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Mayor Sammarone’s absence noteworthy

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published September 27, 2011

When the Democratic mayor of the largest city in a predominantly Democratic region with a long history of organized labor doesn’t join his colleagues at a press conference to urge the defeat of Ohio’s new collective bargaining law, that’s a headline.

Charles Sammarone took over the top job in the city of Youngstown almost two months ago, and he has quickly learned that the status quo in government is unsustainable. That’s why he isn’t as strident in his opposition to the recently passed law as other Democratic officeholders.

Last Friday, area mayors, including  Michael O’Brien of Warren and Ralph Infante of Niles, urged a “no” vote on state Issue 2 that will be on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Ohioans are being asked to decide if the collective bargaining statute should take effect.

Republican Gov. John Kasich and the Republican controlled General Assembly pushed though the law, commonly referred to as Senate Bill 5, that rolls back many of the workplace rights enjoyed by the 300,000-plus public employees. The labor unions, along with Democrats around the state, are strongly opposed.

But Sammarone, who admits to having been a union man, says Senate Bill 5 isn’t all wrong. While he believes public employees should have the ability to collectively bargain, he says there are provisions in the law that would be good for government.

The mayor says SB 5 should be revisited so a compromise can be reached between the Republicans and the labor unions.

It not be a surprise if the governor and the legislative leadership reached out to Sammarone, given his long ties to labor and Democrats in the Valley.


1Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

When and where did Sammarone say these things? I know this is an opinion column, but I think even opinion columns should reference the contexts for statements their writers claim others have said. It's just good writing to do that. To not do that is to be a talking head that is not deserving of anyone's attention.

Also, I must correct you again, Bert: it is not just union employees and Democrats who oppose SB5.

Many Republicans and Independents also oppose it. For good reason. It will create circumstances that will actually cost the government more money out of legal fees for suits, because the union mechanism to deal with legal disputes will have been removed, and that is a cost saving mechanism.

If only the Vindy had a conservative opinion writer who was intelligent and reasonable and, more importantly, wrote their opinions and claims based on facts.

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2valleynative19(52 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Who are you kidding!
He was at the downtown YMCA playing racquetball. lol

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3Anonymouse(36 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm a Republican and I can't wait to VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2.

And where did the mayor say those things, Bert? Are you into fiction-writing lately?

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4db(280 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

The mayor sees the high price that the government services unions costs the city. He sees a shrinking tax base and an ever-increasing demand for paid retirement in middle age and $75,000+ a year street workers. More than one Ohio city has been driven into bankruptcy by these union contracts full of ridiculous entitlements and Youngstown is not doing well. Thank you Mayor Sammarone; I'll be voting yes on SB5.

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5AtownAugie(892 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Let me see if I have this right: Tom Humphries is eviscerated at every opportunity due to the chamber voicing support for SB5 ostensibly because a small percentage of their budget comes from taxpayer dollars, but mayors who receive 100% of their salaries from taxpayers -- and actually control and dole out the taxpayers' dollars -- not only get a pass but are encouraged ("leaned on" Mayor Sammarone?) to support the repeal of SB5? So the (continuing) lesson from this is: "You can do whatever you want as long as you agree with us." Okay. Got it.

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6Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

If in fact Bert is reporting the truth. I'm still waiting for verification of Sammarone saying anything remotely like this. When and where? When and where?

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

The power to demand . . ..


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8tookie(64 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

If you talked privately to local elected officials in the Valley, you'd find that most of them favor SB 5 although they would never admit it publicly. They know that the current system is not sustainable.

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9NoBS(2836 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Funny thing - the mindset that made this country great was the idea that if your neighbor had something you didn't, made more than you did, or was better off than you, YOU took the personal initiative to better yourself or your job or your lot in life, and strove to obtain those things for yourself. Now, the mindset is, if your neighbor has something you don't (and all the rest), he should be forced to give up that amount that is more than yours. He is the object of envy and resentment, instead of someone to emulate.

It's much easier to tear someone else down than to build yourself up.

What a bunch of no-class illiterate peasants.

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