Invest in Canfield Twp.’s future; re-elect Maszczak
Canfield Township has long prided itself on its pleasingly high quality of life, its aesthetic allure and its robust residential and commercial growth, among many amenities of the community of 16,000 people and growing.
Skillful, businesslike, enterprising and forward-thinking leadership in township government clearly has played critical roles in establishing and maintaining that stellar reputation throughout the Mahoning Valley and beyond.
That’s why the election next week for township trustee carries so much weight for ensuring Canfield Township stays firmly on track for preserving its cherished assets while continuing improvements over the next four years.
Four viable candidates are seeking one trustee seat in next Tuesday’s election. They are the one-term incumbent Stephen Maszczak and challengers Joe Paloski, David Knarr and former trustee Anthony Bettile.
Bettile, as president of Buckeye Lawn Service for many years, no doubt would bring solid business acumen to the trustees’ table. A central tenet of his campaign has been reducing township expenditures by partnering with neighboring communities on purchases and other projects to achieve economies of scale that would lighten the load on the township budget and lessen the burden on township taxpayers.
He also strikes a populist chord with his pledge not to increase local taxes: “This isn’t a time to seek more money through levies or higher taxes but working smarter with the resources we have today.”
Knarr, too, as a longtime member of the township’s Zoning Board of Appeals, knows the inner workings of township government well. His No. 1 priority if elected would be “to listen to the voice of the township residents and act upon those concerns.” As an example, he cites negligence in maintaining township infrastructure, particularly its roads.
He also rails against “cumbersome” township regulations that represent intrusive big government at its worst. As an example, he cites one zoning regulation that forbids the Wendy’s restaurant on U.S. Route 224 from displaying its corporate flag underneath the American flag, as it does in nearly all of its other stores nationwide.
The third challenger, Joe Paloski, a nutrition educator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Mahoning County, however, presents the longest list of laments against the current board of trustees.
He argues that the township is three years behind in road maintenance, has dozens of shoddy catch basins in dire need of repair or replacement and suffers from the lack of a zoning inspector and administrative assistant. He also alleges fiscal mismanagement on the part of the current three-member trustees board.
To illustrate the latter complaint, he cites three examples for which he claims grant funds could have been used to finance work instead of dipping into the township treasury: a basketball court in the township park, town hall renovations and improvements to the township website.
Some of his laments, however, ring hollow.
Incumbent Maszczak points out that township trustees, in a move to preserve dwindling resources, chose not to implement a township paving program this year because most viewed township roads in fair to decent shape and because the price of salt had skyrocketed. A program is planned for next year. In addition, the most severely damaged roads in the township are not township-maintained.
As for the need for a zoning inspector, Maszczak says the positions of part-time zoning inspector and administrative assistant are being advertised and will be filled soon. And as for fiscal mismanagement, the incumbent gave credible reasons for spending some township funds for park and town-hall improvements.
In his four years in office, Maszczak clearly has developed an aptitude for leadership and has his finger on the pulse of his constituency. In a new term, he vows to work to attract more regional partnerships on township projects and to work more aggressively at securing grant funding to finance township improvements. Those are solid goals.
Based on his credible record and his ambitious vision for the future of Canfield Township, we endorse Maszczak without reservations.