Mixed night for Mahoning school incumbents

By Denise Dick



Mahoning County incumbent school board members had a mixed night.

In Youngstown, Brenda Kimble and Michael Murphy, the only two incumbents who sought re-election, garnered the highest vote totals with 6,550 and 5,529, respectively.

Corrine Sanderson, a political newcomer, won the third seat with 3,466 votes, according to unofficial totals from the Mahoning County Board of Elections.

Dario Hunter won the fourth seat in the race, earning the most votes of the four write-in candidates with 869. Tina Cvetkovich got 417 votes, Tyrone Peakes II, 403; and Rick Alli, 23.

Board members Richard Atkinson, who is serving his second term, and Marcia Haire-Ellis, who is in her first, didn’t seek re-election.

In Austintown, where three candidates were vying for two seats, long-time member David Ritchie was the top vote-getter with 41 percent, followed by fellow incumbent Harold Porter with 31 percent. Challenger Nick Cocca garnered 27 percent.

In Canfield, Philip Bova and David Wilkeson, each earned about 30 percent of votes to win the two available slots. Incumbent Lee Frey garnered 23 percent and Mike Sorice got 16 percent.

There were no incumbents in the race for Boardman school board. Jeff Barone, a financial adviser, earned the most votes with 43 percent with Frank Zetts winning the other seat with 30 percent. Donald Riccitelli got 27 percent.

In South Range, three people were elected: two four-year seats and one unexpired two-year term.

Amy White, appointed to the board last April, earned the most votes in the race for the two four-year seats with 31 percent.

“One thing I’d like to accomplish is to get rid of some of the division in the community and back to how it was” with unity, she said.

She believes communication is key to seeing that happen.

She’ll be joined by Corey Yoakam who got 23 percent of the vote. Falling short were Mick Engle, with 16 percent of the vote, and Taylor Christian and Robert Dance, who each got about 15 percent.

In the race for the unexpired two-year term, John Kuhns won the seat with 33 percent. Rich Ferenchak got 29 percent; Terri Lally, 23 percent; Brian Foutty, 8 percent and John Spiese, 7 percent.

In Youngstown, Kimble, re-elected to her second term, said she wants to revive the school business committee.

“There’s a program we started called ‘Public Education Works,’” she said.

The program will bring support systems and financial support to the school district, she said.

She said she intends to continue to fight the Youngstown Plan, the state initiative that will result in appointment of a chief executive officer to manage the city schools.

Murphy, elected for a third term, said he wants to keep the district finances going smoothly and to do what he can for the residents of the district.

“I don’t know what my role will be with the state coming in, but I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and help the kids,” he said.

The role of the school board under the CEO is unknown. The CEO will be appointed by a new five-member academic distress commission. Three of those members will be appointed by the state superintendent of public instruction, one by the mayor and a teacher by the city school board.

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