The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

February 2, 2009

Council recall sought

Panel wants four members out

ASHTABULA — A group of citizens launched a recall of four city council members.

Concerned Citizens for Progress invites registered voters to sign recall petitions from 4 to 7 p.m. today and Thursday at 4148 Main Ave., to remove Vice President Betty Kist, Ward 1 Councilman Joseph Rose, Ward 2 Councilman Bernie Roskovics and Ward 3 Councilwoman Ericka Severino.

“We are a political action committee seeking to bring positive change and progress to the city,” said David Bucci, president of Concerned Citizens for Progress. “If you want your government to change, now is your chance.”

Bucci said the group followed the law, allowing the council members to serve one year, “giving them a fair chance” to serve the public. The group’s goal is to gather 800 to 900 signatures and then go to the Ashtabula County Board of Elections, where the signatures will be certified, and if accepted, Bucci said.

“Recall Headquarters” have been established at 4148 Main Ave, Bucci said. That’s the old Sky Bank building, owned by Kenneth Kister of Ashtabula. Kister is Ron Kister’s son. Ron Kister is chairman of the Ashtabula Port Authority.

According to literature which will be available today at Recall Headquarters, the group states the reasons for action taken against these council members include they:

n Conducted themselves in office in a manner opposed to the best interests of the citizens of the city by wasting public resources in private political vendettas against numerous elected officials and city employees;

n Delayed and obstructed progressive legislation proposed by city leaders;

n Opposed hiring of qualified personnel while supporting political cronyism;

n Supported attempts to violate Section 29 of the city charter by interfering in the operations of various city departments and have allowed the city government to be virtually paralyzed, and

n They have acted with complete indifference to the negative consequences of their misconduct upon the people of the city, and they have otherwise conducted themselves in such a fashion as to cause the city of Ashtabula to be held up to ridicule around the state.

Concerned Citizens for Progress literature specifically states that those four council members:

n Terminated contracts with all outside legal counsel, while denying an assistant city solicitor because they wanted everything done “in house,” but Kist motioned to have former city solicitor Tom Simon hired to work on a specific project,

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