As Trumbull County resident John Moliterno winds down his tenure on the Ohio Consumers' Counsel Board of Directors, we grow concerned about the Mahoning Valley's representation at the state level.
Moliterno has served Ohio consumers and local residents well with the Consumers' Counsel for more than nine years, including the last two as chairman representing residential consumers. Citing the desire to inject fresh faces into the counsel, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine decided to not re-appoint Moliterno when his term expires at the end of this year.
We certainly understand DeWine's objective. And we take comfort in knowing that Trumbull County still has another representative - Kinsman resident Joe Logan representing family farmers - on the eight-person board. Logan's term expires at the end of 2013.
Overall, however, this is one less local representative on a state board. There is concern that the Valley's presence in Columbus has slowly decreased over the last two years, even on boards such as the Ohio Consumers' Counsel that require a Democrat and Republican balance.
Ohio Consumers' Counsel is a residential utility consumer advocate that monitors and participates in proceedings of state and federal regulators, including the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. It also educates consumers about utility issues.
When Ohio fixed an $8 billion budget shortfall last year, funding for the Consumers' Counsel was drastically slashed, prompting the resignation of its director, Janine Migden-Ostrander. Some credit Moliterno with then helping the Consumers' Counsel establish a less adversarial approach to issues.
Moliterno is president and chief executive officer of Pegasus Printing Group. He is a former president and chief executive officer of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber. The Ohio State University graduate serves on Youngstown State University Penguin Club, Better Business Bureau of Mahoning Valley and Trumbull County Workforce Development boards.
Moliterno represented Trumbull County well on the state level and continues to help meet local needs through his community service.