Friday, October 9, 2009

Stubbornly Stuck In Place

The big news in the Mahoning Valley is, of course, the deal struck between Girard and Youngstown that will allow for the expansion of the V&M Star site. I'm still fixated on the Mayor of Girard. In my opinion, he walks away from this looking like a parochial jackass:

The agreement was reached after a marathon bargaining session in downtown Youngstown, mirroring a similar session Aug. 24, when the sides reached a tentative agreement on the land.

''I guess we were all going to turn into pumpkins if we didn't (reach a deal),'' said Girard Mayor James Melfi.

Melfi is mocking the sense of urgency expressed by Youngstown officials, the Regional Chamber and Congressman Tim Ryan. Furthermore, Melfi refused to speak with The Business Journal:

About two months ago, Girard Mayor James Melfi criticized the plan to annex the Girard Land to Youngstown, resulting in several weeks of discussions. Only days ago, Melfi had said he did not believe a deal was close. ...

... The Business Journal has been unable to secure any comments from Melfi. The newspaper has criticized his actions in an online editorial and satirized his position in a political cartoon. ...

... A formal signing ceremony is being planned for Wednesday, and a V&M official is also expected to be on hand for the event.

“It’s a very good day for the Valley,” Girard City Council President Reynald Paolone said Thursday evening. Based on discussions he has had, he does not foresee any problems with his council’s vote.

The council president specifically wanted to thank officials with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, which has been working with V&M on the project, as well as V&M officials for being patient, Youngstown’s administration and the city councils of both cities, and The Business Journal. “You guys were really positive on this thing,” he said.

Upon reading that, I had to laugh. This is far from subtle journalism. Here you have the Girard City Council President praising the newspaper that Melfi refuses to acknowledge. Melfi had no problem speaking to reporters of the Warren Tribune Chronicle. Of course, he's quoted as making a snarky remark.

I'm relieved that the Mahoning Valley was able to overcome all the obstacles that Melfi decided to throw down at the last minute. He acts as if his brinkmanship isn't obvious. His conduct is shameful and would make outsiders wary of investing in his city. Time for a change.

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