Mayor makes switch on utilities commission

SALEM – When the Salem Utilities Commission meets at 3 p.m. Tuesday, a new member will join Geoff Goll and Bob Hodgson on the board which oversees the city’s water and sewer operations.

Mayor John Berlin announced his appointments to various commissions and boards in the city Wednesday, with Ben Funderburg named to the Utilities Commission, replacing Primo Citino, whose six-year term expired Dec. 31.

Berlin said Citino had indicated he had no objection to being reappointed again. When asked why he didn’t reappoint him, he said “it’s a mayoral decision.”

Berlin said he considered what he knew about the other person who had expressed a desire to serve on the commission. Funderburg was the chairman of the Housing Board of Appeals and had served three terms. He served several terms on the Salem Design Review Board, several terms on the Salem Humane Society board and on the Habitat for Humanity of Northern Columbiana County board.

Citino had been appointed to the Utilities Commission in January 2006 to replace Tod Mumpire, who had won election as President of City Council. He served one year of an unexpired term, then was appointed to a six-year term.

City council confirmed Funderburg’s appointment and several other appointments made by the mayor. Steve Wallace and Ginger Grilli were both reappointed to the Design Review Board for three-year terms and Robert Merry was reappointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a four-year term. Audrey Null and Camille Franzen were both reappointed to the Tourism Board for three-year terms.

New appointees to the Tourism Board were Kristina Danklef Moore, to a three-year term to replace David Coy, who did not want reappointed, and BJ Abrams, to serve the remaining two years of the unexpired term of Steven Rouse, who resigned.

Berlin also announced three reappointments that did not require council confirmation, with Michael Eckstein getting another six-year term on the Civil Service Commission, Cami Jackson getting another three-year term on the Board of Health and Joseph Skiba getting another three-year term on the Income Tax Review Board.

The only board which receives any compensation is the Civil Service Commission, according to city Auditor Betty Brothers.

Berlin said all five positions on the Board of Housing Appeals are available, with the mayor to appoint two members and council to appoint three members. Members serve three-year terms. The terms for the previous members all expired at the end of 2011 and there was no need for the board to meet last year since no appeals were filed.

Anyone interested in serving on the Board of Housing Appeals should contact Berlin at city hall or call him at 330-332-4241.

Berlin will present his state of the city address at the next city council meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 15.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at