Comment Mahoning County commissioner

I have nothing bad to say about Carole Remedio Righetti, the thing about it is I don't know much about Commissioner Righetti. I know she has served two terms, was a city council member and formerly worked for the board of elections. She attended Ursuline attended YSU and joined the Americorp.

We talked a lot about commissioners, especially those in Trumbull County. Honestly, I think the position of County Commissioner is overrated and in reality, it is a part time position. Would citizens run if it paid 50 K instead of 100? The Commissioner really controls very little. The courts, sheriff's department and coroner justify their spending and the commissioners provide the rubber stamp. The department heads usually get what they ask for. 

It's not that hard, the sheriff needs money to run his hotel with 500 guests nightly, based on double occupancy he is usually sold out. Not much debate there, he has a full house. The judges have a full docket, and the miscreants are multiplying. Judge Delick has plenty of justification for juvenile detention, juvenile delinquency never retreats. 

I am not making light of the monies allocated by the commissioners, but it's fairly cut and dried. Years ago, some department heads sued the commissioners for not funding their offices, but you don't hear much of that these days either. The point is, the commissioners could take a month off and no one would notice, except the handful of groupies who attend every meeting.

That brings me to Geno DeFabio. He is a well-known conservative and is on a first name basis with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. People love Geno, he is not the son of a truck driver, he is a truck driver. Where did I hear that? Geno has been campaigning for months and has a lot of support because he is a conservative in a democrat county. Well, it used to be prior to the MAGA movement. Most admire Geno as a working man who wants to change the status Quo.

Geno is using up his vacation from his regular job to campaign for Commissioner. He is hosting Spaghetti dinners to bring in the mother's milk of politics "Greenbacks." He is getting his name out there. His name recognition is already high in the valley as he appeared on stage with Trump at events in Youngstown and around the country. Geno is kind of famous.

The problem for Geno is that he needs an issue that fires up the voters of Mahoning County. It's hard to beat up Carole, after all she is a grandmother and a senior citizen. About the worst thing you can say about Carole is that she might have used some foul language at a democrat roast a few years ago. Probably ill-advised but hardly a hanging offense. Can't believe those words came out of her mouth.

All right focus, Geno Defabio needs an issue. Can't single out the roads because they should start getting better next year with the road tax money rolling in. In addition, the commissioners gave the road department a few million extra just last year. The road department is another subject, it runs off license plate and gas tax fees and it's been strangled with the same 11-million-dollar budget for the past 20 years. How does Pat Genetti make that work? 

So, what drum does Geno beat? The coroner's office is what it is, mostly dying. The auditor's office under Ralph Meachum is getting good reviews. Dan Yemma is collecting the tax, although some say too late. Water and sewer just keep going up, but most blame Youngstown, they own the water system. The airport used to be an easy target, but that hasn't been in the news in years. If I recall correctly, we are using hotel bed tax to fund the airport in part. Who would dare criticize the airport, it mostly exists for the mission of the United States Air Force spray mission.

At this point Geno still needs an issue to challenge a senior citizen who happens to be a lady. It's no easy task, Carole Remedio Righetti, is likeable. You will likely see her at calling hours or the next spaghetti dinner. During Lent she switches to Fish. Shes tough too, I heard she saw a Defabio sign on the west side and knocked on the door and told them to take down the sign because the West Side is Righetti territory and Remedio.

I think you know what's coming. Geno Defabio has to bring up the disaster that is Oakhill. Carole has been there for a good portion of the Oak Hill Renaissance center, but on the other hand Anthony Traficanti has been there for the entire tenure of the building. So, you could blame Anthony, but he is not running.

Geno has said the commissioners should immediately stop funding the center and embark on a new government building that would house all county departments in a central modern building. He says this can be done with the money now being paid for facilities and rent. Some 10 years ago the commissioners were paying hefty rent for a substandard Eastside building. By that standard they have moved up. 

Oakhill Renaissance has always been controversial after all it's an old hospital that was given up for dead years ago in favor of one Northside hospital. By the way I requested a tour the other day but have not gotten the call back as of this moment from Facilities and management. It's probably about what I expect, a converted hospital, hard to heat, hard to modernize, bad water, parking deck caving in, it's an old building. I used to do some remodeling, it's not that easy to refurbish an old concrete structure. 

The major mistake was made years ago. JJ and Anthony Cafaro warned the county the building was substandard and not something Ohio Valley Malls would want to be involved in. But why listen to people that are in the construction business. 

The commissioners, anxious to vacate the Eastside building, fell in love with the idea that they could buy the South side hospital for $ 60 Thousand dollars. At the time Mayor Jay Williams championed the cause too, he didn't want to have to raze the building as another eyesore in the city. George Tablack loved OakHill too. Then he got out while the gittin was good.

The commissioners bought a nightmare to heat and keep dry. At IHeart we have a building that is cut up into studios and that alone is a challenge to air condition and heat. Can you imagine having an entire hospital to maintain? Most of your building is cut up into individual hospital rooms which can be made into individuals offices, the good news is you have your won toilet. 

My conscious is clear because I advised them to attempt to lease the former Sam's Club right across the parking lot from IHeart. That ship has sailed and is now used for storage. Still, Geno is still looking for an issue that catches the fancy of independent voters. I doubt Oakhill will turn on the electorate.  

Caroles Dems will vote for her and Genos Repubs will vote for him. I don't think Oakhill is an issue that taxpayers care about. The commissioners years ago made the mistake of buying what they thought would be a bargain building but has become a black hole. It's easy to say build new but after 25 million has been spent on a bad building, it's hard to walk away. After all most of Mahoning county citizens have nothing to do with the building and really don't care. So where does that leave Geno?

I think Geno has to say, he is not Carole. She has had a good run, it's time to move over for some new blood. Geno needs to be elected because I along with you are tired of the same faces running government as if no one else is qualified. Look at Anthony, he has been a commissioner since he left Traficant's office. Steve Kristan took a run at the office, but Dave Ditzler was chosen mostly because we were a long time Trustee and party operative. Kristan couldn't beat that clout. 

My take, tt's time for new citizens to step forward. Geno Defabio would be good for the order as I like to say. Geno would be the second Republican elected official in Mahoning County. He would be good company for Ralph Meachum in the commissary. In the entire county,Is one Republican our limit? The County is changing, the country is changing. Ohio is becoming reliably Red, but Mahoning County is still blue. Carole has had a good run and we thank her for her service, but new ideas are needed. Geno Defabio would be a good fit. Yes a laborer, a truck driver, a man in touch with the working man. Remember when that title went to the Democrats? 

Oakhill is probably not the issue, but new blood is. Every organization benefit from new people, Geno Defabio should be elected because he will bring new ideas and this county needs some new ideas.

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