Citizens Respond to Upheaval at Mahoning County Park District

From, the Youngstown Vindicator



Former park naturalist Ray Novotny delivered an impassioned speech to Mill Creek MetroParks leadership at tonight’s board meeting.

Novotny, who received two standing ovations from the crowd of roughly 200 as well as several park commissioners, took park leaders to task for their failure so far to deliver on a promise that he could receive the status of ‘naturalist emeritus’ for the park. Novotny said he asked for that distinction after he was summarily dismissed from his position as outdoor education manager Feb. 12.

Noting an interview on Vindy Talk Radio in which park Executive Director Aaron Young said “the ball is in [Novotny’s] court” as to whether he wishes to remain involved with the park as naturalist emeritus or as a volunteer, Novotny said tonight that park attorneys previously communicated to him that he might not be permitted to act as naturalist emeritus.


State Rep. John Boccieri spoke out in opposition to recent staff cuts at Mill Creek MetroParks during public comment at tonight’s ongoing board meeting. 

“I personally have an opinion about this. I feel these employees should be reinstated,” he said, referring to recent dismissals of 13 park employees as part of an internal reorganization.

Boccieri said he and other state lawmakers are working on legislation that addresses the process by which park commissioners are appointed in Ohio. Some have called into question that system, in which the county probate judge appoints board members rather than the board being elected by voters.


Read the entire article on (this is a free news website of the Youngstown Vindicator)

Categories: News

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