Friction on port board

By RON SELAK JR.

Tribune Chronicle

WARREN – With speculation still swirling about disbanding the Western Reserve Port Authority, its former board chairman, Scott Lynn, is leaving the troubled group.

Lynn, chief pilot for DeBartolo Corp., is done May 21.

Trumbull County commissioners, who just in January reappointed Lynn to another four-year term on the board, are expected to accept his resignation when they meet Thursday.

Commissioner Paul Heltzel said Tuesday that Lynn’s departure is due to friction on the board, which has been called ”dysfunctional.”

”We’re losing the good people, not the bad people,” Heltzel said. ”We’re losing the good people, and Scott was one of the good guys.

”He just reached a point where he said he could not put up with this anymore,” Heltzel said.

The eight-person board of business people from Trumbull and Mahoning counties oversees the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and in recent years has taken on some economic development duties. Commissioners from the two counties appoint four members each.

Recently, the board has has come under scrutiny for its inability to work as a team and because of clashing among its members.

The troubles led to commissioners from both counties asking for legal advice on whether the board can be dissolved. Until they get some direction, it’s unlikely the spot left open by Lynn’s departure will be filled, said Trumbull County Commission Frank Fuda.

”It’s doesn’t make any sense to appoint someone to a board that doesn’t exist,” Fuda said.

Lynn’s is the second defection from the board. Richard Schiraldi, a certified public accountant appointed by Mahoning County commissioners, also left the board recently. He has not been replaced.

rselak@tribtoday.com