Two reappointed to Port Authority board

LISBON –For the first time in recent memory, there was not any hint of controversy surrounding any reappointments to the Columbiana County Port Authority by county commissioners.

Commissioners last week reappointed Tad Herold and Keith Chamberlin to seats on the five-member port authority board. Their terms expire Dec. 31, and both had requested to be reappointed. Commission Chairman Mike Halleck said no one else applied, nor did they solicit applications, an indication they were satisfied with Herold and Chamberlin.

Commissioners have been seeking to remake the port board over the past several years by appointing new members as the terms of existing members expired, and sometimes this has generated controversy. For example, two years ago they declined to reappoint Don Crane because he moved to Mahoning County. In 2015, commissioners appointed Herold — the county’s development director — to fill a vacancy on the board even though he also lives in Mahoning County, and Crane later claimed commissioners wanted him to cut the port authority director’s salary.

Commissioners also reappointed David Dawson of Calcutta as one of their representatives on the Buckeye Water District board. Dawson was first appointed in 2014 after commissioners declined to reappoint longtime board member Gene McGaffick as one of their representatives. McGaffick had stepped down in the middle of his term in order to retire with a public pension from his time on the board but had asked to be reappointed after his retirement took effect.

After lasts week’s meeting, Halleck was asked about the status of a deputy dog warden, Brenda Austin, and he confirmed she had been laid off by dog warden Heidi Pecorelli sometime in October. Austin was in charge of delinquent dog license collections, and he said it is up to Pecorelli to determine whether she can afford or needs to fill the part-time position in the future.