The Tribune Chronicle endorses incumbent Trumbull County Commissioner Daniel Polivka, a Democrat, over Republican challenger John Hull in the November General Election. Voting begins Oct. 2.
During his long tenure as commissioner, Polivka has amassed many accomplishments. Here are some of his more recent ones:
Chaired the committee that recommended hiring Trumbull County Planning Commission Director William Miller. Since taking over in 2009, Miller has aggressively led a fruitful charge to rectify a decades-old problem of not providing sanitary sewers to much of the county.
Played a key role in hiring Building Inspector Michael Sliwinski. Over the past several years, many employers and those who provide quality-of-life events locally have commented on how business-friendly Sliwinski operates the office.
Supported Chief Deputy Earnest Cook's takeover of the county emergency dispatch center and Cook's efforts to make it easy for local communities to transfer their dispatching to the county. As a result, Hubbard, Liberty, McDonald and Newton Falls are saving their taxpayers about $1 million per year combined.
Recognized, when commissioners asked for proposals to save senior citizen transportation, that a foolish plan submitted by Office of Elderly Affairs Director Gary Engstrom ''was just lucrative for him.''
Understands the urgent need for a change at the Western Reserve Port Authority. In response to the question, ''Are you happy with the performance of the Port Authority executive director," Polivka did not hesitate to reply, ''No.''
Hull is correct in pointing out, ''Government agencies should be consolidated and pared down. ...'' We have no doubt that unlike Polivka, Hull would have pushed for consolidation of Eastern and Central district courts to save taxpayers more than $100,000 per year.
We disagree with Hull's contention that the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau is ''Another egregious waste of taxpayer money.'' We are concerned that Hull is not abreast of county employee contracts or the recently adopted sick leave policy that has received prominent attention. We are also concerned that he has resided in the county for only three years.
By no means should Polivka receive a free pass. There's a big difference between voicing displeasure with the port authority's executive director and aggressively doing something about it. Polivka should also be doing more about the potential consolidation of departments and office space with the City of Warren, which proposes constructing a government center, the county's senior citizen transportation system that is running out of money, and an overly aggressive health department that continues to cause havoc for low-income residents and small businesses.
Voters should support Polivka and expect these issues to be tackled during his next term.