Crime Is Put In Crosshairs

The first order of business Wednesday for Steubenville Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci was coffee, doughnuts and a conversation with city department heads.

Mucci has also met with a representative of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla and Police Chief Bill McCafferty, as well as staff members from the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

“This will be a roundtable discussion and collaboration effort to discuss recent criminal activities in the city and how we can stop crime effectively. We will be talking about those issues and how we can work together,” Mucci said.

“I continue to have the full faith and confidence in the Steubenville Police Department and I hope to build on that,” he added. “The safety and security of our community and our residents is a top priority.”

Steubenville residents have been seeking relief from the multiple shootings in their community since Jan. 30 when two men were shot and killed. A 16-year-old male has been charged in that case. Three shootings have occurred within two weeks last month, injuring several people and killing a Chicago man on April 19.

Mucci assumed the acting city manager’s duties Wednesday morning after former manager Cathy Davison submitted her resignation to City Council on Tuesday night.

“After months of trying to move the city forward, it has become apparent that City Council and I do not have the same vision for the city of Steubenville,” Davison announced in a prepared statement released Tuesday night following the City Council meeting.

Steubenville Law Director S. Gary Repella said Council will start the search process for a new city manager in the next week or two.

Mucci said Wednesday this is the fourth time he has served as acting city manager, “and I am confident I can handle the duties without any problems.”

He said he has been working late hours as he moves from a ceremonial mayor to acting city manager of the community of 18,000 residents.

“We have a very dedicated, qualified and professional group of department heads. I know I can get an immediate response to any questions I may have or at least an understanding of city issues. I look forward to working on the challenges the city is facing,” Mucci said.

“I also believe we need to develop a strategy or blueprint for our future. We will need to build a consensus of our citizens to achieve our goals and to move forward. I will be listening to suggestions and ideas from our department heads, our city employees and our citizens. I will listen and take all ideas under consideration,” Mucci stressed.

The city charter calls for Mucci to receive the same $90,000 annual salary Davison was paid as city manager.

“I know we can resolve our issues because of our department heads, our outstanding city employees and our citizens. My top priority at this point is reviewing and fully understanding the 2013 city budget and making appropriate adjustments where necessary. I am also preparing to start working on the 2014 city budget and have already been meeting with the Finance Director Alyssa Kerker. Addressing the city budget will be the number one priority. It will be a difficult task, and contract negotiations with the city unions will be the key,” said Mucci.