Lamancusa deserves another term as treasurer

Sam Lamancusa’s vision and involvement in developing the Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corp., informally known as the Trumbull County Land Bank, is a prime example of a county treasurer working for the betterment of the county he serves.

As Trumbull County treasurer, Lamancusa also has been instrumental in eliminating blighted properties through an aggressive foreclosure program.

This, along with continued efficient operations of the office, earned our endorsement of Lamancusa for re-election.

The Democrat from Girard has held the post since 2007.

Republican challenger Syreana Harris of Girard, had no specific criticisms of the current operation, but said she is running because she wants to provide a choice for Trumbull County voters.

The Trumbull County Land Bank is the first county land bank in Ohio for a “medium-sized” county, and the third in Ohio overall. It was created to help return vacant and abandoned properties to productive use.

We applaud Lamancusa’s proactive efforts in protecting the county tax base and regrowing the real estate market.

The demolition of blighted properties, of course, is vital. But Lamancusa’s understanding of the bigger picture is even more impressive.

“Even though we are taking blighted properties down, that is not what it’s about,” Lamancusa said recently. “It’s about saving these neighborhoods. It’s about bringing these neighborhoods back.”

After working hard for several years on removal of blighted residential properties, Lamancusa said his next goal is to push harder on commercial properties, such as the old St. Joseph Riverside Hospital property on Tod Avenue NW.

Lamancusa also said he is developing plans to modernize payment methods that will allow county tax bills to be paid online.

Harris, an instructor at ETI Technical College, has not previously sought elected office. She spends her free time voluntarily teaching computer literacy classes at Mahoning-Youngstown Community Action Program, or MYCAP.

Harris acknowledges the treasurer’s office seems to be running well under the existing administration, but still believes it is time for a change.

We disagree. Because the office is running well, and because of Lamancusa’s accomplishments over the last several years, he should be returned for another term.