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Are Tablack’s days numbered?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published May 23, 2010

Untitled document

Mahoning County Commissioner John McNally’s “no” vote on extending Administrator George Tablack’s contract for a year could be an indication of things to come. The two other commissioners, David Ludt and Anthony Traficanti, voted for the extension.

Although McNally explained that he opposed the one-year contract because he wanted Tablack to be treated as a regular (at will?) employee, the handwriting may well be on the wall. If the commissioner is still around in May 2011, and Carol Rimedio-Righetti has replaced Ludt, Tablack could be gone. Righetti defeated Ludt in the May Democratic primary and faces inconsequential Republican opposition in the November general election.

Why does Tablack have a target on his back? Because he was one of the masterminds of the relocation of the county Job and Family Services agency from the Garland Plaza, owned by the Cafaro Co., to Oakhill Renaissance Place (formerly South Side Medical Center.)

Although Righetti insisted during the primary that she was not put in the race by Anthony Cafaro Sr., it should come as no surprise that Cafaro told a prominent Democratic Party leader that he wanted to see the Youngstown councilwoman win.

Ludt and Traficanti led the charge for the JFS relocation to Oakhill Renaissance; McNally opposed the county buying the former South Side Medical Center.

A grand jury is currently hearing from a special prosecutor and an investigator from the Ohio Ethics Commission about the role several county officeholders played in allegedly trying to block the purchase of Oakhill Renaissance. There could be indictments. McNally’s name has been mentioned as one of the targets of the probe. The others are Auditor Michael Sciortino, Treasurer Lisa Antoninni and former Treasurer John Reardon.

If there are indictments and the officeholders refuse to step aside, then McNally could well be in a position next May to vote on Tablack’s future.

And a 2-1 vote against the administrator (Traficanti would still in office) becomes a real possibility.


1burford(95 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

McNally was right in opposing the purchase of Oak Hill. You cannot retrofit a decrepit 90 year building into modern, energy efficient offices. I am told that the costs of maintaining Oak Hill is killing the county general fund.

But McNally opposed Oak Hill for the wrong reason. He was only protecting Cafaro’s interests and not the taxpayers. Garland was a dump and should have been abandoned years ago.

Betram, don’t rely on Tablack’s spin. Do some professional, investigative reporting and uncover the real costs of Oak Hill. Here's a clue: look at the county facilities maintenance budget since Oak Hill was purchased. That is only one place Tablack and Traficanti are hiding the real costs.

The county should build a new building downtown and stop the bleeding now. Write off Oak Hill as a mistake. Oak Hill will haunt the community for decades like the Market Street Annex and the Jail.

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2mrblue(1175 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

A sweet deal for Tablack and layoff notices to our safety forces. Mr. Traficanti, I believe you are next to be voted OUT of office. I have said it many many times--typical Mahoning County politics. It is time for everyone to wake up and get it right!!

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3ytown1(398 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Do you all think allowing all of the Commissioners to be Cafaro Puppets? Will things really be better?

Think again, Remember the sweetheart deal over at the Garland Plaza for the JFS.

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4burford(95 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

No one is saying the commissioners should be Cafaro puppets. That is a distraction Tablack keeps putting out there.

We need people running the county who show up for work, do their elected job rather than hiring someone else to do it who is unnecessary and a waste of money and be smart with the tax dollars.

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5author50(1121 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Quite frankly, Tablack needs to go. I hear he will never be fired (even if Carol wants him and McNally is still in office). Why? Other politicians would be scared of him running against them. That's why he gets the sweet heart deal.

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6tookie(64 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Tablack has a target on his back because he spends too much time practicing the politics of paranoia than working as the county administrator. He is very difficult to work with and the voters said it loud and clear to Mr. Ludt: you made a mistake letting Tablack run the county and playing the game of divide and conquer,

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7Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


We see this far differently,..

They're all criminals to include Traficanti and Tablack which is such a intolerable tie that got Ludt ousted. Now on the status quo off the cross Tablack get's favored for pay they can't validate,.. and law enforcement even gets the axe !!!

No matter how it's hashed out. Fact is the purchase of Oakhill place was a far better choice for city and services. Than to have the services remain cesspool[ed] in Cafaro's absolute health hazard rat harbor over on garland. That came complete with employee and client hazards that was a OSHA suit waiting to happen. Mind you for an annual lease of more than half a million dollars a year.

To include the Oakhill facility in fact can be easily retrofitted for energy efficiency and sound structures like are in fact ideal instead of the cost of new construction.

See even beyond all that let's not play games here. McNally showed has no integrity and there's actually nothing he's done right since he's assumed office. There's no soft shoeing that he's a Cafaro operative and he's worked against the city and counties interests one time too many now.

See Vndy's not wrong here people who's been listening and paying attention. Are very well aware that in this criminal probe McNally, Sciortino, Antoninni and former Treasurer John Reardon are fit to be federally charged, tried and convicted of abusing their positions to act in concert against the city for Cafaro's personal profit interest,.. there.

See just like Traficant, Dann, Cronin, Betras, Rimedio-Righetti and silent string of " yet to be formally exposed " others Cafaro OWNS those criminal crab variety crumb cakes.

Where with all that's in play now with Cronin having cracked, Dann being on the hot seat, Cafaro facing sentencing for his second federal election violation even behond getting spotlighted in this extreme conflict of financial interest ordeal involving Oakhill place. There's a few other loose strings being followed up on.

Small fry criminal pawns like McNally, Sciortino, Reardon, Antoninni and Betras are talking in alphabet soup. Where as funky as they played for Cafaro against the city, county and state. Unless the McNally, Sciortino, Antoninni and Readon request to offer pleas they're going on full blown perp parade.

Where the more Rimedio-Righetti is reviewed she's looking and sounding like the Cafaro owned multi snake Medusa she's always been hailed as,..

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8Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago



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9Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


That's not it,..

Tablack doesn't have a fond following among area voters and that's why he's not in an elected position.

Check his inside connections to explain how he's chiseled a way to stay on the taxpayers dime for so long,.. and an over expense.

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10burford(95 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Comparing Garland to any building is a distraction and a waste of time. No one is saying the County should have stayed in Garland.

The move to Oak Hill was a bad move. You are wrong on the condition of Oak Hill. There is mold in the building. A 90 year building designed for a hospital cannot be cost effectively made energy efficient. The employees complain how cold the building is requiring the usage of extra space heaters in all the offices.

Tablack and Traficanti so despised the Cafaros that they would have moved Jobs and Family to any building which demonstrates their stupidity. Oak Hill is isolated in a surrounding ghetto. It does not help downtown. It was a big mistake.

To suggest Oak Hill would be more efficient then a newly constructed building (such as Children Services) is way off base. Cut the losses now before it is an albatross around our children's necks. Build a new building downtown. It is not the job of the taxpayers to rescue every old, abandoned building like the Annex or Oak Hill.

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11author50(1121 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

A lof the posts on this thread are correct. However, nothing will be done to change the status quo, until Mahoning County does something (like Cuyahoga County... but only better) and form a metropolitan form of government.

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121970mach1(1005 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Does Tablack himself even care if his days are numbered? If he gets fired he gets about $45,000 to go away. Not quite as good a deal as Mill Creek Park gave to their director -$100,000 to go away, but still pretty good. Wow.

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13atowngrad(21 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Do any of you have any idea what goes on behind the scenes? Has anyone ever been to a Commissioners Meeting? Has anyone ever been to a Mah. Cty Building Comission Meeting? Are any of you really familiar with Architecture, Engineering or Construction?

The comments about the County needing to get out of Garland are completely validated. The County needed to stop paying rent and be spread all over the County which they rectified by purchasing Oak Hill albeit the lack of research and the legal troubles which are now incriminating certain personalities.

The fact of the matter is that Oak Hill is a maintenance nightmare and energy hog (for lack of better terms).

The building is an old hospital with some parts built more than 30-years ago. The major fact is that the building CANNOT be easily converted to an energy efficient building without major capital investments that the County does not have. Old buildings are not ideal over new construction because you cannot control the Mechanical. Electrical and Plumbing Systems and Building Envelope that is existing. In new construction you can easliy control and select all of these items to achieve maximum energy efficiency especially due to the new technologies that are out there.

If anyone had sat in on any of the Mah. Cty. Building Commission meetings regarding Oak Hill, one could relate to what I am about to discuss.

The current heating system in the building (because of the previous Hospital occupancy and size) is steam from Youngstown Thermal. The Commissioners hired professional engineers to perform a study to look at the benefits and cost savings in changing the building over to gas fired boilers instead of using the steam system because they thought the gas system would be more energy efficient. The original report (performed a few years back) clearly stated that the investment in installing gas boilers (when gas is not currently used in the building) did not provide any type of payback for the County while peforming simple maintence and minor upgrades to the existing steam systems would save the County a small fortune (sorry do not have the exact numbers in front of me) and have a fairly quick payback; a couple of years.

The Commisioners somehow "lost" or "misplaced" the original report, hired another professional engineering firm and retained the services of an Architect. A new report was generated which showed a quick payback in installing a gas heating system with modular boilers. The problem is that the new report did not take into account the capital investments and loan payments required for these improvements which would push the payback to almost never.

During the Building Commission Meetings Traficanti, Ludt and Tablck were proposing motions to vote for the "so called" gas heating improvements when they had admitted that they had never compared the two reports. The other members of the Commision were the ones that raised the red flag.

Continued in next post.

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14atowngrad(21 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

If Tablack is an accountant as he says he is, why did he not read both reports and crunch the numbers as a real Administrator should have done, or at least one with his supposed professional knowledge of monetary matters before trying to get the motion passed? Why didn't Traficanti and Ludt crunch the numbers before they were going to vote? What was the urgency to get this resolution passed? Why did they not perform their duties as elected (and hired) officials and react accordingly?

The other matter at hand is the condition of the existing building envelope of Oak Hill. In order for this building to be energy efficient, the envelope would need to be upgraded. This would entail new windows, added wall insulation and increased insulation values to the roof. If the building is not air-tight and cannot retain heat and deter air infiltration what good does replacing the heating system do? Absolutley nothing!!!

Tablack, Traficanti and Ludt wanted to approve a motion to spend $2.5 million to install gas boilers, when the proper reports indicted that it was the wrong move, while they could have approved $500k to repair the existing steam systems. Keep in mind that there were no Architectural or enevlope improvements included in the $2.5 million estimate. Would they have then tried to pass a motion for another $2-$4 million dollars (as an example) to effectively repair or upgrade the building itself?

You can search the Vindy for articles related to this matter and also obtain copies of the reports from the Commissioner's Office if you really want to reasearch this subject.

The underlying issue here is complete mismanagement. Or is it that someone was trying to grease their pockets?

The core problem here is our elected officials and their hired, overpaid help. If they actually had the best interests of the taxpayers and the County in mind, they would have never tried to initiate a motion to vote on a subject without reading and examining all of the facts.

A BIG change is needed in our County Government and it is needed now. No more incumbents that get elected because people do not follow government and do not do the proper research on their efforts to ensure that they deserve another term. We need to stop these officials from hiring a puppeteer to pull their strings.

On another note, If the grass is more lush and greener in Florida why would someone return to a weed infested field? Better eating for the cattle?

I have been in the construction industry for the better part of 20-years and have attended multiple public meetings at the County when alot of these matters were discussed.

I encourage everyone to educate themselves on this matter and all other dealings with the County to really see what goes on behind closed doors.

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15Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


You are sound, fluent, non bias and correct,...

I've been stating all along that they ALL need to go and there's no doubt about it.

You can't reform those whom have become so entrenched, enthralled and embedded in criminal faction feuding.

Where the Oakhill purchase was unquestionably the right thing to do. It's being discovered that just like Cafaro's criminal clan of McNally Michael Sciortino, Lisa Antoninni and former John Reardon.

Were SOLELY acting for Cafaro's financial interest against the city and county.

Traficanti and Tablack tainted the purchase and wanted to grease their pockets via non plausible contracting plans to kick to pet contractors to funnel them kickbacks.

The criminality here is first and foremost with McNally Michael Sciortino, Lisa Antoninni and former John Reardon.

Where the unethical theft was being conducted by Traficanti, Tablack and their cohort AFTER making the otherwise wise purchase.

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16BillyBob(92 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

We need change in the valley. People need to take a stand any get Dave Betras out as our Democratic Chairman!

Him, and his best friend Marc Dann, should be as far away from Valley poltics as possible!!

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17Just_me(18 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Bertram, I am surprised that as politically astute that you are, that you do not realize that hatred for Tablack is very widespread. He himself --- his own arrogance and treatment of others---helped get Carol elected, not the Cafaro's. Simply put, he is despised by everyone except Ludt, Traficanti and their cronies.Their extension of his contract despite the feelings of the electorate in voting out Ludt can be described as 1 thing - abuse of power. I cannot believe that you don't see it. It must be your bias against the Cafaro's.

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18Millie(192 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

In my opinion the only ones who dislike Tablack are the public employees particularly those in the county. Ludt lost the election because of the employees and the crap they sprewed about another employee (Tablack). His responsibility was to keep the county functioning to benefit the taxpayers, not the over paid and underworked county, city, and area government employees with their gold plated benefit package and even worse retirement package. The years of the elected officials caving in to the labor contracts has now hit the wall - no entitiy can survive these escalating costs without constantly going to the taxpayers for more money. If the tea party ever takes hold in northeastern Ohio you will begin to see the changes that are really necessary for all of us to survive with some basic government services. Hope and change has given a false sense of the funds that are available but since less than 50% actually pay taxes the future is not going to be positive.

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19krishbond17(1 comment)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Well, it’s amazing. The miracle has been done. Hat’s off. Well done, as we know that “hard work always pays off”, after a

long struggle with sincere effort it’s done.
david wilson
<a href="http://www.fightremix.com/videos/Boxing_Videos" rel="dofollow">Boxing Videos</a>

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20Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago


Two question's

Is it narcotics, alcohol,.. or both?

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