Critic of Mill Creek leadership joins park board of commissioners

Jeff Harvey has been a leader of the opposition and passionately disagreed with some of the decisions made by Mill Creek Park leaders

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – A man who has often been critical of the Mill Creek MetroParks took a seat on the board of commissioners Monday night. Jeff Harvey will now be part of the decision-making process.

What could have been an awkward hello was actually cordial, even jovial, between Mill Creek MetroParks Executive Director Aaron Young, Mahoning County Probate Judge Robert Rusu and Harvey — the newest member of the MetroParks Board of Commissioners.

“Well, it’s been a long time coming,” Harvey said. “I have applied four times and this time, fourth time’s a charm, I guess!”

It was Judge Rusu that appointed Harvey. Rusu said one reason is because he hadn’t missed a park board meeting since 2007.

“I’ve always liked when Jeff and I have talked about different things in Mahoning County. We may not agree on everything, but we can passionately disagree on it but we’re still friends at the end of the day,” Rusu said.

Over the past two years, Harvey has passionately disagreed with some of the decisions made by the people running the MetroParks. He has been a leader of the opposition.

Among his complaints are five board members he says he doesn’t like, outside consultants who he claims “did all the talking” and not getting the desired results.

“I think what happened in the past is in the past. I’m looking forward to working with and supporting the park staff and implementing the strategic plan, and I think we have good things happening,” Harvey said.

Then, facing Judge Rusu with his right hand up, Harvey took his oath Monday and joined the Mill Creek MetroPark Board of Commissioners.

“I think he’s going to do a good job,” said. “I think he’s going to be great for the park.”

Also appointed to the board at the same time was Paul Olivier, a vice president of Mercy Health. Olivier was also supposed to be sworn in Monday night, but could not make it to the meeting.