Lisa Oles' replacement to be decided by her campaign committee


By ROBERT CONNELLY

rconnelly@vindy.com

AUSTINTOWN

The selection of Lisa Oles’ replacement as township trustee will be made by her campaign committee, township officials say.

That is because trustees Jim Davis and Ken Carano could not agree on whom to appoint.

Davis favored the Rev. Rick Stauffer, pastor of Tabernacle Evangelical Presbyterian Church on Raccoon Road, while Carano favored someone who would not run in the November election for the seat.

Oles resigned as a township trustee effective Feb. 1 and had recommended the Rev. Mr. Stauffer to fill her 10-month vacancy, as he had filled the remainder of David Ditzler’s term in 2013 after Ditzler was elected to the Mahoning County Board of Commissioners.

Oles’ committee still has a majority — three of the four members are still in the area — so that decision will be made by them in early March, township officials said Monday at the trustee meeting.

“Ken and I agree to disagree, but that’s what township government is for,” Davis said. “A lot of it was based off the simple fact that we had a lot of great, qualified candidates.”

Davis and Carano provided The Vindicator with some of the names of township residents who showed interest in the vacancy: Andrea Paventi and Andy Frost Jr., who both applied to fill Ditzler’s 2013 vacancy; Mr. Stauffer, who did fill Ditzler’s vacancy; Bruce Shepas and Dave Stryffeler, who both ran for trustee in 2013; and Chris Lewis, Brent Davis, Bill Basista, Walt Duzzny and Atty. Alden Chevlen.

Though Davis said he recommended Mr. Stauffer, Carano did not specify a certain favored candidate. Davis cited the fact that Mr. Stauffer has been involved in Austintown and his previous interim-trustee tenure. Carano cited precedent of an interim replacement not seeking election for that November.

“It’s not a personal thing at all,” Carano said of not endorsing the township pastor. “The man is a phenomenal human being, and he did a great job as a trustee in the interim,” he said.

Davis said he expects Oles’ campaign to select a candidate and that person would be sworn in before the next trustees meeting March 9.

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