Stoyak resigns as chairwoman of the Liberty trustees.
By Samantha Phillips
Jodi Stoyak resigned from her position as chairwoman of the trustees but will remain as a trustee.
In a news release Thursday, Stoyak, who has been on the board 14 years, said she listed in her resignation letter she was resigning because she felt her work was “constantly being challenged and obstructed by Trustee Arnold Clebone,” who “created a hostile and malicious environment.”
Among her grievances with Clebone, she listed micro-management and a refusal to adhere to past practices.
“Given this environment, I believe the board will be better served by Mr. Clebone as chairman of the board,” Stoyak wrote in the release.
Clebone said he received the resignation letter, but has not discussed the chairman position with any trustees or township Administrator Pat Ungaro.
“If she wants me to take it, I have no problem. I look at it as a greater responsibility, but we are all equal, I would just be facilitating and coordinating the meetings,” Clebone said.
Any official appointment will be voted on by the board.
“It’s not a position of any greater power. It’s just a matter of being in charge of meetings, organizing the agenda. I’m glad to do it if it’s what the other two want me to do,” Clebone said.
While it’s common practice for a local government body to have a chairman, it’s not required, said law director Mark Finamore.
Although it’s likely Clebone or Cizmar will be appointed chairman, there won’t be any disruptions if someone isn’t appointed right away; they will just need to decide which trustee will facilitate each meeting and organize the agenda.
There has been some conflict between Clebone and Stoyak at recent meetings.
One example is when Clebone and Cizmar organized a meeting with Julie Green from the Trumbull County Planning Commission on Wednesday.
Stoyak read a statement during a special meeting with Nita Hendryx, chief project manager with the Auditor of State’s office Tuesday, that she had emailed Clebone and Cizmar requesting they reschedule the meeting with Green for after she returns from vacation Feb. 28, but they ignored her request.
There also were special meetings Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but Clebone said those meetings were to help educate him and Cizmar as new trustees.
“We all have the best interest of the township in mind. We won’t always agree, but we will move forward,” Clebone said.
Ungaro warned nothing will get done if there is conflict, and it’s imperative the trustees work together to tackle issues such as pursuing funding to fix more roads.
“I have confidence that it’s all going to work out in the best interest of the people,” Ungaro said. “Everything we do is for the township. If I was one of the trustees, I would have to understand that, in politics, you have to compromise, and be public with what you do.”