Outgoing Niles councilman served city well

Ryan McNaughton has served his city well, and we congratulate him on his new role, as well as the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber on a good hiring decision.

McNaughton resigned last week from his council seat to take over as the new vice president for government affairs for the chamber.

McNaughton, Niles councilman at large, was in his third term. During his elected service, he has been forward thinking and conscientious.

While serving Niles constituents, he focused on important issues such as prioritizing a plan to develop and improve the city’s infrastructure. He also played an important role in the financially struggling city’s fiscal turnaround.

Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz recently said McNaughton brought “an independent, educated and professional voice to council.”

We agree.

It’s noteworthy that McNaughton acted quickly in his resignation, stating without hesitation that he immediately saw the conflict of interest his new role would create should he attempt to maintain his seat on council.

His quick action didn’t surprise us, really. In his service, we’ve come to know McNaughton as someone who didn’t always take the easy or even popular approach to issues. Rather, he did what he believed was right and was best for Niles residents.

For example, McNaughton was one of the council members who called for a formal inquiry into the residency status of his colleague, 4th Ward Councilman Al Cantola. Certainly, that couldn’t have been easy. He took the action, however, because a resident raised the issue and he believed it was the right thing to do.

Only after the residency status was probed to his satisfaction, he asked for a motion to dismiss.

Indeed, we wish McNaughton well in his new role.

And now, we urge the Niles Democratic Precinct Committee members, who will appoint the next councilman to fill the vacant seat, to look hard at candidates, to spend the appropriate and necessary time interviewing and closely considering those in order to select a new councilman who will be equally forward thinking and who will serve the Niles voters equally well.

We understand this will be a political appointment, but political favors must not be the reason for the selection.



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