An insult could become a compliment, depending on who’s making it

In the Dec. 12 Vindicator, Don L. Hanni III questions my ethics and integrity concerning the purchase of a piece of property in downtown Girard. While I do not appreciate his accusations, I will say that I do consider having my ethics questioned by Mr. Hanni a ringing endorsement of my character.

The story reported that I purchased the property three weeks after The Vindicator ran the headline story confirming V&M Star’s new steel mill and that I would transfer it to the Western Reserve Port Authority or V&M without profit.

Notwithstanding that, Mr. Hanni chose to make allegations that I might profit on the sale of property that I never sold and may never sell. He is essentially predicting that I will do something wrong in the future, and running to the newspapers with it. Later in the article, Mr. Hanni concedes that if I don’t break any laws, then I won’t get in any legal trouble. Thanks for that tip, Don.

The article noed that I publicly questioned the appointment of Mr. Hanni to the port authority in April, and I still do. Why would our community risk having someone with his background and limited credentials serve in such an important position? He was run off the Youngstown city school board after a messy arrest involving drugs and marijuana paraphernalia. His arrest alone should have precluded him from serving on the board.

Board members are typically accomplished individuals with backgrounds in law, accounting, aviation, business, or combinations thereof. Mr. Hanni has none of these qualifications, and instead brings to the board a very parochial attitude, along with his acrimonious and odious nature. In his brief tenure on the port authority, he has brought in another failed blimp manufacturer, proposed that the volunteer board members be paid a salary so they can receive PERS, and tried to place a convicted felon in the newly created position of economic developer — something he now denies.

I am not the only object of Mr. Hanni’s accusations. All of the people Mr. Hanni accused of wrongdoing were Trumbull County appointees, while Mr. Hanni represents Mahoning County.

One would expect this type of behavior by Mr. Hanni because at least you know what you’re getting with him. The same cannot be said for his friend on the port, Andres Visnapuu, who was also mentioned in the article. He is a self-described “retired businessman” who used to sell horoscope books that are used to predict winning lottery numbers. Perhaps Mr. Hanni used these books to predict that I might make a profit on my land some day.

I stand by my April comments in the Vindicator: Don L. Hanni III should not be on the Western Reserve Port Authority. It is time to replace him with a more suitable candidate.

Atty. John J. Masternick, Girard

The writer is past chairman of the Western Reserve Port Authority.