizes business and job growth, responsible management of the township’s budget and close oversight of township roads and other infrastructure. Shepas says he was motivated to run for office to give the township “new” and “honest” leadership and not be a “puppet” of other interests with “hidden agendas.” Yet, he does not publicly accuse Davis or other township trustees or officials of such questionable or underhanded governance.

Like other candidates, Raymond, a sales and purchasing agent for Troymill Wood Products, stresses the need to fund and improve the township’s infrastructure, to ensure safety forces are sufficient for expected growth and to attract new businesses for new tax dollars. Unlike other candidates, he cites his first-hand knowledge of mineral rights and gas well leases as a source for funding growth, and he addresses the elephant in the township room – Joint Economic Development Districts – with refreshing pragmatism. “To be close minded on all JEDDs would be irresponsible,” he said.

STRENGTHS OF CARANO, DAVIS

Among the challengers, however, Carano emerges as the logical choice to fill the open seat. As the oldest candidate in the race, Carano also has the longest and most diverse record of capable and trustworthy public service under his belt. Thousands upon thousands of Fitch High alumni remember Carano for his rigid standards and cutting humor. But there’s little funny about the long record of achievements Carano has accumulated as township trustee and state representative, particularly for such key constituencies as senior citizens and veterans. Carano also has powerful and prestigious contacts at the local, state and federal levels to tap as valuable resources for continued township prosperity.

If elected, Carano vows to work diligently on economic development, alternative funding for the township, greater transparency in budgeting, protection of property owners’ home values and improvement in overall quality of life – all without raising taxes. His goals may sound lofty, but those familiar with Carano know he is an active, aggressive and determined public servant who generally delivers what he promises.

Finally, township residents should have no qualms about re-electing Davis to a second four-year term. In his first term, he amassed a laundry list of achievements of which he and township residents can be proud. He worked with Police Chief Bob Gavalier to restart a reserve officer program that has saved the township more than $90,000. He had kept a close watch over park improvements, including construction of the township’s first dog park. He played an active role in generating support and tax funding for the Austintown Senior Center. Most recently, he worked to create the first-in-Ohio collaboration between a fire/rescue department and a private ambulance service to increase response times to emergencies.

The Vindicator Editorial Board has been most impressed with Davis’ conscientious and untiring monitoring of Penn National Gaming’s racino project on Canfield-Niles Road. He has maintained open and constant communications with Penn National, and he’s monitored every step of the project, visiting Columbus numerous times to promote and protect it. Davis’ critical link to Penn National in the final stages of the project should not be severed.

Opportunities for growth and prosperity in Austintown will abound over the next four years. Residents should entrust their votes to Davis and Carano, both of whom have the experience, demeanor and talent to seize those opportunities with gusto.


Comments

1AtownParent(561 comments)posted 10 months ago

Carano has done nothing for Austintown in all his recent political positions, it is time for him to not use this township as a place holder until some other position comes along. Plus he had never said that he was explicitly against JEDDs, which I can not support someone who does not come out and say no JEDDs. Shepas is the best candidate for the job, no political ties, and against JEDDs.

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2valleypolitics(88 comments)posted 10 months ago

Who? No one even knows this guy! 5th out of 5 for the unknown Shepas.

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3AtownParent(561 comments)posted 10 months ago

If you live in Austintown, you know who Shepas is...your comment just proves you don't. Besides, why does a recognizable name automatically make you the best for the seat?

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4valleypolitics(88 comments)posted 10 months ago

This is what I know for sure, Carano is by far the best man for the job and is so OVER qualified that the rest of the pack would need decades of experience in government and politics to even come close.

Does Austintown need an amateur/novice like Shepas or someone that really knows what they are doing like Carano? Answer: Carano hands down.

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5piwohio(56 comments)posted 10 months ago

I have made Austintown my home for the past 16 years. I am happy to have found this wonder township to make my home, raise my 2 sons who attended the Austintown schools. I have seen the growth and this township make it through some hard times. I became involved in the local politics and organizations to give back to my township.
With the 5 people who are running for Austintown Trustee I feel the need to comment.
Mr. Carano- When is enough just simply enough. You have lived off from Austintown long enough.
Austintown Teacher- local, state and federal money (Retired)
Austintown Bingo- American Legion 301 license to which you give little back from what you make. Open the books and prove me wrong.
Austintown Trustee- Austintown tax money AND YOU QUIT…
State Rep- local, state funded
State appointments- local, state funded
Austintown Trustee- Back for more money
You are a proud supported of the Democratic Chairman of Mahoning County. Hanging your sign on the Democratic Party tent at the Canfield Fair. And this is a NON partisan election. Don’t bring Dave B’s black eye to Austintown. For the record I am a Democratic. Now you want back into the pockets of Austintown and support JEDD with Ditzler. Who by the way was all against it when we paid for his services for how many years? Now he wants in our pockets. The duel rides again part 2 ???
Mr. Raymond – Well you’re honest, you want a levy. More money from our pockets. But have no confidence in the current Trustees. So do you have confidence in the Austintown Department Heads? Because the Trustees approved the hiring of these good people.
Mr. Stryffeler- You are middle of the road on JEDD. Easy way out sir. You also would like to maintain the safety services in the township develop the senior center and township parks and attract new business. News Flash- Our parks are very well developed, the best safety forces I feel in the county and run very well. Senior Center is developed or did you mean expand the usage. And if so with what funding?? I support the Center, just it needs to be a little self- supporting.
Mr. Davis- Had my doubts about you. You have done well, I want more from you if you win. Be a leader. But I feel you need to keep your personal life cleaned up if you’re representing my township.
Mr. Shepas- You’re a business owner, you’re a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, lifelong Austintown man. 40 with energy. Speak your mind from what I have read and heard. Disapproves of JEDD. And you seem to have a vision, no past bad habits and new ideas. I know the oath you have taken by being a LEO. Back round check every 5 years, tested at any time for drug use. You have my vote sir.
Maybe this should happen to all of our elected officials. Our safety forces are and why should we not expect our elected leader to be drug free. Any of you want to comment on back round checks and drug testing??

My 2 cents…..1 vote Shepas, 1 vote still open.


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6AtownParent(561 comments)posted 10 months ago

Carano has done nothing for Austintown while he was in his state jobs so why should we be responsible to pay him again? Besides, he has experience as the old school, good old boy, Democratic machine that tarnishes this town again and again. We don't need that in Austintown. We need to move forward, not go back.

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7valleypolitics(88 comments)posted 10 months ago

So lets see, who comes close to being involved in the community like Carano?

Mahoning County Chemical Dependency Board – 1995 – to present
Ohio High School Speech League Executive Committee – 25 yrs.
Executive Officer Austintown Education Association – 24 yrs.
Board of Directors Austintown Community Channel 19
FormerDirector of Forensics, Fitch High School – 28 years
National Forensics League – Fifth Diamond Coach (only 9 in the nation)
Member Austintown Optimists
Member Fraternal Order of Eagles
President of Austintown Democrats Club
Member of Mahoning County Central Committee
Member of South County Democrats
Member 17th District Democrats
Austintown 4th of July Parade Committee

Who does the community support like Carano?

Inducted into Austintown Township Hall of Fame
Inducted into the Austintown Growth Foundation Hall of Fame
Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service from American Legion Post #301 and the Veterans of the 9th Dist.
Inducted into the Austintown Fitch High School Sports Hall of Fame
Legislator of the Year Award from the State MRDD
Outstanding Legislator Award from the Akron’s Children’s Hospital
Outstanding Treasurer from the Ohio Education Association (11 times)
National Forensic League Five Diamond Coaches Award (only 9 recipients in the U.S.)
Ohio Distinguished Service Award from the Ohio Communication Association
Inducted into the Democratic Party Hall of Fame

Answer: No one comes close to being for Austintown his whole life like Carano!

Don't vote for novices, vote Carano!

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8piwohio(56 comments)posted 10 months ago

I see he won some of these awards more than once. Must have been a large list of candidates to choose from. As far as his record you give us at the top. How many were paid for by Austintown tax money?
Please list what he did or brought us from Columbus?
Please list the growth Ken, David and Bo did for Austintown. After how many years?
In all fairness, his school record at Austintown is remarkable. But when does the taxpayer stop adding to his bank account.
He has and still is part of the boys club in this valley. And when the big job offer comes, is he going to leave again? Yep, sure will.
As I stated, 1 vote spoken for, 1 vote still in the air.

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9AtownParent(561 comments)posted 10 months ago

I still don't see where Carano did anything during his state job's that benefited Austintown. Was he a great teacher, yes, but that was before his political runs. Being inducted into a democratic hall of fame does nothing for the township. Where are the dollars he brought into the community.....oh, right, there aren't any. Thanks for playing though.

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