CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Transparency and lack of public trust were themes for all seven candidates interviewed by the screening committee, which will recommend to Mahoning County Probate Judge Robert Rusu who should fill the two openings on the Mill Creek MetroParks Board of Commissioners.
Seven were interviewed Tuesday evening in 15-minute intervals. The committee recommended five people, though it is not releasing the names at this time.
The first person interviewed was Frank Nolasco, a Packard Electric retiree.
“The biggest item is the transparency that’s going on, or the lack of the perception of transparency by the public, and I think it’s not really all true. There is transparency,” he said.
Tom Shipka, a retired YSU professor, called the dismissal of Ray Novotny unthinkable. He says the firing of 13 park employees was handled poorly.
“I think the failure of the decision makers to forewarn the public and to provide a rationale in advance was a big mistake.”
Attorney Jim Callen says the Park Board is facing a lack of public trust, and was asked how to restore that trust.
“Essential part of it in this case is having an open, transparent conducting of the park business.”
According to the interviewees, there were no questions about the future of the park’s executive director Aaron Young, who some members of the community want fired.
“The public would like to get rid of Aaron Young. That’s not the answer to the solution, nor is it bringing the people back to work an answer to the solution. It’s something that had to be done,” said Raymond Jaminet, Sr., an architect.
“That’s not something you say based on what I read, based on what I heard. You just don’t say that, that’s just not something that you’re going to do. That’s not fair to Aaron Young,” said former Canfield mayor and Canfield School Board member Lee Frey.
YSU Recycling Manager Dan Kuzma, 34, was the youngest person interviewed.
“I think I can add energy. I think I can be a uniting liaison between the different groups,” he said.
Boardman’s Whitney Joy was the only woman interviewed, and the only one of the seven candidates to decline an interview with the media afterwards.
Retired Trumbull County Probate Judge Thomas Swift, who oversaw the committee, asked the interview questions. There was no interaction between the committee members and the interviewees.