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Polivka should get Democratic nod for seat

The stance of Democratic Trumbull County commissioner candidate Carl Clemens III on leadership and cooperation should be heeded by everyone in elected office.

His main goal, when asked by this newspaper’s editorial board, was to bring awareness to the need for cooperation “because they sure are not working together,” Clemens said about Trumbull County office holders. “There’s not enough listening going on … It starts with the commissioners.

“(Trumbull Commissioner) Mauro (Cantalamessa) is listening the best. We have two other commissioners who are in a bad place. They are not listening very well, and they are not working together.”

Clemens was referring to Commissioners Frank Fuda and Dan Polivka. Polivka is the Democratic incumbent whose seat is being challenged by Clemens, an appointed member of the Trumbull County Transit Board.

Clemens has become heavily entrenched in many of the challenges of this county’s transit system because, as a disabled Warren resident, he relies heavily on public transportation to get around.

He makes good points about the transit system and is doing a fine job of drawing attention to the need for cooperation in government — not just locally but nationwide.

But other than that, his goals for the office of county commissioner were extremely limited.

A second Democratic candidate, David Guarino, declined to seek our endorsement.

That leaves the incumbent Polivka.

In the past we have expressed our disappointment with the divisiveness that existed between Polivka and Fuda because we agree with Clemens that cooperation is important. However, we believe Polivka is making attempts to cooperate, despite the fact the two commissioners often don’t see eye to eye.

Additionally, we continue to see Polivka’s role as both county commissioner and chairman of the Trumbull County Democratic Party as a serious conflict of interest. Party leaders should not hold public office because the threat and the appearance of impropriety are great.

Under Polivka’s tutelage as commissioner, though, we are pleased the county has been able to maintain status quo on property taxes, despite past threats of layoffs. Of course, we still believe room always exists for more cuts to spending.

At the end of the day, among the three candidates seeking the party’s nomination, we believe Polivka has emerged as the most qualified choice, and we endorse him for the Democratic nomination.

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