UPDATED: 08:40 a.m.
The once "great" city of Canton, Ohio finds itself in 2015 slogging towards the "finale" in a primary election to determine who will be the mayor of Canton for the term January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2019.
Wait a minute, Olson, there is a general election in November!
That is surely the case but in this heavily Democratic city with a 9 to 1 registration majority Stark County Republican chairman Jeff Matthews has "given up the ghost" and Stark's Republicans will not be fielding a candidate to oppose the winner of the Healy/Perez match up.
Matthews' lack of effective leadership in terms of recruiting political competition in Canton must be utterly stunning to the likes of former Stark County GOP chairman Charles Brown: the GOP's most effective - in terms of partisan political leadership - and therefore hated by Stark County Democratic leaders in recent annals of Stark County politics.
Brown is one of the few staunchly partisan Stark County public figures that the SCPR has a high degree of respect for.
He went on to become a judge in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas. Although yours truly never appeared before Brown, he gets high marks as being a fair judge from those attorneys that The Report has spoken with about his conduct on the bench.
Here's what Brown and his "effective" GOP county chairman predecessors produced in terms of electing Republican mayors going back to 1964:
What a fall the Republicans have experienced since Stark County's foremost elective Republican Janet Creighton (now a Stark County commissioner) believe it or not succumbed to Healy in the 2007 general election.
Just yesterday yours truly and a former powerful figure in the Stark County Republican Party discussed Creighton's "hard-to-explain" defeat to Healy in 2007.
What went wrong?
For Creighton remains Stark County's most popular in terms of electoral politics Republican.
Perhaps Healy's 2007 victory is explained more in terms of his political skills in a fertile field of a Democratic voter registration majority rather than Creighton's political appeal demise.
Because Healy is so obviously in 24/7 political calculation mode, many discount him as a serious government official.
At least insofar as one's ability to get elected to office is concerned, such thinking is a big, big mistake.
Unless and until a new generation of Canton-based leader that can convince the voting public that she/he authentically cares primarily about the welfare of the Canton community as compared to political self interest (which the SCPR sees Healy and Perez being essentially about), the likes of Healy and Perez will be the order of the day from the menu of offerings for Canton voters to select from.
Accordingly, in today's blog the SCPR suggests that the State of Ohio might incorporate a "vote of no confidence" factor in the recorded vote for any given office being sought in Ohio.
While under the ballot proposed by The Report either Perez or Healy would be elected as a matter of plurality between the two; the victor would accede to office (presuming no opposition in the general election) with a dissatisfaction factor with "things as they are" having been recorded.
While there is chatter along lines of traditional and therefore unimaginative media coverage of political campaigns about the SCPR considers mundane about whether or not Healy is being disinformational on the questions of:
- the authenticity of the carryover of some $2.4 million from the 2014 to 2015 Canton budget, and
- whether or not the mayor promoting the delaying of (to a post-primary-election date; presumably because it contains negative implications for the mayor's 7.5 years in office ) the release of the Canton City Council (hence taxpayer paid for) financing of a Canton Citywide Comprehensive Plan,
such chatter "begs the question" that for Cantonians yearning for leadership that has real promise of lifting Canton from the financial and economic doldrums as Healy/Perez match up as offering Cantonians "a real difference."
Accordingly, shouldn't there be a electoral outlet: that is to say, "none of the above?"