Local reps: Too much power for Youngstown Schools CEO?

Tuesday night, Krish Mohip told the district's school board that he doesn't need to listen to them anymore

Youngstown Schools CEO Krish Mohip limited the school board's power.
FILE - Krish Mohip at school board meeting on September 27, 2016

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Tuesday night, the man who took over the Youngstown City Schools three months ago effectively told the district’s school board that he doesn’t need to listen to them anymore.

“I, as CEO, am governing the district in all areas,” Krish Mohip said. “The board may also have an opportunity to advise me on certain issues as I deem appropriate, but only when I specifically ask for their input.”

While officials with the Ohio Attorney General would not give an opinion about the matter, Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni read the text of the law that created Mohip’s position.

“The CEO shall exercise complete operational, managerial and instruction control of the district,” he said in a phone call.

Mohip indicated on Tuesday that he will decide whether or not to grant tax abatement’s for a new hotel project downtown despite complaints from Board members.

Schiavoni — who voted against Senate Bill 70 — said the law lists close to two dozen specific duties of the CEO and also includes what he calls “catch-all” language.

“They didn’t specifically mention levies,” he said. “They didn’t specifically mention tax abatements. But it says that he or she will have the power to do all of those things — but not limited to the list.”

State Representative John Boccieri watched Mohip’s statement on WKBN.com Tuesday night. He wonders who the CEO will answer to.

“You know, is it the state legislature?” Boccieri said. “Is it the taxpayers of the district? Who is he accountable for?”

While Boccieri said there is a lot to SB 70 that’s not defined, he admits for now that Youngstown’s CEO may ultimately sink or swim with his own decisions.

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