MetroParks selection committee to meet tonight

By Jordyn Grzelewski


The committee tasked with recommending candidates for an open Mill Creek MetroParks board seat will meet tonight.

Judge Robert N. Rusu Jr. of Mahoning County Probate Court, the appointing authority for the park board, received 13 applications for the seat vacated after Dr. Robert Durick decided not to seek reappointment when his term expired Dec. 31.

The applicants include Frank Martin of Youngstown; Kathryn White of Boardman; Thomas Frost of North Jackson; Nicholas D’Alesio of Canfield; Franciso Nolasco of Youngstown; Robert Hird of Boardman; Anthony Bettile of Canfield; Gregory Smith of Warren; Jeff Harvey of Salem; Patrick Holcomb of Youngstown; James Frost of Boardman; James Callen of Mineral Ridge; and William Adams of Austintown.

The selection committee will forward recommendations to the judge, who will make the final decision.

Judge Rusu created the selection committee structure last year as a way to include community members in the appointment process. He appointed 10 people representing a broad swath of interests and affiliations with the park – for example, a former board member, some critics of the park board, a park volunteer, an anti-fracking advocate and a local businessman – to the selection committee.

This time around, three of the 10 original members will not participate. Harvey will not serve on the committee, since he is applying for the board seat. Kate Shipka opted not to serve because her husband, Tom Shipka, is now on the board. Dr. Y.T. Chiu also will not serve this time.

Returning to the selection committee are Rick Shale, Richard Scarsella, Robert Toman, Leo Daprile, Glen Cimaglia, Lynn Anderson and Andrew Detesco.

The first time the selection committee convened, the group met to review applicants and then later met to interview some of the candidates. The process resulted in the appointments of Tom Shipka and Lee Frey in June 2016.

The judge indicated he would find one additional person to join the committee, but he had not announced who it would be as of press time late last week.

The committee will meet at 6 p.m. at the Boardman branch of the county library system, 7680 Glenwood Ave. The meeting is not open to the public.

Judge Rusu has said he will not set a deadline for when a new board member must be in place.

The next MetroParks board meeting, which is a work session, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 13.

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