By Ed Runyan
The Trumbull County commissioners have received a resignation letter from pilot Scott Lynn from his position on the Western Reserve Port Authority board of directors, a position he has had nearly 10 years.
Lynn, who flies for the DeBartolo Corp., was appointed by the Trumbull commissioners Sept. 1, 2004, and is resigning effective May 21.
Trumbull Commissioner Paul Heltzel said at a commissioners’ meeting Tuesday that Lynn is leaving as a result of the recent discord within the port authority board.
“He reached a point where he said he couldn’t put up with this anymore,” said Heltzel. “He resigned because it’s a lot of hassle and he said he just had enough of it.”
Heltzel said Lynn’s resignation was an “example of what happens with the port authority — we’re losing the good people, not the bad people.”
Heltel said he’s heard from another member of the board who was appointed by the Trumbull commissioners indicating he also might resign.
Another member of the board, Mahoning County appointment and certified public accountant Richard Schiraldi, resigned effective April 25, triggering a response from Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler.
Ditzler organized a meeting last week between the Trumbull and Mahoning commissioners to discuss whether they should dissolve the port authority board and institute a new organizational structure.
The two counties are jointly responsible for the port authority with each board of commissioners appointing four members of its board. The port authority runs the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and its staff performs economic-development duties.
Heltzel said he favors the creation of a new board of directors that might or might not include appointment of current board members.
He said he doesn’t agree with Ditzler’s suggestion that the commissioners from both counties could take over the job of supervising the port authority staff.
“We don’t have the time for that or the expertise,” Heltzel said, noting that the current board consists of people with a lot of helpful training and experience such as an attorney and two pilots. Schiraldi is an accountant.
The commissioners from the two counties plan to meet again in the coming weeks.
Ditzler attended a port authority meeting April 23 at which Mahoning County appointment Don Hanni III accused the board’s chairman, James Floyd, of breaking Ohio law as a result of taking a blank port authority check to an auction involving property Mahoning County wanted to acquire for its county dog shelter.
Also at that meeting, Sarah Lown, economic development manager for the port authority, reported that a recently hired assistant resigned because of her “discomfort with Mr. Hanni’s behavior” when he showed up at the port authority’s offices on Champion Street in Youngstown seeking public records.