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Letters: GOP leader criticizes Vindicator; Tressel deserves YSU presidency; As for Dunn, let buyer beware



Published: Sun, February 23, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Vindicator should choose to be positive force in Valley

Bertram de Souza’s rant against the Mahoning County GOP for failing to offer a full slate of candidates seems a little strange considering the Mahoning County Democrats also failed to offer a full slate of candidates. The GOP’s failure earned a call for my resignation; the Democrat’s failure was somehow overlooked.

Both parties have an obligation to encourage honest, credible political competition, but that is easier said than done when Republicans are outnumbered by Democrats 5 to 1. In spite of the odds and a sometimes hostile environment, it’s important that we continue our efforts to attract opposition candidates.

When we were successful in recruiting a candidate, Bill Reese for county auditor in this case, de Souza was quick to suggest that our offering was lacking for not having “countywide political credentials.”

Where does de Souza expect candidates to come from? It’s pretty common for candidates to step up from one level to the next, and Bill Reese is a well respected, two-term Canfield Township trustee. The community would be better served by encouraging challengers, rather than minimizing them.

As for Judge Mark Belinky, it’s unfortunate the raid on his office came after the filing deadline. Because of that timing, Valley citizens were denied an important piece of information that might have attracted more interest in the race. It must be noted that Judge Belinky received a glowing endorsement from The Vindicator four years ago, when they could have backed his Republican opponent, Judge Scott Hunter.

The Vindicator is correct in noting there is no Republican candidate for probate court, at least not yet. However, all the filing deadlines have not yet passed, and our efforts to recruit a candidate continue.

My bigger disappointment is really with The Vindicator, not de Souza, who was writing commentary. This past Dec. 2, I sent a press release to The Vindicator asking for help to alert the public about upcoming election opportunities for Republicans and Democrats. I focused on county, state legislative and precinct races. The press release and the help it might have provided were ignored.

The Vindicator could have played a better role by helping to alert citizens to political opportunities rather than complaining after the first deadline had passed.

This community needs a strong newspaper. Todd Franko noted in his Jan. 26 column that “Good reporting, newspapering and journalism is like good security lighting. It shines light on things you probably need to see.”

The Vindicator spent three days covering a $17,000 budget increase for raises at the board of elections. What about the $1.7 million in raises that were granted in Mahoning County last year? The light wasn’t shining as bright.

The Vindicator can be a positive force for change; it can also be part of the problem.

Mark Munroe, Boardman

Munroe is chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party.

As president, Tressel would bring many assets to Youngstown State

I was upset with YSU President Randy Dunn “bailing” on us and think the timing was bad for it was on a day when potential YSU students and their parents were at the WATTS Center for an informational gathering about YSU.

I hope Dr. Dunn’s primary reason for leaving was not the additional $55,000. If it was, I feel that he should have honored his commitment. Sometimes, things change for the best, in this case, another chance to have someone who has put the YSU logo on the map to be our next YSU president.

Certainly, YSU has made national news with its engineering department being named one of the best in its category. The university also has been mentioned in conjunction with Youngstown’s additive-engineering process. The business and education departments, among others, have also attained national attention.

Having Jim Tressel as the next president is a win-win situation. As I said above:

He has put YSU on the map with his record as the football coach.

No one has the respect and connection with the surrounding YSU business community that Mr. Tressel enjoys.

He definitely can promote the tie between downtown Youngstown and YSU.

I think his name recognition will help to reverse YSU’s declining enrollment.

He would definitely be a positive for all YSU athletics. His name would help recruit more local talent to all programs.

He is a great motivator. As I told my family and friends when he interviewed for the OSU job , once they hear him talk, he is gone from YSU. This attribute could only help in YSU contract negotiations with unions and teaching staff.

I hope that the YSU community (students and staff at YSU, businesses, the city of Youngstown, etc.) will, for once, step up and draft Tressel for YSU’s next president.

Myron S. Mondora Jr., Canfield

As for Dunn, let the buyer beware

On March 15, 2013, and again on May 10, 2013, the Murray State Board of Regents voted 7-4 to let Randy Dunn’s contract expire instead of renewing it. In other words, Murray State said that they did not want him.

The regents’ reasoning was based on his continued public search for another job coupled with what they viewed as his poor job performance. Specifically, Murray State’s academic standing had fallen, and enrollment had dropped under Dunn’s leadership.

However, almost simultaneous with those no-confidence votes, YSU pursued him to be its next president. Without a job, Randy Dunn gladly accepted YSU’s generous offer. He has been president at YSU for less than a year, but the same issues that dogged him at Murray State have followed him here. Still, he has somehow managed to get a “better job” in his home state.

Apparently Dunn has been on a perpetual job search since 2010, stopping by YSU for salary, health care, and lodging to aid in his transition from Murray State to Southern Illinois University.

To YSU, its search committee, and board of trustees, I ask them to open their eyes next time they hire a president.

To SIU, I say thank you for taking an unethical, itinerant, self-promoting individual from us. Let the buyer beware.

David Padgett, Canfield

Dunn joins a long list of traitors

Randy Dunn abandoned YSU for a unique opportunity. A unique opportunity for whom? He gave his word. He bested his opponents for the YSU president’s job. As soon as he was offered more money in the town he lived in for years, his self-interest trumped his promises to the YSU community.

Was loyalty and a commitment to one’s word ever in our history predominant in a person’s character? I think of other examples of individuals with “unique opportunities”: Art Modell, LeBron James, Benedict Arnold, and all the others that left for their own “unique opportunities.”

Maybe we should promote from within instead of spending $110,000 to search for a leader with no more loyalty than a pole dancer. (The students and their parents pay this). Maybe we should look for new trustees who aren’t taken in by a “good personality” and who are OK with “well he has a unique opportunity.”

Maybe we should revamp our education system to make honor and loyalty our first priority rather than technical skills. Maybe then it will even catch on to our political and business leaders who would find diverting tax dollars from hurricane relief or promoting business harmful to consumers and our environment as not a unique opportunity for personal gain but repugnant to the values we should have. Yeah right.

Phillip S. Arbie, Warren


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