Boardman Civic Association event highlights 2017 candidates, ballot issues
By Jordyn Grzelewski
While Ohio leads the country in terms of drug-overdose deaths, it ranks 50th in the nation in terms of its state spending on child welfare.
And, if the state were to double its spending on children’s services, it still would rank 50th.
Representatives of Mahoning County Children Services highlighted those statistics Monday at the Boardman Civic Association’s Candidates and Issues event. The annual forum aims to inform the public about what will be on the November ballot.
Nikki Posterli and Jennifer Kollar spoke about the replacement levy Children Services seeks, framing the issue in terms of the opioid epidemic they said has significantly added to the department’s workload.
“It’s taken a tremendous toll not only on our agency, but on our families, and especially on our children,” Kollar said. “I’m sure you’ve heard some of the stories of wandering toddlers in our streets.”
The agency seeks to reset the original 0.5-mill levy (which has devaluated since it was passed in 1983) to its original millage, which would bring in $2,054,275 per year compared with the $1,316,517 it now raises.
The BCA event at Boardman Park’s Lariccia Family Community Center also highlighted two levy renewals sought by Boardman schools (a 1.6-mill permanent improvement levy and 5.9-mill current expenses levy); a 2.2-mill safety services levy the township seeks to renew; and a 0.25 percent WRTA sales tax. That sales tax was first approved in 2008 and previously has been renewed for five years at a time.
This time, WRTA seeks a continuing sales tax, meaning it doesn’t expire if approved.
Trustee Larry Moliterno characterized the safety-services levy, first approved in 2008, as a sign of how far the township has come since facing dire financial times about a decade ago.
“This levy represents the spirit of Boardman Township, and I ask that you renew it in November,” he said.
Also, a proponent of state Issue 2, which if approved would require state entities pay no more than what Veterans Affairs pays for pharmaceuticals, spoke. No one from the opposing campaign attended.
The audience also heard from candidates for the Boardman school board, Boardman trustee, and the county Educational Service Center board.
Running for three seats on the school board are Tracie Balentine, John Fryda and incumbents John Landers and Vickie Davis.
Running for two township trustees seats are David Moliterno and incumbents Brad Calhoun and Tom Costello. Larry Moliterno is running for state representative next year.
Running for three seats on the ESC board are Andrea Smesko and incumbents Jeff Good, Kathi McNabb Welsh and Richard Scarsella.