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Comment history

Youngstown will seek financial commitments before designing and building an amphitheater

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Aside from Skolnick helping the city sell snake oil, I truly have to marvel at how dimwitted council members are. We have Mike Ray (purportedly uses his grandparents’ address to be a city council member) who thinks the amphitheater is a great idea. He professes to be a businessman. Yet, clump him with the rest of council members and Sammarone, and all I can see is a bunch of idiots throwing darts at a board trying to revitalize the city of Youngstown at taxpayers’ expense. Mike Ray can’t even get Schenley Avenue paved. Bozanich was throwing at all these ideas about a park, connections to the Metro Park with a bike trail. People are still scared to come into Youngstown because of high crime. All of these assertions are unrealistic, don’t include any kind of thought out economic development rationale, and, in the end, will only end up costing city taxpayers millions of dollars. Last night’s council meeting and ratification of $90,000 for consulting fees was more like witnessing a crap shoot at the craps table with Skolnick helping out by throwing the dice.

How much more inane can city politics get?

December 19, 2013 at 10:16 a.m. suggest removal

Youngstown will seek financial commitments before designing and building an amphitheater

Here we go again with Skolnick’s slanted journalism. I really have to hold him to task on this one, first, because he thinks he’s become a part of city council. It’s remarkable that over time, Skolnick has been given a place at the same table as department heads, council members, and the mayor when city council convenes its meetings. Skolnick’s apparent parity with council has clouded his vision and similar ability to provide unbiased journalism. When he writes these articles, he sounds more like another city politician trying to sell Youngstown residents snake oil.
What Skolnick’s article excludes are the gross exaggerations or misrepresentations by Sammarone and Bozanich. Sammarone was in rare form trying to sell the idea that the city would be making money, hand over fist, through concession sales if the amphitheater is built in the city. Such a mindset is counter intuitive to what the function of local government should be. In addition, the largest premise when city leaders first jumped on board to build the Youngstown Convocation Center was to produce a major downtown revitalization of Youngstown. That this convocation center, now the Covelli Centre, hasn’t been the impetus for a major downtown revitalization should give everyone pause before forging ahead with an amphitheater. Bozanich also just flat out provided, hmmm, lies? No, I’ll just call them gross misrepresentations. Bozanich was touting how much the Covelli Centre was worth in dollars and cents. However, we didn’t see any big presentation at last night’s council meeting that supports his affirmation that the Centre is worth more than $60 million. I have to ask if Boaznich even knows how to calculate the net worth of the Covelli Centre. Its historical cost is somewhere between $42 and $45 million dollars. We would know its true historical cost if Bozanich ever made that report public. We also don’t know how Bozanich is depreciating the building. But, let’s say it’s over fifty years (unrealistic, but for the sake of argument). The building has already depreciated almost $8 million. Its net worth is nowhere near $60 million.
Here are the other things missing from Skolnick’s article: Skolnick glaringly fails to provide what impact the building of an amphitheater would have on other surrounding similar entertainment centers. The first that comes to mind is the one in Warren and the Morley Pavilion in the Metro Park. Skolnick fails to recognize that naming rights for an amphitheater would be significantly less than the $360,000 Panera paid for the Covelli Centre. Even if the amphitheater garnered $360,000 (highly unlikely), just what in heaven’s name does Bozanich think we can build with that?!

(continued)

December 19, 2013 at 10:15 a.m. suggest removal

Youngstown council to vote on hiring firm for Covelli amphitheater

I'm gonna pick on Walter a little bit here because his attitude is so reminiscent of those attitudes held by council members, a council president, and our nearly octogenarian mayor (You might as well throw the Finance Director in there, too.), who repeatedly refuse to use the resources of Youngstown State University. And, in those infrequent times when city leaders did ask YSU for help, they just flat out reject recommendations and well thought out, educated sage advice. They sit on their hands because they feel such recommendations or advice interfere with their perceived powers of influence on council, in the city, or in the mayor's office. The city's history is full of such anecdotal evidence.

Further, Walter, it is just an outdoor amphitheater. As someone unschooled in such designs, even I wouldn't consider making some haphazard addition to the Covelli Centre. I do know, though, that it needs to be built on our old brown fields, and for that you better have some kind of engineer, not an architect, assessing what can be built there.

In the end, I'm not certain why involving the community, involving graduate talent from YSU, and involving the mentoring leadership of a local consulting firm through STEM wouldn't be a good idea. In the least and by my calculation, it saves Youngstown taxpayers $70,000. I'm fairly certain most talented graduate students would be thankful for a $5,000 internship award in exchange for a dynamite project.

Honestly, what is wrong with people sometimes?!

December 17, 2013 at 1:20 p.m. suggest removal

Mayor-elect McNally is the decider

@terrapinst:

And, that is part of the issue, this myopic focus on what you think unions did to this country. You need look no further than Democratic and Republican politicians, alike, who voted to ratify international trade agreement, and continue to do so, with countries that are not at parity with our economy. Thus, we get junk steel from China, junk parts from South Korea, and yet, you want to blame the unions for what happened here?! Go take your beer goggles off.

December 12, 2013 at 3:03 p.m. suggest removal

Dann's admits affair with Utovich, but won't resign

What a slime bucket. And this guy is supposed to be Ohio's top attorney? Resign. Do all of us a favor, the taxpayers of Ohio, that is.

May 3, 2008 at 8:03 a.m. suggest removal

Will Dann survive the crisis?

Dann should resign irrespective of what his wife might think. A prerequisite to one of the highest offices in Ohio is the requirement of avoiding all appearances of impropriety. Dann has been immersed from the beginning in all kinds of controversy. The time has come when someone with integrity and honesty who should run the AG's office. We never heard of these problems when Betty Montgomery was in office.

April 20, 2008 at 8:26 p.m. suggest removal

Meshel advises Dann: Tell all

Well, I don't echo the sentiments of the Governor or party leaders from whence Dann came. In my mind, he's nothing but a second-rate attorney general in an office that's been plagued by drama and controversy ever since he took office. He should resign and let an honest attorney run our state AG's office.

April 17, 2008 at 6:38 a.m. suggest removal

Gains disputes ad about convictions

Following so closely on the heels of the Vindicator's Opinion piece yesterday endorsing Paul Gains, I have to say that Heidi Hanni truly puts everything into a more accurate perspective.

The Vindicator has lost touch with its readership if it thinks that Paul's baseless recriminations has had any influence on those people who have been waiting years to vote him out of office. All we've needed is someone who can raise the bar just a little higher than Gains did in his eight years in office. He simply cannot ignore prior leadership deficits and he cannot continue to blame everyone else for issues that fall squarely on his own shoulders.

I, for one, cannot wait for election day. The black days of Paul Gains' legacy need to come to an end.

February 23, 2008 at 9:54 a.m. suggest removal

Gains’ experience outweighs opponent’s good intentions

I knew it was just a matter of time before I would open my paper and see the Vindicator's glowing endorsement of Paul Gains as the Mahoning County Prosecutor. I knew the day I would see such an endorsement, it would be an indictment that things have truly come to an end here in Mahoning County and for Youngstown. The reasons for his endorsement were just over the top and brought me to hysterics.

The Vindicator has yet again lost touch with its readership and the direction this county is taking in the form of its younger and even conservative voters. Some of us have opened the paper time and time again, only to read about some other blunder or paperwork foul up committed at the hands of Paul Gains. The Vindy has lost touch because almost every person I've talked to is so hellbent on getting this man out of office. It would take less of a person than Heidi Hanni to make this happen.

I am one of those people who will be voting for Heidi Hanni, and I also think there will be droves voting for her. She may be inexperienced, but anything would be an improvement over Paul Gains. I think she'll be able to cut the mustard.

Personally, I think the Vindicator's editorial staff should get their heads checked. It is time for change, and it's time for Paul to move on.

February 23, 2008 at 1:09 a.m. suggest removal

Stop, look, listen before judging local homeless

Thanks to people like Boccieri, we can add veterans to our list of homeless people.

January 20, 2008 at 12:58 a.m. suggest removal

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