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The King Is Gone
May 17, 2011 - Joe Gorman
Back in The Day when I covered Mahoning County for several years, the term ``King George' meant one of two people: Either former Youngstown Mayor George McKelvey or Mahoning County Administrator George Tablack.
Now, the King is gone, as news broke last week that with a new commissioner on the board, the county declined to renew Tablack's contract as administrator and he was let go as of Sunday.
There were contrasts between both kings, but both liked holding court with the media -- when they chose to do so. Tablack, especially, would say he was unhappy with a certain story and fault the press for failing to call him or get in touch with him. Yet, his cell phone number was a secret guarded more closely that Bin Laden's hangout and he never returned calls to his office. Indeed, once, he phoned me three days after a story to see what I had wanted. But by then it was too late.
Tablack stunned the county several years ago when he left with almost no warning for a job in Florida and equally stunning was his return to county government -- again, with almost no warning -- when he left that job with no warning and got Commissioner Anthony Traficanti and former Commissioner David Ludt to rehire him as administrator.
Commissioner John McNally opposed his return and when Carol Rimedio-Righetti defeated Ludt last year and took office, McNally finally had an ally to oust Tablack, which he did. Some say Tablack was the driving force behind the county's purchase of Oak Hill Renassiance Place Center, but the building has yet to be the Ultimate One Stop Shop for county government that it was supposed to be.
There are no shortage of people who are sorry to see him go. I was always torn on him myself, and he could give so much detail that it almost felt like times that I was drowning. But the king is now gone. The question now is, who will be the new king?
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