Trumbull County Commissioners and department head spar over performance

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Commissioners and Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith spent Friday morning talking about Smith's role leading the sanitation department

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Some Trumbull County Commissioners are questioning the county engineer about how he’s running the sanitation department.

Commissioners and Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith spent Friday morning talking about Smith’s role leading the sanitation department.

In 2015, county commissioners voted to put Smith, who is the head of the highway department, in charge of the sanitary engineer’s office as well. But now, some commissioners believe Smith hasn’t been able to handle both jobs.

“It was too much to ask of one person to run the sanitary engineer’s department and the highway department,” said Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda.

Fuda said the department is not being run “fluently,” and the people are not working together as team.

“It’s not running like a team. You have individuals doing a bunch of different things. That is where the problem is,” Fuda said.

Standing in frustration, Smith said the largest water project in Trumbull County was completed while he was in office. He said he not aware of “a single project that has fallen behind or fallen in bad graces.”

Smith said he believes the sentiment about his performance is tied to staff changes he tried to make in the sanitation department.

“I fully support bringing someone in independently to look at the concerns, and I’ll respect any decision you make,” Smith said.

Commissioner Dan Polivka said even with Smith spread between the two departments, a lot of work has been done.

“We’ve been able to get a lot of projects done, sewer projects. We were able to get the largest water project in the history of the state of Ohio, it was over $11 million awarded. There are some good things there. We just have to get to the bottom of it and make it better,” he said.

Going forward, Fuda says they will do an independent study to see what steps may need to be taken.

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