YELLOW CREEK - When the Yellow Creek Township Board of Trustees meets this coming Tuesday, it will be with all three seats permanently filled for the first time since last November, before the death of longtime township trustee David Boyd.
Columbiana County Probate Court Judge Thomas M. Baronzzi issued his long-awaited decision last week, naming Mark A. Allison as Yellow Creek Township's newest trustee. The appointment comes four months after the process to find a new trustee began.
Allison will join Kenny Biacco and Glenn McKenzie on the board at the next meeting on May 13 and says he is eager to get started. "I've always enjoyed working with the public; I've been doing that all my life," he said. Allison has done so as owner and operator of Allison Contracting for numerous years.
Allison says his interest in running for office goes back many years, as did his friendship with the late David Boyd, whose death at age 72 left the vacancy that Allison will now fill. Boyd was a lifelong neighbor who inspired him to consider entering politics to begin with.
Though Boyd served as an inspiration to Allison, he says his close friendship with Boyd actually slowed his ambitions to seek township office. Their relationship was something he didn't want to potentially jeopardize by entering the political fray. "I never wanted to run against Dave, because he was a good friend of mine," Allison said.
There was also John Russell, a cousin of Allison's, who served as trustee for more than 20 years. It was another close relationship that he felt wasn't worth straining over pursuit of political office.
Allison says he's received congratulations from Biacco and McKenzie, and has already been talking with them about the budgetary crunch that faces the township and ways to address it. It's one of several issues that have gone unresolved over the past several months the township has spent without a full board.
Biacco says he is glad that time has come to an end and is ready to work in a team with Allison and McKenzie. "There are a lot of things we need to get moving now that we have three trustees," he said. Biacco pointed out that the township never even had a 2014 reorganization meeting, the idea being to wait until a full board was assembled. He never imagined that the wait might take as long as it did.
The top priority for the trio, according to Biacco, is the completion and approval of a policy and procedures manual for township employees, the lack of which has caused misunderstanding and problems over the last several months. "We started it, but it needs three trustees [to finish]," he said.
Other issues to address will include replacement of aging township equipment and the establishment of a new crime watch program, which also were set aside during the wait for a new trustee.
In addition, Biacco says he looks forward to any ideas or suggestions Allison may have regarding the proposed township income survey. The drive for a survey has stalled following revised cost estimates involved in hiring a polling firm to conduct the survey in the township.
Biacco continues to invite Yellow Creek residents to share their ideas about the survey with he, McKenzie and Allison. "We're going to keep bringing that up," he said.