By any measure, one of the most important decisions Boardman Township trustees had to make this year was the hiring of a new police chief.
After all, residents of the township are used to having an outstanding law-enforcement officer at the helm of the 65-member department.
Chief Jack Nichols has served with distinction for eight years. He is a 40-year veteran of the department and his name has become synonymous with honest public service.
Finding a replacement for Nichols was a major challenge for Trustees Thomas Costello, Brad Calhoun and Larry Moliterno. Their diligence and laser-like focus on choosing the right individual have paid off.
In June, Costello, Calhoun and Moliterno announced the appointment of Todd Werth, who will retire as supervisory senior resident agent for the Youngstown office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Werth is a 20-year resident of Boardman and a U.S. Army veteran.
The new chief – he will be sworn in at the start of the new year – is active in various Boardman community activities. Werth, his wife and children are very much a part of the township’s civic life.
The trustees are to be commended for selecting such an ideal successor to Nichols. They have earned the appreciation and support of the residents.
We, therefore, unwaveringly endorse the re-election of Costello and Calhoun in the Nov. 7 general election. They are being challenged by a political novice, David Moliterno, a self-employed insurance agent and financial adviser. He is a distant cousin of Trustee Larry Moliterno.
While he comes across as sincere in his desire to serve, his background and experience pale in comparison to those of the incumbents.
While Boardman is facing many of the challenges confronting just about every community in the Mahoning Valley, Costello and Calhoun have been good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
“I believe that my 14 years in office, and especially the last eight, have given me the ability to work collaboratively with other elected officials in the best interest of Boardman Township,” Costello wrote in the candidate questionnaire sent to him by The Vindicator.
The president of James and Sons Insurance first served as a trustee from Dec. 13, 1999, through Dec. 3, 2005. He returned Jan. 1, 2010, and has continued to act in the best interest of Boardman, in particular, and the region, in general.
Calhoun, an eighth-grade teacher at Boardman Glenwood Junior High School, is completing his second four-year term.
The Austintown, Boardman, Canfield [ABC] Water District, the joint paving program with Austintown and Canfield, the joint salt- purchasing program with Mahoning County and Youngstown, and 9-1-1 dispatching are examples of the steps taken by the trustees to make government more cost-effective.
In their interviews with The Vindicator Editorial Board, the trustees talked about how the board has reduced spending over the past eight years to absorb the cuts in state funding.
About $500,000 has been slashed from the budget, and the trustees have worked closely with the employees to identify cost-saving measures.
Even so, Boardman Township will be getting a new main fire station to replace the current one that is in a state of disrepair.
In addition, township zoning regulations are being rewritten to ensure the integrity of the neighborhoods.
“The next four years will be a challenge, and our team has demonstrated the past eight years to be up for the difficult task,” Calhoun wrote in his Vindicator questionnaire. “The community needs involved and dedicated trustees.”
Yes, it does.
Boardman is the largest suburban community in the Mahoning Valley, and it requires the steady hand of governance to meet the challenges that loom.
Costello and Calhoun have earned the unwavering support of the voters on Nov. 7.
It is clear the board of trustees has found a winning formula to ensure that the needs of Boardman’s residents and businesses are met.