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Youngstown mayoral candidate taking unpaid leave from city job

Published: Sat, September 28, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

youngstown mayor’s race

By David Skolnick



With about six weeks before Election Day, DeMaine Kitchen, an independent candidate for mayor, is taking a leave of absence from his job as the mayor’s chief of staff/ secretary to concentrate on his campaign.

Kitchen’s leave starts Monday and runs to Nov. 11, six days after the general election.

“I need to take the time to focus on the election and the demands of the campaign,” he said. “I’m committed to this race, so the leave is necessary.”

Kitchen, who earns $74,187 annually in his position, said he is using a week of vacation time and will take the rest of his leave without pay.

“I don’t want anyone to accuse me of campaigning on the job,” he said.

Kitchen said he’s made obligations to attend certain meetings and functions “as it pertains to my job,” and will honor them on an “unpaid, voluntary basis.”

Mayor Charles Sammarone said Kitchen approached him about the leave.

“It’s a good move because the campaign becomes time-consuming in the final six weeks,” Sammarone said. “I told him, ‘It’s smart on your part.’ I don’t want anyone campaigning on city time.”

The mayor said he hasn’t received any complaints about Kitchen doing that.

Sammarone, a Democrat, is running for council president, his previously-elected position that he left in August 2011 when then-Mayor Jay Williams resigned to take a job in the President Barack Obama administration. The city charter calls for council president to be mayor if the position is vacated.

One of Sammarone’s first moves as mayor was to hire Kitchen, then-2nd Ward councilman, to serve as his chief of staff/secretary.

Kitchen has experienced financial problems and delinquent tax issues, including a 2007 foreclosure on his house as well as failing to pay taxes he owed to the state, Mahoning County and the city. Just last week, Kitchen paid $2,394.08 in delinquent property taxes and interest to the county.

When asked how he will support himself and his family without income from his city post, Kitchens said, “Taxes are paid. My wife works. We’ll be OK.”

Also running for the open mayoral seat are Democrat John McNally IV, independents John M. Crea and Frank Bellamy, and write-in candidates Cecil Monroe and Claudette Moore.


1mishmash(333 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

$75,000 a year & couldn't pay his bills until the Vindicator called him out on it ?

KITCHEN is useless & what is to stop him from doing this again.

Where did he get the money so quickly the morning of the debate ? Did he borrow it ? Was it Cash ?


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2republicanRick(1734 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

DeMain Kitchen makes $ 74,000 a year AND his wife works, yet he can't pay a $ 2,000 tax bill?

This man is not ready or qualified to lead Youngstown. Y- town people deserve better.

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3Silence_Dogood(1675 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Can any one working for the City take unpaid leave or is this just reserved to the Mayor's close buddies?

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4Ypublius(21 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Serious question: What does Kitchen do for a living outside of politics? Has he ever had a job? Did he go to college beyond East High?.....Does he have anything to hang his reputation on other than 2nd ward councilman and Mayor's secretary?

Elsewhere the black community is trying to mobilize and turn this into a race issue and they are hurting their own cause. Jay Williams was an accomplished man outside of politics--MBA, financial VP, etc. Jay (or someone like Jay) would be the black candidate for whom to fight.....but Kitchen? C'mon?

McNally is not perfect but at least, if John loses this election, John can fall-back on his private accomplishments to pay his bills. Can Kitchen? If Kitchen loses, does he have a profession?

Kitchen stated he "had past money problems."...Past?...Past?....FYI when one is still paying off garnishments, it is not in one's "past."...How is it even possible to reside on the EastSide of Youngstown, have a wife that works, earn a $74,000 per year salary in addition to the wife's income and still have money problems???????? Kitchen does not have money problems--that dude has spending problems!!!!

I restate: Can anyone defend Kitchen and advise the public ONE GOAL OUTSIDE OF POLITICS THAT KITCHEN HAS SET AND ACCOMPLISHED???? School? Career? I would like to know.

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5Ypublius(21 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I believe a YPD Captain's salary is only around $70,000 per year?.....talk about outta whack priorities!

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6oldskooltiger(6 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Kitchen has a degree...Masters I believe

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7endthismess(464 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

oldskooltiger.....Believing and KNOWING are never the same two things regarding a degree.... you either know or you don't know. And as for having a "maybe" masters....this "maybe" degree has not helped Mister Kitchen keep his financial house in order...so what difference does Mister Kitchen's having a "maybe" degree make here??? Time off or not...it is not ....not.....not... going to even matter....Probably really needs the time off so Mister Kitchen can start interviewing for a new job...with that "maybe" masters ..... oldskooltiger...

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