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Comment history

Youngstown’s new mayor not new to politics in city

You've got to be kidding, Vindicator. Why such a glowing endorsement after less than one week on the job and where the first order of business is to align yourself with one-term city council members with no professional education or experience in urban matters - an obvious 'what's in it for me' political move - to serve as your problem solving team?

Additionally, it seems hypocritical that a paper which prides itself on journalism campaigns like 'Government Watch', who spends attorney fees on fighting for open and transparent government would not be more cautious in editorials in which the people they are endorsing have an obvious history with and connection to the same people who the paper spends a barrel of ink over in corruption coverage.

Longstanding, obvious issues need to be (and likely will) be corrected in Youngstown over the next two years. I hope this administration gets some much needed things accomplished. However, the people who are being aligned to make the decisions need to continue to be examined just the same. Editorials such as this only give a pass (to any leadership). That's not helpful nor is it responsible. Youngstown needs leadership who presents a respectable image for this community JUST AS MUCH as it needs problems solved. Anything less is a step backwards.

August 11, 2011 at 12:59 p.m. suggest removal

Mayor: New chief of police will be hired from within

Chuck Sammarone is a notorious backroom dealer who has been in the system for nearly 30 years and is connected with people like Anthony Cafaro. Did virtually nothing as City Council President. His first action: to surround himself with...

1. Top Assistant DeMaine Kitchen:
Didn't even complete a single term as a Councilman and presented no original legislation in his first term. He hasn't paid his property taxes in over two years and just went through foreclosure.

2. Council President Tito Brown:
Brown was fired from a job at YSU for incompetence. Served as campaign manager for Jay Williams along with Herman Hill (the actual campaign manager) and given a political job as Human Relations Director for the City of Youngstown. Attempted to run against David Ludt for County Commissioner in 2006; withdrew and was given another political job by then Mahoning County Tres and convicted felon Lisa Antonini, a position which he currently holds. As with Kitchen, hasn't completed one full term as City Councilman. As a school board member, the system steadily declined. As a MYCAP board member, the organization was nearly eliminated for lack of oversight. Kitchen is on the MYCAP board as well.

Oh, by the way, Brown and Kitchen are related.

Come on, people. This is obvious backroom political dealing about who gets what. That may be a certain reality in government no matter where you are, however, none of these people have a history of getting things done. This is embarrassing even by Youngstown's standards.

This team will be in place for over two years. Hopefully, there will be some OBVIOUS changes made, however, people need to know who these people are and what is going on politically.

August 10, 2011 at 12:21 p.m. suggest removal

Williams says farewell; Sammarone appoints assistant

Mayor Chuck Sammarone
Chief of Staff DeMaine Kitchen
Council President Tito Brown

We have a Mayor who was as lazy as they come as a City Council President, a notorious backroom dealer, and worried about how the job as Mayor will effect his YMCA schedule.

Our new Chief of Staff hasn't paid his property taxes in over two years and just went through foreclosure; was an inactive, one-term experienced 2nd Ward Councilman who rarely engaged his constituents and presented hardly any original legislation.

Brown was fired from a job at YSU for incompetence. Was given a political job by Jay Williams (Human Relations Director) for serving as campaign director of his campaign (which he a front man; Herman Hill was the real brains behind the operation). Was given another political job by Lisa Antonini at the Mahoning County Treasures office. As a school board member, the system steadily declined. As a MYCAP board member, the organization was nearly eliminated for lack of oversight (Kitchen is on the MYCAP board as well).

Oh, did I mention that Brown and Kitchen are also related?

Now, Sammarone is attempting to set this dynamic dou up for a 2014 mayoral bid.

Only in Youngstown.

August 2, 2011 at 8:45 p.m. suggest removal

Sammarone to pick new chief of staff

It is rumored that Sammarone is considering 2nd Ward Councilman DeMaine Kitchen for Chief of Staff.

If he does, in fact, choose Kitchen - who, by the way, is related to soon-to-be Council President Tito Brown (who wants to run for Mayor) - it will be clear that Sammarone is about political deal making rather than actual progress (however, we can rest assured that the proper spin will be fed to the public if such a decision is made).

The people of this area need to understand what is at play here. We cannot be allowed to be reduced back to the political stone ages where political products continue to dominate the leadership structure. Too much progress and momentum has been made. A lot is at stake.

Stay tuned.

July 27, 2011 at 11:24 a.m. suggest removal

Mayoral smack shocking

City Hall does not like bad press, especially from whistle blowing insiders who target friends of Mayor (and whom are among the administration). That being the case, Steve Novotny's approach in dealing with the problem can be debated but the larger issue(s) he raises are legitimate. The demolition procedures (in general) are worthy of serious review as are many other departmental practices. City Hall transparency remains weak and the ability to provide a “check” on certain items is difficult. To highlight one glaring example, the City of Youngstown does not have a Human Resources department. Seriously.

While Jay Williams (the individual) has proven to be a great orator and has done an exceptional job in elevating the city's profile to a national level by articulating a new vision for the community, City Hall, by and large, has been and remains poorly managed. Rarely do members of the administration meet to discuss collective strategy, communication is poor, departmental infighting is prevalent and community outreach is almost non-existent unless in reaction to a particular issue. While the problems of the city cannot be placed on one individual (or even administration), many believe an important problem with the current administration is that Williams is a respectable and well-liked person but he simply is not a hands-on type of Mayor nor did he surround himself with real problem solvers. A number of his administration were re-hires from previous administrations or friends from his church with little or no previous professional experience in the positions they occupy. In a city with enormous challenges and after six years, the results have become self-evident. Youngstown 2010 inspired many citizens, business owners, foundations and community groups to fight for Youngstown (which is the real success story), however, City Hall has not been able to match that momentum largely for the reasons aforementioned.

Jay Williams will serve the City of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley much better at the state or federal level as an advocate of or representative for the area (such as Auto Czar). He's intelligent, articulate, will build a following and will help to bring exposure to the problems that community's like Youngstown face. However, the city of Youngstown needs an aggressive, innovative, relationship-building, hands-on cadre of leadership willing to work with the people and partners who live here now and are willing to do the extremely difficult work that needs done day in and day out. The challenge is simply too great not have any in place anything but this.

December 20, 2010 at 12:49 p.m. suggest removal

City-financed network for crime watch malfunctions

From the MVOC website...

Phil Kidd was born July 2nd, 1979 and raised in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania - a small town located near Weirton, WV and Steubenville, OH. Phil's grandfather and uncle worked at Weirton Steel in Weirton, WV. His father worked in county-based redevelopment and his mother is a property auditor for the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. Phil came to Youngstown in 1998 to attend Youngstown State University where he majored in Political Science/Criminal Justice and joined the Army ROTC program.

Upon graduation, Phil served as an officer in the United States Army. He returned to Youngstown in 2004, intrigued by the city's now nationally and internationally recognized planning effort, Youngstown 2010. Inspired by the vision of the plan and armed only initially with a sign which he held downtown, Phil launched a major information and volunteer-based movement known as "Defend Youngstown" which has been reconized both nationally and internationally. Phil has also completed graduate level course work in Criminal Justice at Youngstown State.

At MVOC, Phil currently works with neighborhood groups on the South, North and West Sides on neighborhood engagment, issue & project planning and grant writing. He is also the lead organizer of the Vacant Property Organizing Campaign and is co-organizer of the Youngstown Grey to Green Festival.

Before joining the MVOC staff, Phil worked for the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas and also served as the City of Youngstown's Director of Downtown Events and Marketing. He is currently acting Vice President of the Mayor's Community Foundation, is a board member of the Regional Chamber's Government Affairs Council, the Mahoning County-Youngstown Vacant Properties Steering Committee, City of Youngstown's Design Review Committee, and a former board member of the Raymond John Wean Foundation's Neighborhood Success Grant Program.

Phil is a Class of 2008 Leadership Mahoning Valley and 2009 Mahoning Valley Government Leadership Academy graduate. He is also a two time "Top 40 under 40" recipient, receiving recognition as "Most Valuable Professional" in 2008; recipient of the 2010 Individual Professional Service Award by the Mahoning Valley Task Force on Crime and Violence Prevention; named a "Champion of Change" by WYTV Channel 33. He was also selected as a Fellow for the German Marshall Fund "Cities in Transition" initiative and recognized as an "American Vanguard" by Next American City Magazine which identifies the nation's top 35 professionals under the age of 35 regarding urban affairs.

Phil resides on the city's north side.

November 1, 2010 at 5:35 p.m. suggest removal

Valley shrimp are no shrimps


Not sure where you are going with the Phil Kidd comment. It's pretty widely known that Phil Kidd and MVOC are of the same opinion of Ron Eiselstein that you are (as are most people who have been around here long enough). I think you should comb that site a bit further. You're likely to find some pretty heated exchanges with a lot similar information that you have provided about Ron. If memory serves me correctly, the thread you referencing had to do with the north side arsons. I'm pretty sure that was when Phil and the north side group began to learn more about Ron. I'd look it up myself but it's late and I don't have the time or interest. The point remains: Ron is a manipulative jerk. Avoid if at all possible.

October 14, 2010 at 12:54 a.m. suggest removal

Valley shrimp are no shrimps

Well, lombardo (or possibly Ron...who knows, he uses multiple names in order to make it appear multiple people agree with him on these threads and other websites), you would certainly be in the vast minority in your opinion of Ron. Mr. Eiselstein has made his own bed. He can blame everyone around him for his frustration but he needs only to look in the mirror. Besides his sleazy, bottom feeding business approaches and his failure to pay his debts (like every other business person or taxpayer), his general approach in the way he deals with people is not helpful or productive. He takes pleasure in manipulating and agitating people and the criticism he receives is more than well deserved.

October 11, 2010 at 10:08 p.m. suggest removal

Valley shrimp are no shrimps


Ron, give it up. It's pathetic. All one has to do is identify your IP address or review the history of the comments.

@fitnessbuff: Ron has done more harm than good when it comes to revitalizing the city. There are so many court cases against this man because he has gotten in way over his head in attempting to bottom feed off of this community by purchasing more property than he could adequately manage. He then also began purchasing a great number of land parcels...and doesn't pay his taxes of the majority of them. The above is a summary.

The irony is that he complaints that Youngstown is full of entitled people who want handouts...yet he pays no taxes for his business endeavors and expects assistance / admiration from everyone to include the city (permits, zoning, etc). He's walking, talking hypocrite.

The bottomline is that Ron is in more debt that you can shake a prawn at which is why he'll say and do anything to create the illusion that he is a "victim" and that government picks on the "producers" like himself. Most nearly anyone that doesn't buy his BS is the enemy. What he doesn't realize that the people who hold this opinion of him are actually the people attempting to do something about turning this community around in a honest manner - community leaders, faith-based leaders, community organizations, business persons, university officials, etc.

He has no following other than new people who he meets and attempts to manipulate (which he's very good at). Eventually, people begin to ask questions about him to other people which they then quickly realize he's just a low level conman always looking to see what he can get away with a past that speaks for itself.

Many people in the community - from the Mayor to church leaders to business leaders to the dirctor of the public library system - will tell you the same. How much does it take for a pattern of concensus opinion to be established? He likes to make a lot of noise but that's about it. It's just ashame that he's the individual who is involved with urban aquaculture because it's a good idea. Hopefully, the idea will be more fully developed by someone who is not such a jerk of a human being and possesses so much baggage on so many levels.

Oh, by the way: the company in which is involved with the shrimp prawn sites is listed under the business name Jazzland LLC...the sites are also tax delinquent with liens.

FYI: Eiselstein = Firepearl, Caraga, and Jazzland.

October 11, 2010 at 1:03 p.m. suggest removal

Valley shrimp are no shrimps

You've got it, censoredship. If you are a half reasonable businessperson and decent human being in this community, more or less, this place will welcome you with open arms.

This guy is a manipulative scavenger feeding off of a wounded community leaving behind a worse place in which he found it…hiding behind a pantry store, a few prawn and a cry that he’s a constantly the victim of anything or anyone that doesn’t buy into his bs.…from city hall to the church hall. Always looking for what he can get away with, he is a spin-master and a jerk of a human being.

The chickens are coming home to roost in this message thread and it’s a good thing for this community.

September 30, 2010 at 5:47 p.m. suggest removal



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