Monday, March 2, 2015

PART 7: JUDGE PARK SERIES: WILL JAKMIDES GET PARK REVERSED AGAIN?




On August 18, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeals:

  • on the appeal of Alliance attorney Jeff Jakmides (filed on behalf of one Barbara Lockheart)
  • that Judge Dixie Park of the Stark County Probate Court had violated the Constitutional (due process of law) rights of Lockheart which resulted in her spending some 10 harrowing days
    • in the Stark County jail
It could be that Jakmides may once again be on a track to have the Fifth District find that Judge Park has violated the due process of law rights of yet another Stark Countian.

On February 26th, Jakmides filed an appeal with the court from Judge Park rulings in the case In re:  ... Frank K. Bolog:


As a matter of formal legal pleadings, the appeal asserts that Judge Park:


In layman's language, the pleading asserts that Judge Park:
  1. Violated Ohio law in acting to appoint a guardian for putative ward Frank K. Bolog without having found that as a matter of law on the basis of clear and convincing evidence that Bolog is mentally impaired,
  2. Violated Ohio law in appointing an guardian for Bolog's personal/property interest decision making authority of a person (John R. Frank, appointed February 4, 2014) who never made a required Ohio Supreme Court prescribed application, and consequently:
  3. Bolog was denied his U.S. Constitutional rights of due process of law (notice and opportunity to be heard) rights.


If Jakmides is successful, Bolog will be the fourth in a string of cases within a year in which Park was either reversed on constitutional grounds (In re:  Finan and In re: Flohr) or remanded (by the Ohio Supreme Court) on the illegal issuance by a probate court judge of a search warrant.

The Report will not repeat the volumes that have already been written in this current series (who knows how long this is going to go on?), but here are links for those SCPR readers are not familiar with the details of what has gone on before:
The question that the SCPR raises is this:  When is enough enough?

In several blogs of this series, The Report has said that Judge Park is obviously in over her head in terms of knowledge of the law or in judicial demeanor and should at her own initiative resign.

Of course, that is not going to happen.

The SCPR has learned that among Stark County judicial/legal establishment, Judge Park has very low regard in terms of her legal acumen.

However, elected official colleagues and lawyers who appear before her will talk "privately" with one another in derogation of her legal abilities, but none apparently have the courage to go face-to-face with Judge Park and join the SCPR in asking her to resign.

Currently, there is a trial going on in Cleveland involving Cleveland Municipal Court judge Angela Stokes (currently barred from hearing criminal cases) on whether or not Judge Stokes should lose her law license and therefore the ability to be an Ohio judge:

Excerpts from a February 26th Cleveland Plain Dealer piece on the trial:
The Ohio Supreme Court's Board of Professional Conduct appointed a three-member panel to hear the case, which is unfolding like a trial in a makeshift courtroom in the offices of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.
Joseph Caligiuri, the lead lawyer for the disciplinary counsel, described Stokes' treatment of people appearing in her courtroom as "downright despicable" and said that she led a "reign of terror" that disrupted the entire court. He said people who enter her courtroom walk into a "different universe."
Among the allegations made by local lawyers and others against Judge Park in addition to the higher court reversals/remands as linked to above, include charges that she favors certain lawyers over others and has had a difficult relationship with court employees.

Local attorney Craig T. Conley has made "no bones about it," he wants Park gone and gone yesterday.

While ethical rules will not allow lawyers who have filed disciplinary complaints to make having done so public, the SCPR has reason to believe that complaints have been filed against Judge Park.

Should any of "thought-to-have-been-filed" complaints mature into charges being filed by Disciplinary Counsel against Park, the SCPR thinks Stark Countians can expect a similar scene that is going on in Cleveland to materialize in Stark County.

It hasn't been that long since there was a resolution of difficulties that came out of troubles that plagued the Stark County treasurer's office during the period April 1, 2009 through the end of October, 2011.

And, of course, there is the George T. Maier qualifying to be sheriff saga that dragged out from February 5, 2013 through the November election of 2014. 

Could it be that Stark County will once again be the focus of all Ohio as the Judge Dixie Park saga unfolds?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

STARK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: "A MIXED BAG" ON THEIR HANDLING HANDLING NEXUS PIPELINE "SUPPORT" REQUEST


CREIGHTON & REGULA 
HAVE PREMATURELY DECIDED?
 (SEE CORN'S REACTION)

Updated:  5:15 AM

The big problem that exists between the Nexus gas transmission group (NGT, a partnership of Spectra Energy and DTE Energy is a communication problem, plain and simple.

WHAT CORN HAS TO SAY



WHAT NGT HAS TO SAY



Back on February 11, the COalition to Re-route Nexus showed up at a Stark County commissioners meeting and asked for an opportunity to meet with the commissioners for the purpose of persuading the commissioners to support CORN's effort to convince the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to condition approval of Nexus to NGT agreeing to and accepting an alternative pathway.

The commissioners agreed to do so and set this past Tuesday, February 24th at 10:00 a.m. for CORN to come in.  Mondays and Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. have been set aside for use as "work sessions" which serve as a vehicle for the commissioners to learn about concerns such as CORN's.

And they invited the folks from NGT, who surprisingly enough showed up.

Before Tom Bernabei and Janet Creighton became commissioners (first elected in November 2010), there was no such thing as regularly provided for work session time slots.

NGT's plan includes traversing Stark County's Lake, Marlboro, Nimishillen and Washington townships (on a line that runs about half way between State Street and Midway Street in Lake).   

CORN's general approach (unrefined as of now) is to relocate Nexus south of U.S. Route 30 in Stark County taking up some 30 miles of more rural land as compared to NGT's more populated route.


It was interesting that Commissioner Bernabei picked up on the communication problem.



While he was perceptive about what the real problem is between CORN and NGT, he should have - in the view of the SCPR - pushed NGT harder on getting NGT to commit to resolving the communication problem which The Report believes is solely attributable to NGT.

At the end of the session, yours truly tried to engage John Sheridan, the spokesperson for the NGT point of view as to why talking direct to CORN was a problem.



But as seen in the video, he was having none of it.

Here is a series of shorter videos on various matters that came up in the "indirect" discussion.

The complete video appears at the end of this blog.

WHO ARE THE PLAYERS?

NGT (SPECTRA ENERGY & DTE ENERGY)



CORN



LOCATION OF THE PIPELINE

NGT



CORN



SAFETY OF THE PIPELINE

NGT



CORN



ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

NGT



CORN



So who was persuasive with the commissioners?

Well, insofar as Commissioners Creighton and Regula (both Republicans) are concerned, apparently NGT.



And here is CORN's reaction (asked for by the SCPR in an e-mail) to what CORN spokesman Paul Gierosky says in essence (the SCPR agrees) is a premature decision by Creighton and Regula.
OUR REACTION

The Repository wrote "Commissioners Janet Weir Creighton and Richard Regula have said they aren’t inclined to support the NEXUS re-route plan. Commissioner Tom Bernabei said he hadn’t reached a decision."

It sounds like you elicited a more definite response. But pressed to say something what is a person’s natural reaction? Personally, I was not surprised nor deterred by the statements in CR. The Commissioners have very little information, so far, on which to base their decision. Which CORN re-route plan are they not inclined to support? We have not proposed a definite plan. Are they saying they are not inclined to support any re-route plan? Or, are they saying they will only support a re-route that takes Nexus out of Stark County altogether? I don't know. We certainly would like their input.

I understood Commissioner Creighton mentioned in the meeting that from the statistics we shared the burden was being shifted to Stark County. However, the statistics do not support that. The number of structures within 1500’ on either side of the pipeline on the current Nexus route is 1052. On our preliminary alternate re-route that number drops to 488. This is a clear improvement. Is she not inclined to support a route with a clear improvement to the safety of the public? I don’t know the answer because we did not get a chance to ask.

The current Nexus route passes through 28 acres of wetlands in Stark County. Our alternate re-route passes through none. Are the Commissioners not inclined to support and defend the integrity of our wetlands environment? We have not had a chance to get into those details either, yet.

I thought her statement that inferred the Nexus pipeline was a burden on Stark County did convey something about her opinion.
We view this as a process. It is our responsibility to inform, educate and persuade the Commissioners to support our re-route proposal which avoids the heavily populated and faster growing counties in Ohio, for a more southerly, less populated and safer route.

We started this process in this manner in Medina County in mid-December it took 7 weeks, 20 different residents speaking out many at several meetings, multiple one-on-one meetings to build a personal relationship and countless emails providing information to build and support our case.

To expect anything less in Stark County would be unreasonable.

We will be submitting a re-route alternative to Nexus and the Commission (FERC) in the next 2-3 weeks. We would like the Stark County Commissioners input to, involvement with and support of what we believe is a sensible proposal.
What is disappointing about Creighton and Regula is that they are giving no reasons for their positions.

Bernabei (a Democrat) is much more impressive.

He is thinking about it.

And he thinks he needs to comment on his decision when he arrives at one.

Whether one agrees with CORN or not, the work they are putting into their fight for a re-route is impressive and shame on Creighton and Regula for apparently deciding negatively on the request without the courtesy of offering reasons why.

This is the sort of thing that helps erode individual citizens confidence in their government that they are "really" heard and undoubtedly have to question whether or not they are respected when seeming arbitrary decisions are made.

As pointed out in the SCPR's first blog on Nexus, both Spectra Energy and DTE Energy have strong lobbying groups in Washington and Columbus.

CORN only has motivated and energized  everyday citizens.

The SCPR is impressed with CORN and encourages them to continue the fight.

Their effort is responsible citizenship at its finest!

Here is the full video of Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

IN THE FINANCIAL BLACK & RED: "AT THE SAME TIME!"



REVISED ON 02/25/2015

VIDEOS

MASSILLON COUNCIL DISCUSSES
2015 BUDGET
SORT OF?
==========================
KEN KOHER
MASSILLON BUDGET DIRECTOR
ON
INADEQUATE ANNUAL CARRYOVER
==========================
COUNCILMAN MILAN CHOVAN
ON
PLAN TO INCREASE MPD BY 8 OFFICERS

Even before she took office, Massillon mayor Kathy Catzaro-Perry was pressing the State of Ohio Audtor's (SOA) office to place the city in fiscal emergency.

She was initially denied.

But in May, 2013 she finally succeeded.  And even that determination was on the slimmest of criteria:  Massillon only meeting one of six criteria that qualifies a city to be thrown in to emergency financial status.

Ever since, it has been a roller coast ride for Massillon finances, to wit:
  • Two failed levies one of which (November, 2014) was part of a SOA approved recovery plan, 
  • A reduced income tax credit that will expire on December 31, 2015 unless a levy passes in the meantime generated about $275,000 (more or less) of revenue for 2014 but which have not yet shown up in city revenues,
  • Increased income tax income revenues due to a general Ohio/USA Great Recession recovery,
  • A claimed $2.6 million budget deficit by Mayor Catazaro-Perry (at the beginning of her administration in 2012) which miraculously and mysteriously turned into a $785,000 surplus (carryover) in 2015, and
  • On and on goes the highs and lows of Massillon finances.
Last night's Massillon City Council proved to be more of the same.

There was considerable discussion of what to do with the $785,000 "apparent?" surplus.

For starters, the $785,000 is not really $785,000 because some $400,000 is spoken for to cover a 27th week payroll obligation due in 2015.

And then last night in sort of discussing the 2015 Massillon budget, council reached a consensus (no votes allowed at work sessions) to designate $123,000 for a workers compensation obligation.

And then there was Councilman Paul Manson (D, at-large) advocating that Massillon institute a $50,000 annual plan move from the general fund to Parks and Recreation.

Only to be disagreed with by Councilman Ed Lewis who wants what remains of the original $785,000 (about $362,000) left alone or, alternatively, some portion thereof to be moved into the capital improvement fund where it is said that Massillon is "millions behind" in dealing with road repair and the purchase of sorely needed equipment (e.g. snowplows, new cruisers, et cetera).



And to top it off, Catazaro-Perry administration financial official Ken Koher (Budget Director/Income Tax Administrator) said in effect that the $785,000 that everybody including his boss (Mayor Kathy) was a pittance compared to fiscal recommending bodies saying that a city in good financial health with a budget of Massillon's size should have an annual carryover (surplus) of some $2.8 million.



Note that Koher ends his points on the annual carryover (surplus) saying that though the $785,000 doesn't cut it, Massillon is heading in the right direction.

The SCPR questions that even though most councilpersons mouth the same phrase.

No new revenues on the horizon, how can Massillon be thought to be heading in the right direction?  Austerity and cuts can only do so much, no?

Is there any doubt that Massillon's financial world is a confusing if not a chaotic world?

The really solid bright note from last night's meeting was a plan unveiled by Councilman Milan Chovan (R, at-large) to increase, over 18 months, the numbers of Massillon police from 36 to 44 to get within hailing range of 50 officers that in recent times (10 years ago) once staffed Massillon's security forces.




And get this.

Chovan's plan is likely to save Massillon (which paid $750,000 in police overtime last year) about $200,000 which would go where?

But hold your breath.

Service/Safety Director Al Hennon has signed on. 

But it is an open question whether or not the mayor will go along with Chovan's plan.

All of this is confusing, no?

Levy failures,  abbreviated income tax credit,  general fund surplus, capital improvement deficits, a belligerent major, and policing at a savings.

But that is the order of the day in Massillon these days.

So what is the financial instability attributable to?

A mayor and majority of council who cannot work together, so the SCPR thinks.

Usually, such scenarios are a mixed bag as to whom is at fault.

However, The Report thinks that Massillon topsy-turvy financial world is almost completely, if not totally, the inept leadership of Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry.

Though she clearly lacks the skills, temperament and attitude to be an effective mayor, it is likely that she will be reelected to a new term in November.

There will be some changes on council with the coming and going of the election.

However, it appears to the SCPR that there will still be a majority of council that the mayor will refused to work cooperatively with.

So the result?

Financial confusion will continue to reign.

Consequently, Massillon will continue to muddle along in minimalist mode of governing to meet the needs of its citizens.

The SCPR is highly impressed with "most" of Massillon City Council with Chovan being among those at the top of the list.

Overall, Massillon City Council is the best in all of Stark County.

If council only had a mayor to work with?

Monday, February 23, 2015

SCHULMAN'S ANSWER TO CANTON CITY COUNCIL LEADERSHIP MANIPULATION ALLEGATION



UPDATE:  10:21 AM

A comment on today's blog:

Blog entry re Allen Schulman and City Council leadership
Chuck Bennell  Today at 9:53 AM
To:  tramols@att.net


Your blog is always fascinating, and the recent post (and subsequent response) from Allen are interesting.  I have known him for more than years, and share your favorable opinion.

I am not surprised (nor do I think it untoward) that Allen plays political hardball and is not afraid to do his best to bend council members to his will.  That's what strong leaders do.

We are both old enough to remember the many years George Forbes was the most influential political leader in Cleveland -- no matter who happened to serve as Mayor -- from his perch as City Council President.

We both remember the very strong (often bare-knuckled) leadership of Frank Cicchinelli as Mayor of Massillon. I am pretty sure Massillon is a statutory city with nominally a "weak mayor" form of government. 

Strong personalities in positions of elected office find ways to reach their goals. Political influence often involves rewards and retribution. As long as it is legal, it is only offensive if one disagrees with the ends and the means.

I don't live in Canton, although I was a resident for most of my life before moving to Jackson Township.  I suspect market forces have had (and will have) a larger impact on downtown than the efforts of city government.  On the other hand, neighborhoods that are worth living in (safe, good infrastructure) and schools that are worth sending one's children to (safe, educationally effective) are a good way to stabilize and grow the city's population. An effective ward councilman can do a great job for his/her ward while still keeping an eye on the big picture, just as Ralph Regula served his district well but played a major role within congress on national affairs.

Best wishes!

Chuck Bennell


ORIGINAL BLOG

As readers of The Stark County Political Report know, each and every subject of a SCPR blog gets a full and complete opportunity to answer the points made in a blog, whether at the hand of yours truly or from sources.

Last weekend, The Report received a call from a person that the SCPR considers to be a highly credible source.  A person who yours truly has known for years.

The subject matter of the call was a meeting/discussion held recently in which it is alleged that Canton City Council (CCS) president Allen Schulman called and purportedly included Councilpersons  Mariol (Democrat - Ward 7), Edmond Mack (Democrat - Ward 9) and Greg Hawk (Democrat - Ward 1).


Supposed topic?

Canton City Council's current leadership (Frank Morris, Ward 9) and Chris Smith, Ward 4) are not setting a good example in supporting efforts to promote downtown development and therefore need to replaced.


Well, the blog caused quite a stir among Canton's councilpersons which undoubtedly prompted President Schulman on Saturday to email a response to the February 17 blog.

SCHULMAN (IN WHITE, BOLD, ITALICIZED TEXT)

Martin

As you know, I am an avid reader of your blog. 

SCPR COMMENTS (IN BOLD, ITALICIZED GOLD TEXT)

While the SCPR treasures each and every reader, it is especially gratifying to know that a Canton/Stark County government/political leader of Schulman's status bill himself as an "avid reader" of the SCPR.

Yours truly has known Schulman for over forty years and has a high regard for him:
  • as a person, 
  • as an attorney of the first order, 
  • as a politically engaged citizen who puts his money where his mouth is, and
  • as a government official who comes to the table with a positive agenda that he thinks will improve local, state and national government.  
Admiration for Schulman notwithstanding, the SCPR has and will continue to take exception to the president of council in the context of what The Report perceives to be matters of official action.
A recent article was of particular interest since it dealt with my role as city council president. 

Your view that I am " gunning " ( my word ) for certain council members because they are not in lockstep with my thinking is both disappointing and wrong. 
And when Schulman deserves kudos, they will be forthcoming notwithstanding that he is disappointed with this blogger and thinks that The Report is wrong in seeing that there is a rational basis for the SCPR's positing the manipulation perception.
Knowing you value a forum for dialog, I would like the opportunity to explain my position.

Does the SCPR think that Schulman is "gunning" (his word) for Council leaders Frank Morris and Chris Smith?
Answer:  Not in the sense that he has a personal vendetta against them.  

But yes, in the regard that he likely perceives them as negative factors thwarting his zeal and that of his council compatriots on downtown Canton development issues.  The Report basis for "he likely perceives" is contained his own words cited immediately below  (except from body of Schulman email) as he describes (in his own words) his citywide elective office perspective as compared to Ward councilpersons, to wit:
"Still, it is an elected city-wide position and, with that in mind, I have tried to advance policies which benefit our city as a whole ... Ward members of council, on the other hand, are elected to represent their ward constituents."
Under our statutory scheme, the president of council has limited duties. 

The principal role is to chair council meetings and to cast a vote only in a deadlock. 

Still, it is an elected city-wide position and, with that in mind, I have tried to advance policies which benefit our city as a whole. I owe that to the citizens who have given me the privilege of elected office.

Ward members of council, on the other hand, are elected to represent their ward constituents. 


While our council has been extraordinarily unified, there are occasions where differences arise between ward needs and a citywide policy.  
A major point of the dissent with the Schulman citywide view is in the thinking of a number of councilpersons that Canton is spending millions on downtown economic development (perhaps unnecessarily [e.g. Onesto Lofts]) while the city's infrastructure crumbles (e.g.  pothole filled and wasting away streets, sewer lines, police protection, vacant and abandoned buildings and unmowed lots, and the like)
This is the democratic process. While we are public servants, there is a political side to our governance. It is at this flexion point that the give and the take of negotiation occurs. Sometimes it can be a bruising process. 
The SCPR thinks that there is no problem with Schulman and his fellows taking official umbrage ["it can be a bruising process"] at the Morris/Smith critiques of various pieces of the downtown development pie (e.g. the Onesto Lofts project [both], Canton Citywide Comprehensive Plan [Morris]).

If Schulman et al were to publicly say, "we do not think Canton City Council should have leaders who lead in the manner of Morris/Smith on 'critical to downtown Canton development issues" and we therefore advocate their replacement," it would be one thing.

Whether he realizes it or not, Schulman in being a player (allegation of the SCPR's well placed source) in who serves as CCC leadership will give rise to a perception that he goes after those who disagree with him on the business of council.
Your article suggested that I am seeking retribution against Leader Morris and Assistant Leader Smith for their strong views and public statements regarding downtown development.

Actually, the retribution factor was the point of the SCPR's source.  But the SCPR does sees that there is a reasonable basis on which one might conclude that retribution was at play with Dougherty's replacement and that Schulman is now trying to generate support for removing Morris and Smith because they have spoken out.
Since we have been friends for over 40 years, I hope you know that I would never " punish " someone for their deeply held opinions. I would never do that personally, professionally, or politically. It's not been my style and it serves no useful purpose.
Exactly! 
The Report knows Schulman to be a small letter "d" democrat  and a political liberal who encourages public debate and may the person with the better argument win.

The Report was surprised to hear from the source that there is a perception among some councilpersons that Schulman in allegedly calling the informal meeting/discussion was an act of retribution.

As stated in the outset of this blog, yours truly holds Schulman in high, high regard.

But The Report thinks likewise of the SCPR's source.

The main point in writing the blog was to raise a red flag that "differences" may be escalating into retribution, at least in the minds of some councilpersons which, of course, should be of concern to Schulman, whether he agrees or not.

To clear up any confusion on whatThe Report is saying, the point is "perception" which, to repeat, the SCPR thinks there is a rational basis for for thinking so.
The Report has not come out and said yours truly is convinced that retribution IS at play. Only that such is plausible.
In fact, I was a supporter of Frank and Chris when they ran for their positions.

The Report said so in the original blog.  And as such, Schulman's prior support is some evidence that the perception of retribution being at play may be wrong.
However, as an astute and candid political observer has to acknowledge the truisms that:  "politics makes for strange bedfellows," and there is the political reality of "the shifting sands of political alliances and distancing."
Each is an effective and talented leader of council who works diligently on behalf of our city. They represent their wards with great heart and passion. And both get results for their constituents. 

When differences do arise, our council joins  together toward a resolution. 

Compromise is the political side of public service. It's a give and a take. 

While I may not agree with a member's position, I would never try to suppress or silence a different point of view. 

On the contrary, listening to an opposing view is a way to learn, grow and , sometimes, change your mind. 

Similarly, I expect the same consideration for my positions on issues of public import.
Hear! Hear!  This is the Allen Schulman Cantonians want hear. 
In he SCPR's experience, Schulman is one of Stark County's few public officials who will name names of those fellow public officials who are not getting the job done for Canton/Stark Couny's citizens.
 
You suggest that there is a move to replace our leadership. I know of no such discussion.

"I know of no such discussion."
This Schulman statement in his email is the most troubling part to the SCPR because The Report's source is adamant that such a discussion did take place.

The Report checked back with the source who was astonished at Schulman's categorical denial of having called/held the informal meeting to discuss the future leadership issue.

And The Report's source was markedly blunt in labeling Schulman's assertion.

The SCPR is not of a mind to get into a "he said, she said-esque" debate.

Some help in resolving the different recollections of what did or did not happen may in terms of a discussion having taken place on the Canton City Council future leadership question may lie in a definition of the word "meeting' or, if you will "discussion."
As we all know from the Clinton/Lewinsky scenario, that is to say, for example, the Bill Clinton deposition testimony on the matter of whether or not Clinton had an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky came in Clinton's answer to a question thereon, to wit: "That depends on what IS is."  t
By way of analogy, it could be that whether or not there was such a meeting could all be wrapped up in how one defines the word "meeting."
So the SCPR will just leave it at that and not get into the pejoratives.
Schulman thinks no such meeting/discussion took place.   
Obviously, the SCPR's source is absolutely convinced that such a meeting/discussion took place. 
The SCPR thinks there was some kind of meeting/discussion, however, the word
"meeting" or "discussion" is defined.
 
As Schulman says, it makes no sense whatsoever for such to have taken place this much in advance of the decision on the leadership matter.  But we human being do things from time-to-time which make no sense, no?
In fact, both Frank and Chris are well respected in council, and each is conscientious of their respective leadership roles.

Our city is on the verge of a transformative change. 

Now is not the time to create manufactured political squabbles. 

To your " impeccably placed source " I would say : " Step out of the shadows and tell us why you believe anyone would be working months in advance to replace a leadership team that is both respected and effectively performing council's will? "
"Now is not the time to create manufactured political squabbles."
Really?

Manufactured?

Not in the SCPR's book.  

The Report thinks that the points that Morris, Smith and others have raised are authentically and deeply held by the articulators thereof.

If what the globalists want to get the approval of council on is worthy of and beneficial to Canton, a legislative debate is not only helpful but of critical importance in making sure that a program, policy or financing has been thoroughly vetted.

How many times over the history of this the government of this country (national, state and local) have there been adoptions of the foregoing by legislative and executive action unvetted only for huge problems to develop later on.

Do we have to go any further than Obamacare to make that point in spades?
To your "impeccably placed source" I would say : " Step out of the shadows and tell us why you believe anyone would be working months in advance to replace a leadership team that is both respected and effectively performing council's will?"
Were it not for the media to allow sources to be unidentified, the general public would not know much of what goes on behind closed doors.  

Schulman does make a good point as to it not making sense in a sense to be plotting so far in advance.

However, skilled political people, which the SCPR considers Schulman to be one of, gauge the resistance that might get from this or that objective and create a timetable within which they can succeed.

A case in point is Councilman Edmond Mack's work on bring Charter government to Canton.

He started his work back in 2013 and it will be November, 2015 just to get the question of whether or not Cantonians will authorize the formation of a Charter commission to be formed to come up for a vote.  But of course "it does make sense" for him to start work on a what is going to be a tough piece of work to get Cantonians to pass the issue.  
By way of analogy, maybe convincing council to replace Morris and Smith as leaders is going to be hard sell, no?  And if it is, maybe getting started now does make sense?
But because your "source" is unidentified, I am at a disadvantage in explaining why your were told something patently untrue. (I do think it ironic that your plea for transparency in government is based on an anonymous tip from an undisclosed person.)

Now exactly, pray tell, how not knowing the identity of the SCPR's source puts Schulman at a disadvantage?
Allen merely makes the assertion without any supporting rationale.

We all know that he is a highly skilled lawyer who knows full well that it is amazing how one can make "a mere assertion," and for some people it is proof in and of itself.

Well, not for the SCPR.

Try that one on somebody else, Allen.

In re:

(I do think it ironic that your plea for transparency in government is based on an anonymous tip from an undisclosed person.)


What a laugh!

The SCPR is not a government agency.  Yours truly is not an elected official. 

Allowing public figures to "speak off the record" is an essential tool in the arsenal of media to obtain information to bring "the light of day" to what is really happening in the halls of government.
Schulman himself uses the phenomenon.

Of course, yours truly never speaks "off-the-record." Each and every blog has the name Martin Olson emblazoned on it.
Talk about an apples to oranges comparison and thereby invoking specious reasoning (i.e. superficially plausible, but actually wrong), such it seems to The Report is the technique Schulman is using.

As with the "disadvantage" thing, isn't this a demonstration by Lawyer Schulman tailoring one's argument to one's self-interest at a given point in time and hoping the undiscerning cannot figure out what he's up to? 
Schulman has not gotten to the place that he has achieved in terms of having a reputation of being a highly skilled lawyer undeservingly.
He is absolutely sharp as a tack and the SCPR has enjoyed engaging him on this matter.
Nevertheless, Marty, I will promise you one thing. I will always encourage and welcome dissenting viewpoints. No one's deeply held opinions will be silenced or suppressed. No one need be fearful of " retribution ". Not while I am council president.

With warmest regards my friend,

Allen

Terrific!

Schulman being the classy person he is, ends his email on a high note, to wit:

No one's deeply held opinions will be silenced or suppressed. No one need be fearful of " retribution ". Not while I am council president.
Here is Schulman's complete email uninterrupted (and not restructured) by for the purpose of the SCPR commenting thereon:

Martin
As you know, I am an avid reader of your blog. A recent article was of particular interest since it dealt with my role as city council president. Your view that I am " gunning " ( my word ) for certain council members because they are not in lockstep with my thinking is both disappointing and wrong. Knowing you value a forum for dialog, I would like the opportunity to explain my position.

Under our statutory scheme, the president of council has limited duties. The principal role is to chair council meetings and to cast a vote only in a deadlock. Still, it is an elected city-wide position and, with that in mind, I have tried to advance policies which benefit our city as a whole. I owe that to the citizens who have given me the privilege of elected office.

Ward members of council, on the other hand, are elected to represent their ward constituents. While our council has been extraordinarily unified, there are occasions where differences arise between ward needs and a citywide policy.  This is the democratic process. While we are public servants, there is a political side to our governance. It is at this flexion point that the give and the take of negotiation occurs. Sometimes it can be a bruising process.

Your article suggested that I am seeking retribution against Leader Morris and Assistant Leader Smith for their strong views and public statements regarding downtown development. Since we have been friends for over 40 years, I hope you know that I would never " punish " someone for their deeply held opinions. I would never do that personally, professionally, or politically. It's not been my style and it serves no useful purpose.

In fact, I was a supporter of Frank and Chris when they ran for their positions. Each is an effective and talented leader of council who works diligently on behalf of our city. They represent their wards with great heart and passion. And both get results for their constituents.

When differences do arise, our council joins  together toward a resolution. Compromise is the political side of public service. It's a give and a take. While I may not agree with a member's position, I would never try to suppress or silence a different point of view. On the contrary, listening to an opposing view is a way to learn, grow and , sometimes, change your mind. Similarly, I expect the same consideration for my positions on issues of public import.

You suggest that there is a move to replace our leadership. I know of no such discussion. In fact, both Frank and Chris are well respected in council, and each is conscientious of their respective leadership roles. Our city is on the verge of a transformative change. Now is not the time to create manufactured political squabbles. To your " impeccably placed source " I would say : " Step out of the shadows and tell us why you believe anyone would be working months in advance to replace a leadership team that is both respected and effectively performing council's
will ? "

But because your " source " is unidentified, I am at a disadvantage in explaining why your were told something patently untrue. ( I do think it ironic that your plea for transparency in government is based on an anonymous tip from an undisclosed person. )
Nevertheless, Marty, I will promise you one thing. I will always encourage and welcome dissenting viewpoints. No one's deeply held opinions will be silenced or suppressed. No one need be fearful of " retribution ". Not while I am council president.

With warmest regards my friend,

Allen

Thursday, February 19, 2015

PART 6 IN A SERIES: "THREE STRIKES AND YOU ARE OUT?" JUDGE PARK FOR THIRD TIME ADMONISHED BY HIGHER COURT!



UPDATED:  7:00 PM

CORRECTION:  (08:54 AM)

In today's original blog the SCPR erroneously reported that Jennifer Arnold in her capacity as law director had requested the search warrant which is the subject this blog.

The warrant was issued in 2012 and Arnold did not become law director until early in 2014.

On that erroneous basis, The Report commented that it appeared to have been a case of "judge shopping."

With the premises being in error, of course, the comment thereon was unfounded with regard to the current law director for which the SCPR apologies to Ms. Arnold for.

REVISED BLOG

Unbelievable!  Simply unbelievable!!  And a third time, utterly unbelievable!!!

Over a six month span (August 18, 2014 through February 18, 2015), Stark County Probate Court judge Dixie Park (Republican of Alliance) has been found by an appellate court to not have known the law.

In the first two cases, Ohio's Fifth District Court of Appeals (which includes Stark County) held that Judge Park did not understand and apply correctly the Constitutional law of Ohio and of the United States of America on due process of law.

Yesterday, the Ohio Supreme Court found that she exceeded her authority in issuing a search warrant sought on behalf of the Alliance Police Department back in 2012.

Back on January 14, 2015, this is what the SCPR wrote about Judge Park after her second reversal on "due process of law" grounds (In re ... Flohr):

A little rain falls on all our lives, no?

Nonetheless the SCPR thought that Park's error on Finan was so grievous and threatening to the legal well-being of day-in, day-out Stark Countians  who might have the misfortune of appearing before her and incurring arbitrary "getting on her wrong side" that The Report launched a series designed to persuade Judge Park to resign.

Well, with yesterday's Ohio Supreme Court decision, the little bit of rain has now turned into  a drencher if not a torrent.

The Report will not repeat the volumes that have already been written in this current series (who knows how long this is going to go on?), but here are links for those SCPR readers are not familiar with the details of what has gone on before:

The person who signaled that "all was not right" with the search warrant thing was Alliance Municipal Court magistrate Jean Madden. She ordered the suppression of evidence in the Brown et al case and was upheld by Judge Robert Lavery (now retired).

The SCPR report wrote back in 2012 that Madden (a Republican) should have been the Republican appointee as Charles Brown's replacement when he retired.

As for Judge Park, The Stark County Political Report once again calls for her to resign.

Just take a look at what the Ohio Supreme Court had to say in yesterday's issued opinion.


The most disturbing thing about this latest Park episode is that her taking on a role not permitted as a matter of Ohio law (unless under appointment by the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court) could have jeopardized prosecutors' legal ability to continue with a prosecution of alleged violations of Ohio gambling laws.

Alliance justice officials need to explain to Alliance public who it was that initiated the contact with Judge Park in light of the clarity of the law of Ohio that a probate judge has no power to issue search warrants.

The primary question is whether or not the contact was a case of "judge shopping?"

If it can be determined that such was the case, then measures need to be instituted in the Alliance law department to ensure that such never occurs again.

The current law director (who has been in the Alliance Law Department since 2001 as an assistant prosecutor) that she will not as law director be asking any judge for a search warrant.

Doesn't that sound a little over the top?
  • Note: The Reporter who wrote the story linked to above, in a "clarification" e-mail to the SCPR says that Arnold meant "other probate judges;" not judges who are statutorily authorized to grant search warrants.
"Bottom line," Judge Park should not have been receptive to anybody's entreaty to issue the warrant.

Three Park by higher courts admonishments (including two reversals on Constitutional law grounds) within six (6) months!

Unreal.

And one can only shutter to think what litigants and their attorneys have had to endure at the hand of Judge Park on matters which have not made it up the ladder for review by Ohio officials to whom Park has accountability.

Unfortunately and disgustedly, Stark County's organized Democratic and Republican political parties both gave Park a pass in the 2012 elections.

The moral of the story on Dixilene Park as a Stark County judge, it seems to the SCPR, is that individual litigants and the county/municipal justice system itself cannot rely on her knowing and/or correctly applying the law of Ohio and of the United States of America.

The conclusion is inescapable, is it not?

Judge Park should resign and should resign today!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

FEDERAL, STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT ITSELF (e.g. North Canton City Council): "THE KILLING FIELDS OF 'LOCAL GOVERNMENT?"



ALSO, from the vantage point of federal/local government interaction:

PART "TWO" OF A "THREE" PART BLOG: LAKE TWP, STARK CO. RESIDENT PETRIFIED AT THE COMING OF "NEXUS PIPELINE" TO HIS NEIGHBORHOOD

LINK to Part One

UPDATED:  04:45 PM

 VIDEOS

as an example of local government
[North Canton] itself being
"it own worst enemy"
in terms of connecting with
everyday citizens 
 
North Canton
Councilwoman Marcia Kiesling
on
Reasons
 North Canton Parking Lot Appeals
Should Be Denied
========================= 
PAUL GIEROSKY
COalition to Re-route Nexus 
on
Timeline & Politics
on Nexus Pipeline
(in process)


Yesterday, the Ohio Supreme Court (i.e. "the State of Ohio) dealt a blow to the sustainability of local government.


But there was telling dissent, to wit:



And going deeper than yesterday's Beck decision, we can blame locals (i.e. Stark County-based elected officials) for participating in the laying of the ground work for Beck, to wit:


Stark County connected legislators (to emphasize to point of local participation in loss of local control) helped create legislation which was the basis of Beck.

How so?

From the 2010 SCPR blog:


Kudos to Giavasis and Cirelli for doing their part to preserve the power of our local governments to have a say in what and will not be permitted in our collective backyards.

PART "TWO" OF A "THREE" PART BLOG: LAKE TWP, STARK CO. RESIDENT PETRIFIED AT THE COMING OF "NEXUS PIPELINE" TO HIS NEIGHBORHOOD

On the federal government front, Stark County's Lake, Marlboro and Nimishillen townships are threatened with the probability that the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) will allow 42" (that 3-1/2 feet folks) diameter 1400 psi powered natural gas pipeline to be built mere feet from some residences thereby endangering the lives and property (over 2,500 feet spread) of  our friends, neighbors and relatives should the pipeline rupture.

Probably?

The SCPR thinks so.

The main protagonist on getting federal government approval to construct the pipeline is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to our legislators and political parties likely designed to bring in legislator pressure on FERC should the commission bulk on giving the approval.

And, again, local and Ohio based legislators are part of the problem, to wit:


The foregoing list only includes legislators and candidates for office in the Northeast Ohio area (the location of the proposed pipeline:  "Nexus").

Spectra Energy (Spectra) made a total of some 75 contributions in the 2013/2014 campaign finance reporting cycle.
  •  SCPR note:  DTE Energy is a partner of Spectra's on Nexus.  Accordingly, readers of this blog who want a full appreciation of the campaign contributions being made as Congress is being lobbied to support Nexus should go to the Federal Elections Commissioner website and lookup:
    • Committee ID : C00081547 (DTE Energy PAC) 
  • Moreover, be sure to check this LINK to Spectra's website to see what the corporation has to say about its lobbying activities and this LINK to DTE Energy to see what the corporation has to say about its lobbying activities.
Of course, Spectra was a big-time contributor to Governor Kasich and the Ohio Republican Party.


And Spectra really outdid itself at the federal legislature (Congress) level.

Over $400,000 in the 2013/2014 cycle.  Here is a list of the Ohio congressional delegation contribution list as well as donations to the political parties.


So what chance to you think that CORN (COalition to Re-route Nexus) and other citizens activist groups have in getting FERC to compel Spectra to relocate the pipeline?

The SCPR spoke on camera with Paul Gierosky of CORN  a week ago today.

He discussed the timeline of the project and CORN's political lobbying and speculated a little of what Spectra's political action committee may or may not be doing.


 
It will be interesting to see whether or not the Stark County commissioners (Bernabei, Creighton and Regula) will go to bat (no formal power; only "bully pulpit" power) as requested by CORN.

On February 24th, Stark commissioners will hear CORN's detailed presentation.

But it is not just federal and state government that deprive us who live in Stark County's cities, villages and townships of our right to be secure in property and neighborhood rights.

Just last night, the North Canton City Council ("NCCC," which the SCPR assesses to be absolutely the worst city council in all of Stark in terms of listening to and heeding the desires of its citizens), seemed to be in consensus at a work session to deny an appeal of some 17 North Canton appellants challenging the city decision to allow a parking lot be built on their front doors.  The formal vote will take place next week.

Last night's NCCC meeting (see video below) is pitifully humorous.

Let The Report make the "pitifully humorous" point via a couple of e-mails received today:
  •  My observation --

    When you entered the council chamber 2-17, Mr. Fox looked surprised. Within a few minutes he gathered a few documents and exited to the back room, I'm guessing to make copies of the document stating the reasons the NC citizens did not have standing to appeal.

    Mr. Fox then distributed to each council member a copy of what Ms Kiesling read. She obviously had not seen the document prior to having it placed before her, so much for "professional courtesy" by the law director. Other council members also seemed unaware of what was going to be presented.

    Until you arrived to film, I believe Mr. Fox intended to make the presentation himself. A coward?

    Thanks for attending the meeting.
And on what the SCPR thinks are concocted and tortured legal analyses (by the law director; not by Councilwoman Kiesling as she seemingly implies in the video) reasons why the appeal is apparently going to be denied, take a look at these comments from a person, though not a lawyer, is certainly in a position to know, to wit:
  • Where the heck is Marcia getting these conditions?  Meeting attendance? The order only says adversely affected   it imposes no other conditions. 
The SCPR thinks the video shows that Kiesling embarrassed herself in making the "deny the appeal" presentation.

But she can only blame herself.

It appears that Law Director Fox is so in control of council that the members will allow him to put them in to the embarrassing situations.

Here is the video of Kiesling's recitation from last night's meeting:



Several years ago, North Canton City Council on the advice of the city imperial law director (Tim Fox) ignored the vote of 80% of North Cantonians not to provide health care insurance coverage to part-time elected officials (translated city council members) who had other available coverage.

So the erosion of day-in, day-out citizens confidence that we are heard by our governments continues.

There are names and faces attached to the erosive process.

The point of this blog is to emphasize those names and faces.

The question becomes:  When are everyday citizens going to wake up and quit re-electing the culpable politicians.

Then and only then will they get the message!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

CANTON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ALLEN SCHULMAN: "A MAN YOU DON'T WANT TO GET ON THE WRONG SIDE OF?"


No, President Allen Schulman of Canton City Council (CCC) is not playing Santa Claus to the councilpersons.

On second thought, maybe he is?

The Stark County Political Report has been told by a source, in a position to know, that Schulman was a main actor as "the man" behind the December 17, 2103 removal* of Ward 6 councilman David Dougherty as vice president (i.e. also Majority Leader) of CCC.
    • * SCPR Note:  The actual removal did not actually take place until January and the withdrawal of a contest by Ward 2 Councilman Thomas West to the election in council's January organization meeting in which Ward 9 Councilman Frank Morris, III (the one challenged) was elected as majority leader and Ward 4 Councilwoman Chris Smith was elected assistant majority leader.
While on December 18th, the SCPR wrote that the leadership change had the fingerprints of the Canton council's newest foursome of councilmen on it (namely, Councilmen Fisher, Mack, Mariol and Morris, who The Report has tabbed as being "the four young turks"); it now appears that such was only "part of the 'real' story" behind Dougherty's replacement.


Schulman, the SCPR has been told in recent days, was the catalyst that made Dougherty's denouement doable.

Of course, The Report is no big fan of Dougherty.


And now, it appears, that Schulman is the provocateur for yet another leadership change come the 2016/2017 term of Canton City Council.

Really?

It is only February, 2015 and the Democratic caucus for the 2016/2017 term of council will not occur until December of this year, no?

Indeed!

But the SCPR hears that Schulman and his allies on CCC have "a case of political upset" on the uppityness of Leader Morris in vociferously and publicly questioning/opposing certain "let's rebuild downtown Canton" projects; namely:
  • Canton's Citywide Comprehensive Plan,
  • Onesto LLC Lofts, and
  • Market Square
The Report should have known that Schulman is way more instrumental, directive and controlling than his largely ceremonial position of being council president indicates.

How's that?

Well, it was President Schulman who cast the deciding vote when the Democrats (holding all the seats at the time but, who, after the November, 2013 election held 11 of CCC's 12 seats) "aspirationally" met to determine which councilpersons were going to be vice president (Majority Leader) and 2nd vice president (assistant Majority Leader).



The Report has always been a huge fan of Schulman.

Why?

Because yours truly (who has known Allen going back to the 1970s) has perceived him as been a dedicated small letter "d" democrat as well as obviously being a "left of center" organized Democratic Party person.

But on December 17, 2013, yours truly began to think differently of Schulman's "small letter 'd' democrat credentials.

It was curious to the SCPR that Schulman was the person to break a tie
(in a vote of the participating Democratic elected councilpersons (2011) the  "aspirational meeting" to get a sense of who would don council leadership roles beginning in January, 2014)
on the issue of whether or not the meeting would be an "executive session" (the public excluded).

Curious?

Indeed!

Schulman, the supposedly raging liberal, voting to exclude the public from a discussion which The Report strongly suspects was not "executive session stuff?"

Councilman Dougherty, interestingly enough,  made the motion to exclude the public.  In hindsight, his having done so makes sense.  For who wants his/her political laundry exposed to public view?

To the SCPR, Schulman's tie-breaking vote did not fit yours truly's perception of his small letter "d" politics, a core component of which, of course, is openness and transparency.

Schulman likely would answer that he did not want to see Dougherty embarrassed.

Now, a little over a year later (i.e. December 17, 2013 as contrasted to February 17, 2015) it seems to the SCPR that Schulman and his allies on council may have had something to hide.

The apparent - from a public perspective - the contest was between David Dougherty (Ward 7) and Frank Morris, III (Ward 9).

What the general public did not know in December, 2013, according to The Report's source, is that there was absolutely no way Schulman was going to abide Dougherty continuing on.

For public consumption, it appeared in the period preceding Dougherty's ouster, that Schulman, as council president, and the Ward 7 councilman, as council vice president (and leader of the Democrats on council) worked smoothly together on council's business.


But, the SCPR is told, that was all appearances. 

The reality is, the source says, Schulman simply could not abide Dougherty as a council leader.

So where does he turn?

Ward 9 councilman Frank Morris, III.

As we all know, Frank Morris, III is not exactly a candidate for a presidential appointment to a diplomatic post a decade or two down the road when he has accumulated a personal fortune and national political notoriety.

Morris, at the time, seemingly was an acceptable if not desirable alternative to Dougherty as far as Schulman was concerned.

But not to all the Democratic councilpersons participating in the December 17, 2013 which, at the time, was termed by Schulman as being an "aspirational" meeting of council.

So with Dougherty out insofar as Schulman was concerned, who were the "we cannot support Frank Morris" councilpersons to turn to as an alternative?

Councilman Thomas West, that's who.

Hence the battle between West and Morris ensued.

In that battle (see links above and the videos contained therein), Schulman made a ruling on the "rules of council" which favored Morris (against the advice of Canton Law Director Joe Martuccio) and obviously therefore at the time in clear evidence that Schulman was a Morris supporter.

Accordingly, West "officially" became the anti-Morris rallying point which phenomenon stagnated council in moving forward for considerable time in January, 2014.

For West is as far from Morris as West is from East in terms of their respective diplomatic qualities.

The SCPR sees (as apparently a number of his council fellows do) Councilman West as also being as a matter of personality Councilman Smooth.

At this point in this blog we have come full circle.

Morris is now the person (given his lack of support of Schulman-favored council policy/action as cited above) that Schulman cannot abide as council vice present and leader of the Democrats on council.

Moreover, The Report is told that Councilwoman Chris Smith has lost favor with Schulman as 2nd vice president (assistant majority leader) because she too has shown signs of not taking orders from headquarters. 

And so Schulman - apparently -  ten (10) months in advance is allegedly marshaling his political allies in order to force yet another leader to the sidelines come December, 2015.

The SCPR likes Morris and his bluntness in calling things as he sees them and follows through with action.

While the SCPR has always understood that Schulman is well-liked by nearly all, if not all, of the members of Canton City Council; it had not dawned on The Report that in a "political back room sort of way" Schulman is much more of a factor in what happens or does not happen in terms of who leads council's legislative agenda from among the 12 other than Schulman councilpersons.

So who is,  10/11 months out from decision date for the 2016/2017 CCC leadership - as having the blessing of Santa Schulman - slated to become majority leader and assistant majority leader?

How about Ward 9 Councilman Edmond Mack and Ward 2 Councilman Thomas West, respectively?

That is what the SCPR is hearing.

As readers of The Report know, yours truly is enormously impressed with Mack.
  • his political maturity that belies his age as evidenced in discussions with Ward 9 constituents in listening to them in not pressing forward with an unpopular Canton parks development issue,
  • his thoroughness as a councilman witness his extraordinary work in developing a case for Cantonians to latch onto in determining whether or not to authorize the formation of a Charter commission; a goal that the SCPR supports
Recently, Mack told the SCPR that he will be filing petitions with the Stark County Board of Elections so as to qualify a "create a Charter commission" issue placed on the November, 2015 ballot.

Unless a political independent files on or before May 4, 2015, Mack will be running unopposed in November.

So he will be free to run an all out campaign to get Canton voters to approve the formation of a 15 member commission.

And if he succeeds on the commission formation issue, as council vice president/majority leader, he will be in position - though not allowed to be a member of the commission itself "as a matter of law" - to push for the commission's recommendation being approved by voters which vote presumably will come before voters in November, 2016.

Therein likely lies an additional reason (the other being Morris' transgressions of not supporting downtown rehab projects that Schulman does) why President Schulman appears to be pushing for Mack to replace Morris as council vice president.

As for Councilwoman Chris Smith and her speculated Schulman approved replacement by Councilman Thomas Smooth err West?

If you are a liberal Democrat (i.e. Schulman), how could he replace a council minority member with a non-minority member?

The overall moral of this blog is that Canton city councilpersons need to be on Santa Schulman's "gift list" and not his "sh*t" list.

With President Schulman, it appears to mean everything whether he perceives a given councilperson as being "naughty or nice."

Remember, as council president, Allen Schulman has no vote unless council as a body is deadlocked.

Hmm?

How is that Schulman has so much "unofficial" sway on council?

Schulman is a highly skilled "inside the political beltway" politician who has a way of projecting as an "aw shucks, me?" persona about himself to the general public.

But, as the reported machinations on who is to lead council seem to reveal, the reality of Allen Schulman as the driving political force on council is something quite different than the public perception.

That being said, the SCPR sees Schulman as being a first-rate leader notwithstanding what appears to be his possessing a retributive aspect to his political personality.

The surfacing of this perceived take (retribution for disagreement) on Schulman is inconsistent with how Schulman handles himself from the president's chair.

However, the SCPR believes this blog's source to impeccably credible.

It appears that the lesson of the leadership jockeying reports, if true, is that Schluman cultivates and exercises political power "behind the scenes!"

And that is okay.  Such is politics.

But the SCPR disapproves of any public official taking action to punish those who initiate and participate in vigorous debate on issues that come before a body such as Canton City Council. 

Thoroughgoing discussion, disagreement and voting one's conscious as to what is best for Canton without political recrimination is the "mother's milk" of our democratic republic.

They may be other reasons for Morris' replacement but disagreeing with and voting contrary to the wishes of any other councilperson IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE REASON.