Niles Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia retires, interim mayor in place - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Niles Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia retires, interim mayor in place

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Thomas Scarnecchia Thomas Scarnecchia
NILES, Ohio -

The city of Niles is looking for a new mayor after the sudden retirement of Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia was announced Tuesday morning.

Niles City Service Director Edward Stredney informed 21 News that effective immediately, Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia has retired.

The city hosted a news conference with President of Council and Interim Mayor Barry Steffey. Jr. to give an update to the public on what will come next in terms of a new mayor. 

Scarnecchia won the 2015 primary election over incumbent Mayor Ralph Infante, who has since been sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption.

Scarnecchia handed over his resignation to Steffey Monday afternoon.

"He decided it was time for him to step away and that the city to move on without him," said Steffey. "So that is what we intend on doing."

According to state law, president of council must take over the current mayor's position after his resignation. 

Steffey said city council will work closely with the administration and will work closely with the newly appointed mayor, who will be selected by the Democratic Central Committee to fill out the remainder of the term that expires in December of next year. 

Steffey is a sales manager at Wholesome Foods out of New Castle and is 49-years-old. 

Steffey said he does not intend on running for mayor after his interim is over.

Those who are interested in running for Niles Mayor can speak with County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Polivka. 

Seffey said the selection process for the new mayor will begin soon, between 20 to 45 days. 

A replacement must be named for mayor by the 12 committee members within 45 days, and a special election will not be held. 

Councilman Ryan McNaughton posted his thoughts about Scarnecchia's retirement on his website saying "he may not have been the hero we wanted. But he was the hero we needed."

Over the past two-and-a-half years the Mayor, administration, Council, and department heads have worked extremely hard to counter the culture of corruption and poor planning that led to fiscal emergency.  City-owned buildings and departments left to crumble are being refurbished, deplorable equipment is being replaced, a street resurfacing program has returned, each and every transaction is accounted for, the General Fund is healthier than it has been in years, department heads now have control over their budgeting processes, and actual planning and forecasting is being done to ensure the words “fiscal” and “emergency” will never be uttered in this town again when we are out of it.

"The mayor, in his letter, stated, and I thought it was really well put, 'The mayor left this city better than how he found it'," said Steffey. "I respect him for that."

Scarnecchia's full letter of resignation can be found below. 

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