TRUMBULL COUNTY Matas’ backing out of administrator job causes delay in COG’s official formation

By: Samantha Phillips


The man who was chosen as the Trumbull County administrator backed out of the position, which will cause a slight delay in official formation of the Trumbull County Council of Governments.

The council voted Feb. 28 to nominate Mike Matas, Lake County budget director, as executive director. Since Matas will be staying in Lake County, the council must select someone else.

John Hamercheck, president of the Lake County Board of Commissioners, sent a letter to the Trumbull County commissioners stating Mike Matas would remain budget director in Lake County in a letter dated Feb. 26.

James LaPolla, council chairman, said the organization needs to have all executive board members chosen before it submits forms to the state, but it’s a “mild setback” from the council’s point of view.

Before the next meeting March 28, LaPolla said the executive board will meet to discuss executive-director candidates.

As of now, Ted Webb, a Bazetta trustee, and Gary Lees, a Brookfield Township trustee, are serving as vice chairmen. Fred Bobovnyk, Weathersfield Township fiscal officer, is serving as interim fiscal officer until a permanent fiscal officer is established.

Twenty communities are involved in the council, which established bylaws Feb. 28. Each community pays dues between $100 and $300 depending on its size.

This year will be a “learning year” for the council, LaPolla said.

Hamercheck wrote in his letter, “A maximum effort on the part of Lake County has been made to retain Mr. Matas’ continued employment. Mr. Matas’ continued employment with Lake County is not a function of money, rather one of respect and principle.”

Mauro Cantalamessa, Trumbull County commissioner, said Matas was highly qualified for the position, and the commissioners are back at square one to select an administrator.

“They are willing to retain his service at any cost, which is a testament to Mr. Matas and his value there in Lake County,” he said.

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