YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A group of about 20 people attended Wednesday night’s Youngstown City Council meeting in support of Terrill Vidale, the downtown events coordinator whose contract the council voted unanimously three weeks ago not to renew.
Among those supporting Vidale were two of Youngstown’s leading pastors, but several council members did not back down. They too were vocal about why they decided that Vidale should go.
The Reverend Ken Simon, pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church, was the first to speak before Youngstown City Council in support of Vidale remaining as the downtown events coordinator.
“We’ve gotten more out of this position under this professional contracted services arraignment with Mr. Vidale than any other previous events coordinator for the city of Youngstown,” said Simon.
He was followed by Reverend Kenneth Donaldson, pastor of Rising Star Baptist Church.
“Today, I’m here to express my disappointment with the city council for the unanimous vote not to renew the contract of Terrill Vidale,” said Donaldson.
Reverend Donaldson questioned claims that Vidale breached his contract while Law Director Jeff Limbian ruled Vidale had not.
Reverend Donaldson disputed claims that Vidale failed to provide quarterly reports, saying he sent letters about every event.
The reverend also wondered how two new council members voted no at their first meeting.
Architect Ray Jaminent, who has offices downtown, was also supportive.
“What I hear through the grapevine about lying–it just doesn’t fit with Mr. Terrill’s character,” said Jaminent.
But then it was the council’s turn to explain why the decision was made.
Councilman Julius Oliver thought the people supported Vidale had their priorities misplaced.
“When we called for prayer down here for the triple homicide for the father, a mother and their baby, none of you all came out, but you all came down here for an events coordinator position. What was you all gaining from this, please, tell me,” said Oliver.
And one of the new council members, Samantha Turner, said in her capacity as president of First Night Youngstown, her experiences with Vidale were not great.
“I spoke with Mr. Vidale. I gave him other options to have his boss the Mayor to come and speak with us, and let’s work with those issues, and that did not happen,” said Turner.