24 07 2007

With budget shortfalls throughout Mahoning County, it is ridiculous that the county commissioners think it makes good economic sense to purchase the Oakhill Rennaisance Place. Among other things, they argue ample parking and an on-site day care for employees’ children makes it a much more attractive place than their former location at Garland Plaza on the east side.

And with that said, the other side of the Oakhill trial presents a grubby picture. The Cafaros, their former landlords at Garland, have filed the so-called “taxpayers lawsuit” against the county. As one internet poster on vindy.com pointed out, the only damage done will be “to the Cafaro’s wallets”. The trial is ugly hypocrisy: Cafaro lawyers say commissioners Ludt and Traficanti didn’t do their homework and that the Oakhill purchase is a bad move for the county. I believe that’s right, but the sad part is the “taxpayers”, in all reality, just want their business back again.

On today’s testimony, former county auditor John Reardon questioned where the money was coming from. This is just swell, because if the money pulls the county into debt, they’ll ask to put more taxes on the ballot, but if it isn’t, well what else could’ve it gone to? Some county departments aren’t fully staffed, some could use upgrades.

I’m not getting too involved in this trial. I believe it is wasteful spending on the county’s part, but I’d be much more supportive of the plantiff’s case if they weren’t the same people who are looking to re-gain their business.




3 responses

24 07 2007

I have a few questions to ponder:
1. How much money will the county save by not paying rent?
2. What would have happened to the Oakhill facility if it were left to sit empty?
3. Now that they have the space, can other county services move to the Oakhill facility to save even more rent, and offer more centralized services?

28 07 2007
Mike Prelee

The move out of the current facility was necessary but the move into Oakhill seems rushed. I think the public would like to have a better idea of what the long term costs are. The commissioners fell down by not being more open with the public.

The Cafaro’s lawsuit is transparent. They know no one will rent their dump of a building and pay the exorbitant rent the county was paying.

6 10 2008
Woman at Large

Transparent or no, it’s their own money the Cafaros would be spending, and if they want to pay too much to keep a client, it’s their business. Is the rent still “exorbitant” when you consider that now the taxpayers will but the building, pay to repair it and then pay rent for the tenants too — because you can be sure rent will be part of the county-supervised budget they’ll have to live with.

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