Trumbull commissioners name 11 people, three alternates, to budget review committee

By Ed Runyan


Trumbull County commissioners on Tuesday released a list of 11 people they have selected to sit on the citizens budget review committee.

Committee members’ job will be to evaluate the county’s finances and offer recommendations to the commissioners on how to improve them.

Two people were eliminated because of conflicts involving their paid position or relationship with a paid employee – Ron Knight, who is a member of the board of elections, and Genevieve Germaniuk, wife of Coroner Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk.

The commissioners also placed three people on an “alternates” list, meaning they will serve on the committee “only if [there is a] conflict with one of the member’s schedule.”

They are John Talstein of Niles, Mike Bollas of Warren and Ben Kyle of Hubbard.

Those chosen are Rich Musick of Cortland; Stephan Stoyak of Liberty; Michael M. Matas of Cortland; Barry Profato and Larry Connelly of Niles; Guy Coviello of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber; and John Sandberg, Brian Angelo, Bernice Marino, Atty. Jeff Goodman and Paul Clouser, all of Warren.

Vindicator files show that Talstein and Musick served on a previous committee – a nine-member group that helped in the selection of a county administrator in 2007 to replace Tony Carson Jr. after Carson resigned in 2006.

The position was never filled. The former chief clerk, Paulette Godfrey, has been serving as interim county administrator since shortly after Carson left. Bollas attended budget hearings the commissioners had in April 2015 to discuss the possibility of increasing the sales tax by a quarter percent.

Bollas, who was retired from the Ohio auditor’s office with 40 years of experience in auditing, offered at that time to “head up an independent group of taxpayers” who would examine the county’s finances and make a recommendation to the commissioners before they decided on whether to increase the sales tax. Commissioner Dan Polivka has been talking about forming such a committee since late November, saying he wouldn’t support an increase in the sale tax until after a citizens budget review committee had looked at the county’s finances and an attempt was made to reduce costs by combining services.

The commissioners approved a budget last week of $44.6 million, which is about $1.1 million less than the $45.7 million budget approved in 2016.

Auditor Adrian Biviano says he anticipates the county having about a $2 million carry-over at the end of 2017, which he says is too little.

Vindicator files indicate that the $44.6 million 2017 budget is less than the $46.1 million budget approved in 2009. Their 2008 pre-recession budget was $43.9 million. County employees have 10 percent of their health care cost deducted from their paycheck, and the total cost of their health insurance is $21,600 per year for a family plan and $7,800 for an individual plan.

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