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Judge swears in new MetroParks board member

By Jordyn Grzelewski

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

By Jordyn Grzelewski


Judge Robert N. Rusu Jr. of Mahoning County Probate Court swore in Jeff Harvey for a three-year term on the Mill Creek MetroParks board.

The judge will swear in another new board member, Paul Olivier, at a later date.

The judge said Monday that Harvey and Olivier are “just as diverse” as the park itself.

Harvey is a longtime park volunteer; owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Boardman; and president of Audubon Society Mahoning Valley. Olivier is senior vice president/Chief Network Integration Officer for Mercy Health Youngstown.

“You try to mesh those types of individuals together,” Judge Rusu said, noting Harvey’s expertise in areas such as wildlife and nature education, and Olivier’s in business and budgets.

In other business, the board approved an update to the trust agreement governing the MetroParks’ foundation.

Board member Lee Frey and former board member Tom Shipka proposed changes to the trust agreement. The approved version is a consolidation of their proposals.

One change reduces the number of foundation committee members from 10 to seven. The amendment also increases the number of MetroParks board members on the committee from one to two; makes Judge Rusu responsible for appointing two committee members; and the park board responsible for appointing three.

The amended trust agreement prohibits committee members from serving if they have a conflict of interest. Frey said this means committee members cannot simultaneously serve on the boards of organizations which might be vying for the same donors, such as Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens.

The amendment also stipulates that foundation committee members must live in Mahoning County.

“Mahoning County residents voted for the levy. We’re the guardians of their money,” Frey said of the reason for that change.

The board also recognized MetroParks Golf Director Brian Tolnar for becoming the 136th certified Professional Golfers Association professional in the country. Tolnar is one of two professionals certified in Ohio for player development in PGA of America, said Aaron Young, MetroParks executive director.

The board also elected Frey as board president and Germaine Bennett as vice president.