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Meeks for YSU president; Will YSU be You Screwed Up?; Don't waste money on ward study; Kind act noticed

Published: Sun, March 2, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Consider Meeks — Athena winner and EGCC chief — for YSU leader

When Dr. Cynthia Ander- son announced her retirement from Youngstown State University, the name of Dr. Laura Meeks, 2013 Athena Award winner and president of Eastern Gateway Community College, came to mind immediately. Being a bit reticent, I held my thoughts on the subject of a new president at Youngstown State University.

To date, Jim Tressel, former coach of YSU football, and a very good friend, Harry Meshel, have been put forward as very good prospects.

Both are very capable men in any field of endeavor. But, as my beginning statement indicates, another person of exceedingly excellent credentials has been in this area and has been outstanding at her current position.

I have not mentioned to Dr. Meeks my thought on this matter, and she may not even entertain the thought of leaving her current position as president of Eastern Gateway Community College.

But, contrary to popular misconception, the grass may be greener in our own backyard. Maybe it is the time to look in our own area to find a president who has taken Youngstown to heart. I am no longer hesitating in recommending Dr. Meeks for the position of president of YSU.

Former state Sen. Meshel, a long-time East High School friend and now a trustee of YSU, just might agree with me. I have not talked to Harry about this, but I am sorry I did not talk to him about this matter before Dr. Randy Dunn was hired.

Leonard J. Sainato, Warren

If Tressel is hired, YSU risks standing for You Screwed Up

It is my duty as a Youngstown State University graduate and decent human being to speak for those of us who do not believe that Jim Tressel should be president of YSU. Enough already with the “Youngstown Mentality.” Must we put another lawbreaker into power in this town?

Yes, he does have power to raise money for YSU. (So does Jim Traficant and I haven’t heard anything about a phone call he received from the YSU Board of Trustees.) Tressel’s qualifications end there.

Must you be reminded that he resigned in disgrace (and had to pay a $250,000 fine) from Ohio State, having violated NCAA rules?

To those “backers” on the board: Did you send your kids to YSU? Would you send them to a college where the president does not have a doctorate? Resigned in disgrace? I think not to all the above. As an alumnus of YSU, I will be embarrassed if he is to become the next YSU president. In your next search, maybe you should consider local jails and halfway houses.

And what messages are trustees sending to those who think you need a college degree to make something of yourself in this world? You’re telling them it is OK to break rules/laws and still hold a seat of power. And what a fine line you are standing on with EEOC. Equal Opportunity? That’s a joke. Let’s put the good ol’ boy in.

There are plenty of folks who are qualified for this position in comparison to Jim Tressel. I can think of at least five local, tax-paying and God-fearing academics that could put his qualifications to shame.

Maybe part of the reason the young and old leave this city is knowing, hoping and praying that not all towns and universities are run by “has beens” that have broken laws.

Members of the board of trustees, get your heads out into the sunshine and do your job to find a qualified president for YSU. Otherwise YSU will truly stand for You Screwed Up.

Kate McAllen, Youngstown

Don’t waste taxpayers’ money on new ward-redistricting study

As a resident of Youngstown, I am once again discouraged by the manner in which our members of city council present themselves.

It seems that councilmen Mike Ray and Paul Drennen have been reprimanded for not going along with the rest of the “family.” This sentiment was disclosed to me while in the parking lot of St. Luke’s recently. I was told that this was the motivator for the recent city council activities that had been documented in a political commentary column Feb. 21.

I wish to remind each and every member of our sitting council that the only “family” that should be of concern should be those of us who you represent — the taxpayers of this great city.

Right now we have a fiscally-conscious mayor in place. It is time for all of you to realize that we do not have money to waste. Getting the budget, our spending and our debts in sync with incoming revenue should be your priority. It certainly is ours as taxpayers.

Fighting the redistricting when the board of elections and YSU officials are ready, willing and able to help is egregious. Fiscally responsible management should be your entire focus. Everything else is inconsequential.

With existing problems of code enforcement, vacant land, and environmental hazards, there is no time for infighting. These issues all require funding to help achieve resolution. You are not operating in a vacuum. Proper developmental planning will increase our viability as a city and county seat — something taxpaying residents certainly want.

As taxpayers, we are aware that several of you are term-limited and feel you are not accountable to the public. That is where you err. Make no mistake. Taxpayers have no intention of allowing the same business-as-usual activities. With our November election it should have become quite clear to all of you that there would be some major changes.

Fiscal irresponsibility was going to come to an end. The proposed charter amendments spoke volumes. Were any of you listening?

Delores Womack, Youngstown

How great it would be if random acts of kindness became contagious

Recently on my way to the doctor, I pulled into a Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and two doughnuts. There was a line of cars for the drive-thru window. I was behind a silver SUV and noticed a nice young blonde girl at the wheel. I really did not think much of it as I was just passing time until it was my turn to order.

After I placed my order and proceeded to pick up my order at the window, the cashier said to me the vehicle in front of me paid for my order, and she said to have a wonderful Thursday.

I was flabbergasted that someone did that.

This girl has a wonderful heart to do such a nice touch of kindness to someone who is a total stranger. After talking to a few friends, they tell me that there are some people who do that.

In such a negative world, today this would be a beautiful world if there were more people like her out there to do things like that to spread some kindness and maybe help it become contagious.

Richard Ellis, Youngstown

Valley price gougers are at it again

Even with the turmoil in the Ukraine and Venezuela, the price of crude oil has barely moved in the last week.

However, in Mahoning and Trumbull counties, our “gas station cartel members” have driven the price of regular gasoline from a low of $3.29 on Feb. 21 up to $3.59 at the majority of the gas stations. Take a short drive to Akron, and you’ll still find gas for $3.35.

You have to love the Mahoning Valley price gougers.

Paul Stenach, Canfield


1oldwarrior(5 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I read with great interest the letters concerning the pros and cons of Jim Tressel becoming YSU's next president. And, although I have no opinion concerning this matter, I would like to ask Ms McAllen, just what law did Coach Tressel break? When does a violation of NCAA rules (or laws) denote a crime? Last time I checked, NCAA rules do not govern the locality, state or nation!

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2walter_sobchak(2209 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

The only question that a person needs to ask when selecting an undergraduate college program is "is this program accredited by its national certification board?" It doesn't matter who is the president! A parent should get their child through their undergrad degree with as little debt as possible.

There are few individuals that would be YSU president that has had so much contact with ordinary students as Tressel. He went inside homes, talked to students and parents about their hopes and concerns of all types of people over ALL his years of coaching; white, black, Hispanic, poor, rich, middle class.

The biggest role a university president takes on is fund-raiser. To do this, it is essential the person have ties with the local community leaders. The engineering school at YSU has been treated like a red-head stepchild for decades. The plans are on the table for new facilities for the school and it will take many dollars. But, with the America Makes facility, the incubator, and the oil and gas exploration in Eastern Ohio, it is essential that YSU grow this school's capabilities.

As far as Tressel breaking NCAA rules, this group is the height of hypocrisy. All the players were guilty of was selling their own property for money or something of value. But, because the property was given to them through the athletic dept, they are prohibited. But, if a star player that has parents that have money, the parents can give him a car. That player can turn around and sell that car for a profit, thereby making a profit off his stardom. And, what about a 4.0 engineering student, not in sports, but that can be wooed by large corporations with dinners, trips, etc. to entice them to work for them? It's OK for him to take money from a wealthy university alumni but not for a football player that the school uses to make fabulous sums of money! Jim's guilty of attempting to protect his program by first avoiding it and then trying to cover it up to protect all involved;himself, the players, the football program, the university. One of the traits that bothered many was the holier-than-thou attitude he had about his program. Bad mistake in this new age as many want you knock you off the perch. But, 30years ago, at joe paterno's height of success and popularity, he was named Sports illustrated ManOf the Year. He was quoted as saying that if you asked him, rIght then, if he could assure everyone the Penn State football program was 100% compliant with NCAA rules, he could not do it. Tresses took a major hit due to his obstruction and untruthfulness, and he has paid a big price. He is still a great person and a good leader that is flawed.

Maybe I too have the Youngstown mentality. But, I am also a realist. I realize that YSU has a major identity crisis that could be turned around with the hiring of Jim Tressel as president. Business and community leaders love him and he is no carpet-bragger.

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3pol26(26 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Excellent letter Kate! So very true. Old warrior, you made her point. There is something called ethics and although un-ethical behavior won't always land you in jail for breaking a law, it's still bad. Youngstown mentality right there. Along the same lines as, if I didn't get caught, then it must be legal. Walter, you are rationalizing. Let me help you. Since Youngstown is full of crooks, who better to fundraise than a fellow crook.

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