Liberty Township rehires a retired Pat Ungaro

Published: Wed, September 13, 2017 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Graig Graziosi


A longtime Mahoning Valley politician is back to work as township administrator.

At their meeting Monday, trustees rehired Pat Ungaro, previously the mayor of Youngstown and a 15-year Liberty administrator, in a 2-1 vote.

Trustees Stanley Nudell and Jodi Stoyak voted to rehire Ungaro. Trustee Jason Rubin voted no.

“Pat’s done wonderful things for Liberty, and I think he’s an excellent administrator. My vote is no reflection of my feelings for him or his work,” Rubin said. “But I’m strongly opposed to retire-rehire across the board. We’re still in the red financially, and hiring an administrator isn’t going to help us balance our budget, regardless of what the state says.”

The township uses a home-rule government, which requires it to appoint an administrator.

Stoyak argued that though she would prefer to see a young person take over the position, the township – which has been in fiscal caution since 2013 – couldn’t afford paying someone a $100,000 yearly salary to take over the job. She went on to praise Ungaro for his accomplishments and argued his government experience wouldn’t be matched in a younger candidate.

Ungaro will make an annual salary of $14,400 and must work a minimum of 12 hours a week in his role as administrator. He retired from his position as administrator in June but continued acting as an unpaid consultant since his retirement.

“I’m generally opposed to retire-rehire,” Nudell said. “But in certain instances it makes the most fiscal sense to make that decision.”

After the vote concerning Ungaro, the trustees discussed the township’s water contract, which will be up for renewal next year. Currently, half the township buys its water from the city of Girard at a 40 percent markup. Girard buys its water from Youngstown, also at a 40 percent markup.

Stoyak wants a better deal for township residents, and she pushed for the trustees to seriously consider alternative means for providing water to Liberty in anticipation of the contract’s expiration.

The trustees also recognized the retirement of police Capt. Steve Shimko, who served 28 years in the department.

Police Chief Richard Tisone presented Shimko with a plaque and praised the officer for his years of service.

“He’s always been someone the department and community can rely on,” Tisone said.

Among other accomplishments, Shimko was responsible for obtaining the grant that allowed officers to purchase bulletproof vests.

The trustees also approved $25,000 to be used for repaving the parking lot of the Belmont Avenue fire station. Stoyak voted against the resolution, saying she preferred the money go toward building a central fire station.

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