Since 1985, the owner of the Idora Park property has promised to develop a City of God on the site. After 29 years, the property sits idle. Now, the owner Mount Calvary Pentecostal Church, may ask the community for financial help to kick start the development.
People living in the Mahoning Valley are getting older and poorer. Census figures show the area has the fifth highest number of residents 65 and older. Also, the area has the lowest average household income, less than $30,000 a year. This poorer, aging population will need help financially from local agencies and the community.
Roughly 70 South side residents attended an informational meeting sponsored by the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. The meeting at the Oak Hill Collaborative ran for two hours instead of one, which residents expressing their concerns over the lack of attention by leaders to their section of the city.
C. Todd Jones, one of the most influential members of the state school board, went on the offense at a board meeting last week, suggesting that if he has ethical problems, so do a lot of other members.
State school board member Bryan Williams of Fairlawn resigned Monday, telling colleagues that recent media reports have made him aware that as a publicly elected official, he may have violated Ohio ethics law by lobbying the government for private interests.
What is a clear conflict of interest for an Ohio state legislator is not so clear for a member of the State Board of Education. Four state school board members have business and private interests that compete directly for education dollars. Two are lobbyists, one is married to a lobbyist, and another benefits from public money given to the Christian college where he is president for post-secondary education. When it comes to the state school board, “Lobby law is silent,” said Paul Nick, executive director of the Ohio Ethics Commission.
The Ohio State School Board is one of three hybrid boards in the nation. The board has 11 elected and eight appointed members. Prior to 1995, the 11-member board was entirely elected. Now, with more governor appointments, the board has lost its independent nature. The Beacon Journal in Akron and The News Outlet based at Youngstown State University explore the workings of the board that directs education in Ohio.
The State School Board of Education has focused its attention on more school choice in Ohio. Proponents say more choice will lead to competition and result in better quality schools. They also say parents are capable of making informed choices on where their children should go to school. Opponents of expanded choice say it’s hard for parents to make an informed choices when they are inundated by road signs, TV and radio ads, robo-calls and mailers. They also say private and for-profit schools don’t face the same level of accountability as their public school counterparts.