Boardman Township trustees held the first This is Boardman event on Friday, Oct. 18, with local business owners and leaders in attendance. Trustee Larry Moliterno explained how everything got started.
"This event came about because so many cannot make a school board, township, or park board meeting to find out what is going on," Moliterno said.
The idea was to bring everyone together for an early breakfast, prior to the start of the workday, and bring in representatives from the various branches of local government to give updates. It was obvious that trustees had a winner on their hands as the event was attended by more than 150 people, making it a sell-out.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Boardman Township Trustee Larry Moliterno addresses a packed house at the Lariccia Family Community Center in Boardman Park on Friday morning for the first This is Boardman event.
Moliterno started off the event by giving an update on township government. He said Boardman has challenges, like road resurfacing.
"Asphalt prices have gone up and today we can only do half the roads we did in 2007," he said. "We need to find a way to be more efficient."
One program he was pleased to announce was leaf pickup. He said the township was recently notified that leaf pickup was going to be discontinued. He said Boardman officials decided to go ahead with it anyway and fund it through the township.
Moliterno also addresses the demolition of buildings in the township this year.
"We are tearing down buildings not to get rid of blight, but to prepare for redevelopment," he said.
He also mentioned the present zoning map that is a "kaleidoscope" of colors. He said the township has been working on rezoning to help preserve the integrity of neighborhoods.
Moving on to safety forces, Moliterno said the fire department will once again house volunteers and the township is looking at the stations and building problems that will need to be addressed.
On the police department, he said the move is to get aggressive with drugs in the Boardman community. He said 10 new officers have been hired as trustees promised, and the township received $700,000 from seized drug money that was used to install the new radio system with no money coming from residents' tax dollars.
He also mentioned the use of the old radios for school security by creating a direct link to the police department. For the future, the police department is looking at expanding that system into the mall and other high traffic areas in the township.
As for the near future, Moliterno told those in attendance to keep their eyes open for some new businesses coming to the township soon.
He also mentioned one of the top reasons people say Boardman is a nice place to call home. That reason is Boardman Park. Representing the park was Joyce Mistovich, who reported 415,000 people have visited the park this year.
"According to a recent National Parks and Recreation report, Boardman Park ranks well above the average when compared to similar agencies," she said.
She gave a brief history of the park from its beginnings when voters passed a 1 mill levy to form a park on Nov. 4, 1947. Since that date, the park system has grown into 60 acres of Green Oasis and 167 acres of natural habitat, including a new dog park.
Speaking for the schools was Director of Operations Tim Saxton. He highlighted the school district's many features that have added value to the education of Boardman students. Features like the music program and planetarium, along with 30 after-school, extracurriculars supporting academics have made Boardman schools an excellent place for a good education.
"Boardman High School has been ranked excellent in the state of Ohio in 13 out of 13 years," Saxton said.
Rounding out the speakers for the morning was Ed Muransky, CEO of Muransky Companies. He started his talk about how Boardman came to be in the 1780s when Eliza Boardman founded the township. He said through the past 200 plus years, Boardman has grown and offered a lot. People come to Boardman to live, work, relax and shop. He referred to the township as the "center of the world" and explained what it took to reach that status.
"Boardman didn't become a good place because Eliza Boardman had a magic wand," Muransky said. "From a developer's standpoint, government and private business have difficulty working together, but that is not the case in Boardman."
He said when everyone works together, things happen and everyone benefits. He said there are six new doctors locating in Boardman, on the south side of the Market Street Dunkin Donuts. He said along with the new imaging center in the complex, it will complement the hospital at Southwoods.
In closing the event, Moliterno said he hopes to make this an annual event. He also mentioned the entire This is Boardman program will be shown on Boardman's cable TV channel.