(WKBN) – A longtime Valley public official and former mayor of Youngstown has died.
Patrick Ungaro died Friday night in his home at the age of 78.
“The city’s lost a great mayor and a friend to all the things we’ve been trying to get done here in the city,” said former mayor John McNally.
Ungaro served as Youngstown’s mayor from 1984 to 1997.
At this time, the mafia was able to manipulate city officials with bribery and threats until Ungaro took over and put a stop to it.
“He was able to say no to people that he should say no to,” said Mahoning County Prosecutor Attorney Paul Gains.
With the closing of the steel mills, Ungaro had to make tough moves to adapt to the change.
“He had to work on the number of fire stations we had. He had to cut staff in departments and that was all because of the loss of income tax to the city,” McNally said.
He was later appointed Liberty Township’s administrator in 2002, but he resigned earlier this year.
“He was very motivated in making Liberty Township look nice,” said Liberty Township trustee Jodi Stoyak. “He had contacts that he was able to call when we wanted to do the extra curbing and sewer work along Belmont Avenue.”
Even before his time in politics, he was coaching young men in both football and in life.
“Integrity and ideals and morals and ethics. He always wanted to do things the right way,” said Derek Penn, linebacker for Ungaro at Rayen High School.
Now that Ungaro passed away, people remember some of the traits that made him who he was.
“I will miss his sense of humor. I will miss his ability to guide me,” Stoyak said. “He was a mentor and he really taught me a lot of things on how to approach things in public office.”
Ungaro’s son, Eric, serves as a Poland Township trustee.