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Mayor, council at odds over Youngstown redistricting



Published: Wed, May 21, 2014 @ 10:56 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN

City council voted today to hire a Westlake firm to develop plans to redistrict Youngstown’s seven wards, but the mayor says the administration won’t pay for work he calls unnecessary.

The 5-1 vote at the end of the meeting came as a surprise to Councilman Paul Drennen, the lone no vote, and to Mayor John A. McNally, who says the board of control — of which he is chairman — won’t vote to pay the fee to Triad Research Group, the company chosen by council.

McNally says the dozen maps provided by Youngstown State University’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies to city council about nine months ago are acceptable. YSU’s center received $3,854 from the city for its work.

Councilwoman Janet Tarpley, D-6th, said most members want a second opinion. If the board of control won’t allocate money for Triad, council members will draw new ward lines themselves, she said.

Also today, council heard from four people who spoke against the Ohio Department of Natural Resources issuing a permit to Industrial Waste Control/Ground Tech Inc. and Austin Master Services to handle potentially radioactive materials generated from shale drilling at 240 Sinster Court.

For the complete story, read Thursday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com


Comments

1handymandave(474 comments)posted 4 months ago

With the Mayor looking like he might be in legal trouble and forced to abandon his position Instead of 5 minutes with the Mayor, shouldn't McNally be called the five minute Mayor?

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2L0L(660 comments)posted 4 months ago

Very inteligent outlook council. You want a second opinion but if they won't pay for it you're going to "draw the lines yourself". Ya that makes sense. Why use a department at YSU that knows what they're doing when you can "draw the lines yourself". No wonder why Youngstown doesn't change. There's no one behind the wheel.

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3walter_sobchak(1910 comments)posted 4 months ago

Seven wards were fine when the city was 150,000 people. But, since the city is only about 65,000 now, the number of wards should be reduced to four which could be very easily drawn using the Mahoning river and Mill Creek park. West side, south side, east side and north side including the CBD in downtown. No need to spend one penny because, in the long run, is it really going to matter? Save the money and fill some potholes.

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4polhack(129 comments)posted 4 months ago

Amen Sobchak and LOL. Don't forget though that Ms Tarpley's Vindy quote also demonstrated that her command of the situation equals her ability to speak English. "We know where the people are at, I don't want to do it ourselves, but we'll do that if we have no alternative." Sheesh, this is Y-town's best and brightest!? Maybe she, like Ms Gillam, just wants to gerrymander the ward lines enough to include her house in a ward where her public statements don't require interpretation.

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5YtownParent(324 comments)posted 4 months ago

Ah Walter, you asked the best question: ""in the long run is it really going to matter?" In the long run, it matters to taxpayers because it would save us having to pay for unneeded and unwanted positions. Council is taking the our way or the hi-way tact because in the long run it matters to 3 council members who would lose their positions. The only way the redistricting will be done to the benefit of the population instead of to keep the city council on their seats is if it gets placed on the ballot.

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6goodoldboystown(14 comments)posted 4 months ago

Let me see if I understand the logic of council. They do not trust the people who are trained at YSU to do the work so they want to draw the lines themselves? And their qualifications are what? And then what, they will pay themselves also?

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7johnyoung(241 comments)posted 4 months ago

Contrary to Mr. Skolnick's opening statement, City Council does not have the legal authority to "hire" anyone. In accordance with Youngstown's Charter, this type of legislation passed by City Council merely enables the Board of Control (Mayor, Finance Director, Law Director) to enter into contracts. So it is the Board of Control which actually does the hiring. Without Board approval, the State Auditor will not approve payment.

I would like to see this sorry bunch of council members actually authorize Triad Research Group to do the work, so that they can be held personally responsible for paying the bill.

Time for a wholesale change on City Council. We need members who first understand their roles, and second act in the public's best interest.

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