Saturday, August 25, 2018
By Ed Runyan
Rebecca Gerson, who became Trumbull County administrator, transit administrator and purchasing director April 9, announced she is leaving the job Sept. 6 to return to her law practice.
Before becoming county administrator, she was deputy Youngstown law director and an assistant Mahoning County prosecutor.
Commissioner Enzo Cantalamessa said Richard Jackson, the county human resources director, has agreed to fill the additional roles of county administrator and purchasing director when Gerson leaves.
Cantalamessa said he hoped to keep Jackson in the job for about six months and then re-evaluate how it’s working.
Jackson had initially applied to be county administrator but rescinded the application. Some questioned whether it was proper for him to apply for a job after having written the job description for it.
Jackson said Friday it will be difficult to do the three jobs, “but it’s what the county needs right now.”
Cantalamessa said the job of transit administrator is the more pressing matter because there are grant deadlines and other issues that need to be addressed, so he has asked the Trumbull Transit board to begin an immediate search for a replacement.
Mark Hess, the longtime former transit administrator who retired this year for medical reasons, has agreed to help out until a new transit administrator can be found.
Trumbull Transit operates the county’s public transportation system, which operates on money from grant funds, the county senior citizens levy and ridership fees.
Cantalamessa said it is difficult to say based on Gerson’s time in the three jobs whether it worked well having a county administrator. One reason is that Gerson missed work quite a bit.
Commissioner Frank Fuda said he believes she missed about 17 days of work in less than five months on the job. An attempt to get an exact number of days Gerson missed was unsuccessful.
Fuda, who opposed the creation of the county administrator position, said he believes Gerson spent most of her time on transit matters and little as county administrator or purchasing director.