Tuesday, August 18, 2015
By David Skolnick
The Mahoning County Board of Elections disqualified three candidates and three liquor options from the Nov. 3 ballot.
The options and two of the candidates were taken off the ballot during Monday’s board meeting for a lack of valid signatures.
The other candidate – Phillip C. Dickens, who filed to run for a seat on Beloit Village Council – was disqualified because his voter registration card lists him as a resident of Sebring on July 18, when he started circulating petitions.
The board also ruled that Mary Hricko of Austintown wasn’t eligible to be on the ballot as a member of the county educational service center. She submitted petitions with 58 signatures, needing 50 to be valid. The board determined only 38 were good.
Also tossed off the ballot was Kelly M. Teeters as a Jackson-Milton school board candidate.
Teeters needed 25 valid signatures to be a candidate. She filed petitions with 25 signatures, but the board ruled Monday that only 23 were valid.
Both Hricko and Teeters were among only two candidates running for two seats on the respective boards.
Candidates can file as write-ins by next Monday’s deadline.
A Sunday liquor option for Crickets Bar and Grill, 1733 E. Midlothian Blvd. in Youngstown, was rejected by the board.
There were 126 signatures on the nominating petitions with 83 deemed to be valid. The option needed 88 valid signatures.
Those backing the liquor option said there are 12 signatures on petitions that should count. Board officials and Crickets will meet shortly to see if there are at least five more valid signatures to get the liquor option back on the ballot.
Also, liquor options for Monday-Saturday, and for Sunday sales – both on the same nominating petitions – for Zenobia Cuisine, 584 E. Main St. in Canfield Township were deemed invalid.
The proposals needed 120 valid signatures but had only 89 that were accepted by the board.
The board also scheduled a hearing for 5 p.m. Aug. 26 to hear a protest on the residency of David Engler, a former county commissioner, running for trustee in Austintown.
Ex-Austintown Trustee Lisa Oles filed an initial protest, but she moved to Colorado and doesn’t have standing to object. Donald Streamo of Woodhurst Drive in Austintown also filed a protest claiming Engler doesn’t live at 1204 S. Meridian Road in Austintown. Engler changed his address to the Meridian location on April 4.
Elections Director Joyce Kale-Pesta said election workers went to the house, which is undergoing construction improvements.
Previous cases in the county in which residency was called into question and the candidate owned a house in that community have usually favored the candidate’s eligibility.
The board also decided to get legal opinions from the Youngstown law director and the county prosecutor before ruling on the validity of an anti-fracking charter amendment that is to be on the Nov. 3 ballot for city residents. Secretary of State Jon Husted ruled last week that similar proposals in Athens, Fulton and Medina counties couldn’t be on the ballot contending a court decision doesn’t give locals power to ban fracking. That’s controlled by the state, Husted said.