Lepore-Hagan Says Kasich ‘Inserting Outside Influence’ into YSU

YOUNGSTOWN— State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, today expressed disappointment over the lack of community ties of Gov. John Kasich’s recent appointee of retired surgeon Charles R. Bush to the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees (READ STORY).

“With all due respect to Dr. Bush, I believe members of the YSU board of trustees should be actively involved and deeply invested in the local community, and that board seats should not be reserved for purely political appointments,” Lepore-Hagan said. “The fact that the governor’s appointee has spent nearly 30 years living in the Columbus area, as well as living part-time in Florida, leads me to question whether he will be able to effectively lead a community with such diverse and unique traits and challenges.”

Bush was appointed Aug. 28. He was reared in Youngstown, graduated from the former Woodrow Wilson High School and received a bachelor’s degree in biology from YSU. His appointment prompted calls to The Business Journal from observers with close ties to the university, who noted the selection of a trustee who does not live in the Mahoning Valley is unprecendented.

“The Mahoning Valley is home to many highly qualified citizens who would be willing and able to serve on the board of trustees; folks that live here, work here, and understand the community. Surely, had the governor been so inclined, he could have selected a local education leader rather than a Columbus outsider,” Lepore-Hagan said.

“Gov. Kasich’s appointment of Dr. Bush is yet another example of the governor inserting outsider influence into Mahoning Valley matters. I am deeply concerned that the governor will demonstrate his disregard for community engagement in local education again in the near future by selecting an outsider CEO to manage the takeover of the Youngstown City Schools.”

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