Published May 21, 2006
Before he left for the richer climes of Palm Beach County, Fla., last summer, then Mahoning County Auditor George Tablack refused to sign off on the county's taking ownership of Oakhill Renaissance Place, the former Southside Medical Center. But last week, just months after his return to county government as director of the Office of Management and Budget, Tablack provided commissioners Anthony Traficanti and David Ludt with the level of comfort they needed to vote for county govenment's takeover of Renaissance Place.
Commissioner John McNally voted against the motion and sounded like the pre-Florida Tablack in explaining why. McNally looked unc0mfortable on television as he tried to justify his vote. He obviously wasn't expecting the motion.
What happened? He got snookered by Tablack, who also is county administrator. It is no secret that McNally has a personal relationship with the Cafaro family and that the county's take over of Renaissance Place will have a negative impact on the Cafaro Co. That's because Traficanti and Ludt have made it clear that they intend to move the Department of Jobs and Family Services and the Child Support Enforcement Agency from the McGuffey Plaza, which is owned by the Cafaro Co., to the South Side complex. Anthony Cafaro, head of the company, has it made it clear that he does not intend to lose the JFS and CSEA leases without a fight.
There was no way McNally could have voted for the county's taking ownership of Renaissance Place. And so, when he voted against the motion, his relationship with the Cafaros was cited as the reason by those in the political know.
But why would Tablack want to snooker McNally? Because the commissioner voted against Tablack's appointment as Office of Management and Budget director.
You know what they say about pay back.