Nine seek to lead Youngstown parks department

YOUNGSTOWN — The city received nine resumes from applicants interested in the vacant position of parks and recreation director.

Most of the applicants are from Mahoning County though the city received resumes from candidates in Otterbein, Ind., and Pittsburgh.

Dawn Turnage, who served as the city’s parks and recreation director since March 2018, resigned Aug. 26 to be Columbus’ assistant director of recreation and parks.

Turnage’s annual salary was $60,143. It is unclear what her replacement will earn or when that person will be hired.

Mayor Jamael Tito Brown will select the next parks and recreation director.

Those who applied for the job are:


olas D’Ales-io of Can-field, the city’s water quality compliance director who has worked for the water department since 2012.

Matthew J. Senvisky of Youngstown, Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority’s procurement manager since August 2021 and a former senior strategic sourcing specialist for PNC Bank.

Christopher L. Colon, no address given, the northeast Ohio regional director for the Ohio Environmental Council and OEC Action Fund since 2021 and executive director and co-founder since 2018 of Thrive Mahoning Valley, which assists those relocating and returning to the area.

Jamhal M. Simon of Austintown, a Pennsylvania state trooper since 2014 and a staff sergeant in the Air Force since 2009.

Clemate J. Franklin of Youngstown, health and wellness coordinator / supervisor at the YMCA of Youngstown since January 2012 and North Star Storage and Warehouse dispatcher / supervisor since November 2021.

Lukas Benjamin Darling of Otterbein, Ind., the deputy town administrator for that community. He used to live in Youngstown when he attended Youngstown State University.

Mary Beth Birks of Pittsburgh, who has 15 years of experience in the parks and recreation field in Pennsylvania. She has served as a volleyball referee for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association since 2003. She was a volleyball referee and kids club coordinator for Cranberry Township from 2016 to 2022. She is a former parks and recreation director for Collier Township in 2021 and for Ohio Township from 2006 to 2014. Both townships are in Allegheny County.

John William Gore of Boardman, shift supervisor since June 2021 for Youth Intensive Services in Youngstown.

Timothy Gabrelcik of Beloit, risk manager / contract compliance official with the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities and mayor of Beloit from 2005 to 2012.


Brown also is looking to hire a human relations commission director, a job that’s been vacant for a year.

The position develops, implements and participates in all human relations, affirmative action and Equal Employment Opportunity Program activities.

No salary is listed, but the job previously paid $50,000 annually when it was a contracted position. Brown is making the post a full-time job with benefits.

Six candidates applied for this job.

They are:

Sandra Fulton Britt of Youngstown, who has worked for the city for the past 28 years in the police department, municipal court and since November 2021 as a customer service representative in the water department. She was a clerk in the police department and court.

Regina Lynette Jones of Youngstown, who is not employed.

Timisha Colyar of Youngstown, the city’s commercial building administrator since November 2020.

Brian K. Clinkscale of San Leandro, Calif., supervisor of the Alameda County Workforce and Benefits Administration since October 2013. He attended YSU in 1990 and 1991.

l Brittney McKinney of Youngstown, an emergency communications technician for the city since March 2016.

l Anne Sopher of Boardman, a Boardman High School Spanish teacher since June 2021.

Brown said of both positions: “We have begun interviews. I hope to hire in the near future.”


The last appointment process by Brown moved slowly, and the person hired wasn’t among the first two waves of applicants for the job.

Brown hired Melanie Clarke-Pennella in May as the downtown events and citywide special projects coordinator.

The city had an initial search in February 2020 that attracted 33 applicants, but the COVID-19 pandemic hit, causing the cancellation of numerous events and postponed the selection process.

Brown had another search in September 2021 with 10 applicants. Clarke-Pennella applied in January as did others after the September 2021 deadline.

The job pays $44,000 annually.



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