New faces in Struthers government set goals for the coming year
By Graig Graziosi
After the birth of his daughter, Dallas Bigley decided to run for Struthers City Council.
Knowing his daughter would grow up in the city, Bigley wanted to have a more active hand in guiding its future. He ran, and he won, securing a councilman-at-large position formerly belonging to James Kosek.
He is one of four new faces – three council members and the law director – beginning their terms in the city’s government. The council members were sworn in in early December, while the law director was sworn-in in early January.
Bigley is joined by fellow freshmen Richard Bayus, 4th Ward councilman, and Ronald Carcelli, 2nd Ward councilman.
Bayus and Carcelli replace former council members Robert Carcelli and Carol Crytzer, respectively.
John Zomoida has taken the reins as law director and city prosecutor, filling the position left vacant by the election of former law director Dominic Leone to Struthers Municipal Court Judge.
Bigley is the owner and operator of both Bigley Landscape Property Management as well as State Street Billiards and Bowling in downtown Struthers, which was formerly Bowladrome Lanes.
He said he intends to work to reduce blight in the city and to try to attract new business, particularly to the relatively abandoned downtown district of the city.
“We’ve watched over time as blight has increased and businesses have moved away,” Bigley said. “We’ve watched long enough, now we need to see some change.”
Ronald Carcelli – who formerly ran the city’s street department and served on the Struthers school board for 20 years – said he’ll be available to his constituents by phone and, once the weather breaks, he’ll take regular walks through the ward to meet face-to-face with other residents.
Carcelli was indicted in 2002 on felony charges of bribery, theft in office and theft related to his involvement in a paving contract while he was street supervisor. The bribery and theft charges were dismissed at that time and the theft-in-office charge was amended to a misdemeanor in 2005.
His record was expunged in 2012 and he served no jail time related to the charges.
Like Bigley, Carcelli said he wants to see blight reduced and a return of businesses to the city as well as the continuation of resurfacing projects throughout the community.
“We need to keep our jobs here so we can keep families here,” he said. “The projects we pursue as a council need to impact the whole community.”
Bayus, who ran for council once before in 2015, has operated Rick Bayus Motors in Struthers for 21 years and has lived in the city all his life.
One of Bayus’s more immediate goals is to increase the number of activites and events hosted at Mauthe Park. He also hopes to establish a dog park at the location.
Similar to Carcelli, Bayus intends to push for the continuation of infrastructure projects throughout the city, focusing specifically on the repair of sidewalks that have fallen into disrepair.
Before becoming law director, Zomoida began his law career in Ashtabula, where he worked as a prosecutor between 2001 and 2004. Since then he has been in private practice – now called Anthony & Zomoida – that deals primarily in business litigation and bankruptcy.
“As law director, I’m going to bring impartial, unbiased legal opinions to council and the administration. My job is to interpret the ordinances passed by the council and ensure they can be understood by future council members,” Zomoida said. “I also want to make this courthouse and municipal building as accessible to the residents of the city as possible. I want them to feel like this place is theirs because it is theirs.”