Boccieri Moves To Reform Mill Creek Park Board Appointment Process
Lawmaker says county commissioners better suited to appoint board members
 
 

State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) todayresponded to Probate Judge Robert Rusu’s ardent defense of the current process for electing members to the Mill Creek MetroPark Board of Commissioners, saying that more transparency and public participation in the process is needed and that the county commissioners would be better equipped to oversee park board appointments.    


Rep. Boccieri announced recently that he is working on legislation to transfer the appointment authority for park board members from the probate judge to county commissioners. 


Judge Rusu questioned the necessity of such legislation in a WFMJ article published Thursday. He has promised to involve citizens to a greater extent in finding a replacement for Board Member Mike Senchak, who resigned last week. Judge Russo said, “Probate judges’ role is the least political role as a county elected position so it’s thought of that the judge could appoint people that are doing it for the right reasons, not for political gain.” 


Rep. Boccieri countered this point. “According to my constituents and articles in media outlets across the Valley, the cries for public input were ignored during the hiring process of our current executive director,” said Boccieri. “I applaud Judge Rusu for opening up the process to concerned citizens for the nomination of this new board member.” 


“However, I disagree with the suggestion that commissioners appoint board members for political gain,” Boccieri continued. “By and large, commissioners appoint board members who strongly believe in helping the community. These individuals are selfless, unpaid members that want to make a difference by serving on boards of mental health, drug addiction services and children’s services.” 


Judges are bound by judicial restraint and so, by virtue of their position, are handicapped from engaging publicly on controversial issues, such as the recent handling of employee terminations at Mill Creek, or cuts to local government funds by Governor Kasich. 


“County commissioners appoint nearly every board in the county, boards that crisscross political jurisdictions and are responsible to the public for financial budgets,” said Boccieri. “If the Metro Park board ever plummeted into receivership because they could not pay their bills, the probate judge isn't going bail out the park; the commissioners are the fiduciaries of the county.” 


Rep. Boccieri is currently circulating the draft bill with other members of the General Assembly, seeking co-sponsors before it is introduced.

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Boccieri: BRAC Report Good First Step To Protect Ohio Military Installations

 

State Rep John Boccieri (D-Poland) today said that the State of Ohio’s Base Realignment and Closure’s (BRAC) Task Force recommendations are a good first step toward strengthening military assets in Ohio. The Task Force’s primary mission was to identify all federal assets, including military bases, and speak toward their value in terms of military mission as well as the economic benefit they provide to communities.



 
 

Lawmakers Concerned School Rating Overhaul Leaves Youngstown Schools Behind

 

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today expressed concern about House Bill (HB) 591, a Republican-led effort to once again overhaul the state’s school report card system. The bill would leave current triggers in place for schools that are under or near academic distress—a move the lawmakers say unfairly targets districts in academic distress like Youngstown, Lorain and at least 22 other districts across the state.

 



 
 

Ohio House Passes Measure Urging Selection Of Camp Ravenna As Missile Defense System

 

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Mike O’Brien (D-Warren), Glenn W. Holmes (D-Girard) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the Ohio House for unanimously passing Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 8, which calls on the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (USMDA) to select Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center as the preferred site for a future east coast Missile Defense system. MDA, a sub-agency of the Department of Defense (DOD), announced its consideration of Camp Ravenna among two other locations for a potential future deployment of additional ground-based interceptors for homeland defense.