HOWLAND - The United Way of Trumbull County won't be dissolved and a new agency won't be created with its counterpart in Mahoning County.
Donors to the giving organization who bothered to vote Thursday rejected a proposal to join forces with the United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley to create a new organization, 51 against the idea and 35 for it.
The new agency would have served both counties.
It's unlikely that a similar proposal will be made soon.
''Our members have spoken; that is the best way to put it at this point,'' said John Guarnieri, Trumbull County United Way chairman.
Trumbull County United Way bylaws allowed anyone who donated from August 2011 to July of this year to vote on the proposal.
Mark Alberini said he knows there are efficiencies to be had by combining the two, and that there are residents in need in Mahoning County, but still he voted against the proposal because ''I feel better about the money staying in my county.''
''When I vote, I want my money to help people in my backyard,'' said Alberini of Howland.
Others who voted no said they thought Trumbull County ''would get lost in the shuffle'' if an agency were created to serve the two counties.
Don Emerson, a member of the Vision for the Valley, a group trying to spur a combined agency, said before the total was announced, the economics of the area forced the development of the proposal. Also, it was ''an effort to be a true collaboration and a model of collaboration to follow.''
Despite being on the short end, Guarnieri, also a Vision for the Valley group member, said the process to get to Wednesday's vote has opened the doors for greater work between the Trumbull County and Mahoning County organizations.
''Ultimately from a long term planning standpoint, this was a good process for us to go through,'' Guarnieri said.
The United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley board of directors last week approved the proposal.
Previous attempts at a merger between the two agencies had been met with resistance, mostly from Trumbull United Way officials. It last came up in 2010.
Tribune Chronicle archives indicate the two agencies also had explored the merger idea about 13 years ago. At that time, they had split the cost of a $30,000 study that took eight months to complete. The Trumbull County United Way board of directors voted against a merger at that time, but said they would use the report as a strategic planning tool.