Vindicator Logo

WASHINGTONVILLE Four council seats attract no interest

By Nancy Tullis

Monday, October 29, 2001

The only candidate to file will become mayor next week.
WASHINGTONVILLE -- Four of six village council seats will be vacant in January, but voters here won't have a hand in filling them.
Members will be appointed to the four seats by incumbent council.
There are no candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot. Incumbent Michael Donnalley had filed as a write-in candidate, but later withdrew. He will become mayor next week.
Donnalley, a member of council since 1991, agreed to finish Mayor Charles Morrow's term after Roy Hartman, council president, declined the mayor's post.
By law, council appoints the council president as mayor if the mayor resigns, said John Payne, Columbiana County Board of Elections director. If the council president does not want to become mayor, he can retain his council seat, but must resign as council president.
Hartman resigned as council president Oct. 16, and council voted 5-0, with Donnalley absent, to name Donnalley council president. Council will then vote next week to appoint Donnalley mayor.
Morrow told council Sept. 18 he would resign effective Nov. 1. Sept. 17 was the deadline for candidates to file in order to appear on the ballot Nov. 6 for any Columbiana County race.
Morrow has purchased a home in Florida, and he and his wife, Beverly, will retire there.
Incumbent councilmen Roy Hartman, Larry Dickson and Norman Sommers did not file, nor did any challengers.
The terms of incumbent Councilwomen Theresa Allison and Laura Ann Trummer expire in 2003.
Don Vos, commander of the Columbiana County unorganized militia, has said he would like to be considered for one of the seats.
He said he would be willing to serve the village because he fears if people don't step up, the stage will be set for a merger with Leetonia.
Vos said he owns property elsewhere in the county but chooses to live in Washingtonville because he likes the community. He believes Washingtonville can survive on its own.
Merger idea: Morrow has suggested the village must merge with neighboring Leetonia to survive financially over the long haul.
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 Washingtonville. The village is linked to Salem's water system.
Donnalley believes Salem will grow rapidly to the east, toward Washingtonville, with a Wal-Mart planned along state Route 14 east of the city.
Former council members Diane Hoschar and Jane Ehrenberg favor a merger with Leetonia. They said such a merger would improve the village's chances of receiving competitive state and federal grants and generate more tax revenue.
Ehrenberg said that Washingtonville residents care about their community and don't want to lose their identity. Retirees worry the Washingtonville post office would be a casualty of a merger.