WASHINGTONVILLE Village council names new mayor

Donnalley said he'll have a lot to learn about being mayor.
WASHINGTONVILLE -- Michael Donnalley said he will be the next mayor of Washingtonville because his fellow council members want him to have the job.
Council appointed Donnalley as council president Tuesday by a 5-0 vote with Donnalley absent. By law, the council president becomes mayor if the mayor resigns, but council president Roy Hartman doesn't want the job.
Council accepted Mayor Charles Morrow's resignation Tuesday. He leaves office with two years remaining on a four-year term.
Donnalley, 36, has been a councilman since 1991.
"Somebody has to do it, and I guess I'm the chosen one," Donnalley joked. "There's a lot for me to learn, but I'll do my best."
Morrow and his wife, Beverly, bought a house in Florida and will retire there. He told council Sept. 18 he would resign effective Nov. 1.
Donnalley said the greatest challenge for village officials will continue to be generating enough revenue to operate efficiently.
In recent years, the village has had little support from residents in approving tax issues to fund village operations such as street repairs and improvements.
Village merger: Morrow has suggested that a merger with neighboring Leetonia as the solution to the village's financial survival over the long term. The combined villages would be more competitive for federal and state grants, he said.
The 2000 U.S. Census figures show Washingtonville with a population of 789, an 11 percent decline from the 1990 census, and Leetonia at 2,043, a 1 percent drop from the previous decade.
The villages share a school system, Judy Garlough is clerk of both village councils, and Leetonia provides fire protection for Washingtonville.
Donnalley, however, said if such a merger must eventually occur, he would prefer it be with Salem rather than Leetonia. The village is linked to Salem's water system.
He believes Salem will grow rapidly to the west with a Wal-Mart store planned along state Route 14 west of the city. Morrow had been working with Ohio Department of Transportation officials to have a traffic light installed in the village at the intersection of state Route 14 and Washingtonville Road.
"The idea of becoming part of Leetonia has been kicked around for years," Donnalley said.
He said council would have to consider such a merger with Salem or Leetonia if the village can't survive financially on its own.
Zoning issues: Donnalley said establishing zoning in the village will be another key issue in 2002.
"People have been complaining about a new billboard in the village," Donnalley said. "I think that shows we need zoning. We're ready for it."
Donnalley is a construction superintendent for Jim Santini Builders of Washingtonville. He lives in the village with his wife, Robyn, and two children.