YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Wednesday was Ohio’s deadline to get on the November ballot. Hundreds of people will be running for something in both Mahoning and Trumbull counties, including a longtime radio show host — if he’s allowed.
Ron Verb wants to run for Austintown trustee.
“I want to do to local government what Ed Muransky has done to health care, as far as Southwoods is concerned,” he said. “I want to make it service-oriented with the taxpayer coming first.”
Verb has been a talk show host on News Radio 570 for 34 years.
He and three other candidates are running for a position that opened when incumbent Doug McGlynn decided not to run.
Verb mentioned two issues he has in Austintown.
One is payments promised from Austintown’s Hollywood Casino.
“I got upset because the casino was supposed to pay us yearly,” Verb said. “That’s not happening because somebody dropped the ball. Nobody wants to take accountability for it.”
He also wants the township’s roads to be cleared better after winter storms.
“I’d go to Canfield and Boardman, the road would be black. Here, we put down salt and slag. We don’t put down as much salt as we should.”
Verb’s candidacy is not a done deal yet. There are questions of if he can run and be a radio talk show host at the same time.
“Those are some hurdles I have to overcome, as far as there are FCC regulations that I have to deal with. I’m with iHeart Media, the company that owns our radio station. They have a good legal department. They’re looking into that.”
And if Verb is not allowed to hold office and be on air at the same time?
“I have no intent, obviously, of quitting my radio show. It’s what I’ve done for 34 years. It’s my career and it’s something I love a great deal.”
Verb doesn’t see any ethical issues with him serving as a trustee and being on air. In fact, he views it as a plus.
“There’s a benefit for me on being on the radio because it keeps you in touch with issues that people have in the community as a whole.”
Other races we’ll see in November include Campbell mayor. Two of the biggest political names in the city are running — incumbent Nick Phillips will face Juanita Rich.
In Struthers, it will be Robert Carcelli against Catherine Cercone Miller.
Incumbent Boardman Trustee Larry Moliterno has three challengers in a township that’s faced serious flooding issues.
The Niles School District is in fiscal emergency and nine people, including three incumbents, will be running for the school board.
Eight people, including two incumbents, are running for four open seats on the Youngstown School Board, which currently has very little say in how the schools are run.