SALINEVILLE-In anticipation of the county's General Election, village residents received a chance to meet seven of the eight candidates in this year's race for the Salineville Council, while also learning about the three levies which will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.
The Salineville Kiwanis hosted the event Wednesday night at the Russell Reight Building in Kiwanis Park. Linda Adams served as the emcee, and Chip Highley, a board member with the Columbiana County Educational Service Center, moderated the event.
Candidates were first given time to introduce themselves provide a brief personal history.
Salineville residents turned out Wednesday at the Russell Reight Building to “Meet the Candidates” running for village council and also learn about three levies on the ballot. Salineville Kiwanis organized the event. Each candidate had an opportunity to address the crowd, as did Albert Polen, who was on hand to explain the levy for Woodland Cemetery. Pictured at the table (from left) are Shirely Roberts, Polen, Nancy Needham, Brian Zaverl, Amy Earich, James Wilson, Brian Tedeschi and John Higgins. (Photo by Devin Bezeredi)
First to do so was candidate Shirely Roberts, who said she has been a village resident since 1996, and has been employed for 11 years by the American Legion.
Current Village Council and Board of Public Affairs clerk Nancy Needham was next. She has lived in the village her entire life and worked for East Liverpool City Hospital for 38 years before recently being layed off.
Candidate Brian Zaverl followed, saying he has lived in the village for about 5 years. He said he is retired from a career in real estate and previously served on the Board of Public Affairs.
Next was candidate Amy Earich, who said she has lived in the village since 2007, and is seeking office to bring change to the village.
Candidate James Wilson introduced himself, saying he has lived in the village for 38 years and served 10 years in the Navy and 19 years on the village police department.
Candidate Brian Tedeschi followed, saying he has lived in the village for 31 years and has served on the village council for 8 years during the administration of Stanley Fitch.
Lastly, John Higgins said he has lived in the village his entire life and has served on the village fire and police departments. He is retired from the Lisbon Police Department.
Incumbent Rick Beadle did not attend.
Highley asked candidates what they believed was the biggest issue currently facing the village, and how, if elected, they might help solve the issue. Candidates' answers varied, however, many focused on the safety issues plaguing the village.
"I think the biggest issue is drugs, " said Roberts. "We need a better police force."
"The police force," said Needham. "I think we should have a full-time chief and as many officers as we can have to help him."
"Citizen safety is important and we all know there are all kinds of problems in town," said Zaverl "Implementing a police force is the top priority right now."
"I think the (police) levy ought to be passed," Earich said. "I own a couple of properties (in the village) and I'm willing to pay (the taxes) to have a police department here instead of relying on the sheriff."
" We need to get a good safety department," said Wilson. "We need police department that's just as good as the fire department."
" Until we get a council that works together you're not going to solve any problems," said Tedeschi. "We can sit here and say what we want to do, but the whole problem is (council) s not solving the problems."
"I believe police are a biggest issue in town, along with the streets," said Higgins. "We need to take the black eye off this town so businesses want to come in and we can generate some income."
Highley then referred to the lack of communication evident among the current village council members, and how that could be bettered. Many candidates said they would bring a cooperative attitude to council.
"I spent the last 35 years communicating with people daily and working out problems," said Higgins. "I feel I'm pretty level-headed and easy going, and I'm not bringing my own agenda to the table."
"It's who you (residents) pick as council members," said Tedeschi. "You pick who you think will work together, so it won't turn out like it is now-a free for all."
"There's six people sitting on the council that need to agree," said Wilson. "At any recent council meetings they argue almost from gavel-to-gavel-they need to be able to talk things out."
"I think everyone (on council) needs to be there for the village," said Earich. "They need to agree on what's best for the village and vote for it."
"Whatever council does needs to benefit the town," said Zaverl. "Individual personalities and issues need to be set aside."
"I would encourage more people to come to council meetings so they know what's going on," said Needham. "I think just because you're a council member you shouldn't just come to the Monday night meeting then say 'see you later,'-you should try to communicate with each other."
"You have to be a good listener, try to talk with people and act as a moderator if you have to," said Roberts. "That's what I try to do."
Albert Polen, representing the village-owned Woodland Cemetery, explained the 2 mill cemetery levy, a renewal. He said the five-year levy would generate $22,100 annually to be used to maintain the 17-acre cemetery. According to the county auditor's office, the owner of a $60,000 home currently pays $36 a year for the cemetery.
"That's what you're paying now and there will not be an increase in taxes if you pass the levy," said Polen. "We need the levy passed so we can continuing keeping the cemetery in the same condition it's in now or even better."
Current Councilman Tom Hays provided information about the other two levies that will be before village voters. According to Hays acquired, the county auditor's office explained that the five-year, 3 mill additional police levy would generate $33,400 annually and that the owner of a home appraised at $40,000 would pay an added $42 per year in property taxes.
"Last time we had a full-time police force, the budget for that police force was $137,000," said Hays.
The five-year, 3 mill current expense levy, up for renewal, would generate about $33,200 annually, Hays said. According to the auditor's office, Hays said the owner of a $40,00 home would continue to pay $42 a year. If renewed, the levy would not increase taxes.