By Benjamin Joe
At the Village of Youngstown Board of Trustees regular board meeting and subsequent work session on Thursday night, Kristine Ripson and Wendy Shaw thanked Youngstown Chief of Police Mike Schuey and officer John Emmons for Emmons’s quick response to a medical emergency and saving the life of Ripson’s cousin.
Shaw said she was grateful for the local police being able to get to the scene quickly as she didn’t know how long it would’ve taken a county sheriff to respond.
“Having the village police be able to respond instantly was probably the lifesaver for her,” Shaw said. “So, we really appreciate you guys; I mean, you did an awesome job. You got there instantly, broke the door down, got in and started talking to her and seeing what’s going on and stuff, so, we really appreciate it.”
Schuey later answered questions pertaining to the incident.
“It’s a huge deal to have an officer in a village this small to be able to respond within a minute or two to a crucial element like that,” he said. “It’s huge that we have that asset here, and the people that don’t think that police are needed, that’s one reason why we are needed here.”
“That’s what we try to push and show everybody that we’re here to help; we’re not the bad people. We’re here to make the village a nice village, which it is, and keep it that way,” Schuey continued, also mentioning there is no award ceremony for the officer, but Emmons knows exactly what he did and that it all went with the job.
Ripson also mentioned Schuey had called the family of her cousin a few days later to find out how she was and that gesture was also appreciated.
In Other News
Claudia Andres and Sue McNaughton sat through the regular meeting into the work session to ask the board for the use of their letterhead for an insert in the Youngstown News, a local newsletter. The purpose, they said, was to promote and explain a survey they intended to distribute through the following month’s issue. The survey would ask residents what they needed from the village including what kind of programs would help them and what would not.
“We’d like to have survey out and in people’s hands in the October issue of the Youngstown News,” McNaughton said. “But in the September Youngstown News we wanted to get a letter out letting people know it was coming. The letter we want to go out with the village letterhead … we have a draft letter here, and it’s from the Village Board for the ad-hoc committee appointed by the Village Board.”
In a previous meeting, the ad-hoc committee referred to was an idea brought forward by McNaughton and other members of the Village Planning Board. It was decided that a committee would be formed that also included trustees Mark Fox and Tim Lockhart.
Village Attorney Tom Caserta, trustees and the mayor all applauded the idea of the ad hoc committee but said they, “couldn’t get their arms around it.”
The board cited concerns with the letter such as mentioning a comprehensive plan, which they said was years away from being made; having three Planning Board members on the committee was basically allowing them to scout for projects instead of reviewing proposals; and the general feeling was the letter McNaughton read and was proposing to distribute, was ahead of where things actually were. After lengthy discussion, despite several attempts from trustees, the mayor and attorney, as well as Andres and McNaughton to steer a passageway that would allow for the letter to go out, the matter was dropped until the idea was more structured.
“We tried,” Andres told The Sentinel after thanking the board and leaving the meeting.
Questions Driveway Work
Building Inspector John Stevens said that residents of the village are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous driveway installers.
“Driveways,” Stevens said. “We had gypsies in town doing black top work, cutthroats basically, much cheaper than the guys with a good reputation. Problem is they’re putting in driveways that aren’t going to last. People are shopping by price.”
Stevens proposed the village adopt minimum specifications for driveways. He used an example in which one resident was swindled into paying for a driveway that will last five years at the most, Stevens said.
“This office’s job, I think is, you know, they talk about safety. ‘Oh, building codes are about safety’,” Stevens explained. “This one isn’t so much safety as it is. … I also think part of this office’s job is to protect people from scam artists.”
Caserta told Stevens to type up the specifications and give them to the Clerk Wendy Brown.
“I think by spring we should have this in order,” Stevens said. “I think this is important.”
Car Repair Question
Mayor Raleigh Reynolds originally said he didn’t think repairs should be made to the door of the Department of Public Work’s 2008 Chevy pickup truck as it was an item that was unbudgeted and other projects need to be attended to more quickly. However, DPW Supervisor Todd Muller disagreed and convinced the mayor, as well as other trustees, to allow him to use his maintenance budgets to repair the truck.
“My question was that the van gets smashed up, the police car gets smashed up, we fix it,” Muller said. “Something from DPW gets smashed up, we’re broke, we have to wait. … We can’t do this. Something’s broken, it’s got to be fixed!”
Labor Day Parade
The Youngstown Labor Day Parade will be held at noon Monday, Sept. 2. It will start at Fort Niagara State Park and make its way down Main Street to Church Street.
The meeting concluded and was followed by an executive session for litigation matters.