Youngstown councilwomen question recent hires by mayor - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown councilwomen question recent hires by mayor

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Just as Youngstown City Council was wrapping up on Wednesday, the conversation heated up as the women on council made it clear that their job is to serve as a check-and-balance to the administration, especially during a time when finances in the city are tight.

The meeting came just two days after an independent financial consultant said the city has some tough financial decisions to make.

Just before the meeting ended, Councilwoman Basia Adamczak questioned the recent hiring of Terrill Vidale of 2Deep Entertainment to serve as the city's coordinator of downtown events. 

Her list of questions was fueled by concerns that the job was no longer a city position but rather hired as a professional agreement contract without the consent of council.

It's a move the mayor said will save the city more than $30,000 annually in health benefits.

"I commend the mayor for looking for savings when it came to this position. But it should have come to council and came through ordinance in order for council to approve for it to go out to bid," said Adamczak.

The mayor disagreed and said afterward to 21 News that the only time he would need council's approval is if the contract exceeded $25,000. In this case, he said since the contract won't go into effect until halfway through the year and it won't exceed that dollar amount.

But the hiring of Vidale wasn't the only appointed position of concern.

Councilwoman Anita Davis asked about a recently hired assistant prosecutor.  A position hired at a time when the law department had just recently said they were saving money by moving the former prosecutor to the law department to do two jobs.

"I wanted to make sure that we weren't having more people added on, particularly when just on the same Monday having a public meeting discussing how we are going to tighten our belt," said Davis referencing a public meeting where an independent financial consultant provided a five-year forecast.

Councilwoman Lauren McNally also chimed into the conversation, "A well-informed council is a cooperative council and I can appreciate the transition period and learning curve, but I don't want to see communication breakdown as they seem to be."

The mayor reminded McNally that communication is a two-way street.
 

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