Trumbull commissioners discuss Fly-In plans

WARREN — Trumbull County Commissioners are expected to determine the county’s participation in the annual Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber D.C. Fly-In, June 26-27.

Commission President Denny Malloy and Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa on Tuesday discussed whether the county should reimburse the cost of the fly-in to one commissioner attending the two-day conference or to every commissioner who wants to attend.

Both Commissioner Niki Frenchko and Malloy have definitely said they want to attend the annual meeting. Cantalamessa also said he may have interest in attending this year’s conference.

The Fly-In is a program sponsored by the Regional Chamber that allows local businessmen, politicians and community leaders to go to Washington, D.C., to attend meetings that feature House of Representative and Senate leaders, as well as others that may have influence on issues of particular interest to the Mahoning Valley.

Participants in this year’s Washington D.C. Fly-In will include Congressmen Max Miller and Dave Joyce, as well as Kevin Courtois, US. Chamber of Commerce; Steve Southerland, a partner at Capital Hill Consulting Group; and Congressman Ken Calvert.

One of the priorities the Regional Chamber is expected to address is The Jones Act, which is a federal law restricting water transportation of cargo between U.S. ports to ships that are owned, crewed, registered and built in the U.S.

There also will be discussions centered on the growth of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, as well as obtaining more Appalachian grant money.

Frenchko attended the last two DC-Fly-in meetings as the Trumbull County representative. Earlier this year, Frenchko told her fellow commissioners she also wanted to attend this year’s Fly-In. Malloy also noted his interest in attending. No firm decision was made at that time.

Frenchko, in the meantime, contacted the chamber and booked a reservation stating she would be representing Trumbull County. She also noted making airline, hotel and other reservations.

Frenchko said she has been able to save the county money by making early reservations, as opposed to the last two years when last-minute reservations were made.

There had been questions about some of the expenses filed by Frenchko about the D.C. reservations and other expenses. The county in 2023 tightened its rules on reimbursing county employees for their expenses as a result of discussions last year about reimbursing the commissioner for 2022 and 2023 Fly-In trips.

Cantalamessa on Tuesday said any commissioner should be able to attend the conference, but only one should officially represent the county and be reimbursed for his or her expenses.

He also noted that because Frenchko will not be a commissioner next year because of losing the primary election, the county’s representative should be someone who will be able to move forward any agenda developed at the conference.

Malloy said he will look at what other counties have done in similar situations in regards to paying commissioners for these types of trips.

Have an interesting news story? Contact Raymond Smith by email at rsmith@tribtoday.com.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today