Monday, December 11, 2017

VOL. 1 SCPR SERIES: "THE 2018 STARK 'OPERATIONAL' BUDGET." COUNTY TO GET SLAMMED WITH $2.3 MILLION (See *) REVENUE SHORTFALL IN 2019!

Updated: 12:40 p.m.


VIDEO (3:12)

STARK CO BUDGET DIRECTOR

CHRIS NICHOLS

EXPLAINS $2.3 MILLION SHORTFALL
BEGINNING WITH 2019 BUDGET

* Budget Director Chris Nichols telephoned the SCPR in order to make clear that the county is banking on increases in 2019 and beyond alternative revenues to offset the $2.3 million in MCO sales tax related funding.

He made an interesting observation in the conversation:  (paraphrasing)  The state of Ohio made itself "whole" from the adverse financial effect of the MCO Ohio part of the sales tax by implement new fees and took the revenue out of the stream of Ohio finances which could find its way to local government.  

Governor Kasich vetoed a provision in HB 49 (Ohio's biennium budget bill) which provided for Ohio asking the federal government for a waiver to assess a franchise fee on health insurance companies.  (See this confirming LINK)

Now whom do think is ultimately going to pay for the increase in costs to offset the additional cost to insurance costs?

Of course, you and I, the taxpayers of Ohio in the form of incremental increases in our health care insurance premiums.

The SCPR says "Go, figure!"

Thank you! (sarcasm) Senator Oelslager and Representative Schuring.  Ya'all are sure lookin' out for local government.  Especially Stark County local government!
_________________________________________________________

ORIGINAL BLOG

On Friday, December 8, 2017 Stark County Budget Direct Chris Nichols (pictured above, also a Canton Township trustee) presented a "draft" 2018 Stark County departments/offices of government operating budget.

It is interesting to note that quite a number of elected Stark County officials did not attend the session.  In 2011-2012 it was quite a different picture.  These were the core years financial crisis due to the expiration of the only county sales tax.

Present were:
  • Auditor Alan Harold,
  • County Clerk of Courts Louis Giavasis,
  • Commissioner Janet Creighton,
  • Commissioner Richard Regula,
  • Commissioner Bill Smith,
  • Treasurer Alex Zumbar

The Stark County Political Report  (SCPR) was there with camera in hand and over the next week or so will be presenting a series of blogs digging into the budget in some detail.

Commissioners are set to approve the Friday-presented "draft" budget on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at their regular weekly meeting which begins at 1:30 p.m.  The meeting is held on the second floor of the Stark County Office Building, 110 Central Plaza located in downtown Canton in the commissioners' meeting room.

The federal government and the state of Ohio dealt many Ohio county governments (including Stark County) a huge financial blow in ending (the federal government) and not making county government, in the case of Stark, whole going forward (Ohio government) for the loss of sales tax revenues on account of a federal rule effective July, 2017 of not allowing state government taxation of Medicaid "managed care organizations" (MCOs).  (See this LINK for an full written explanation)
  • Note:  That Stark was one of the counties that was not made whole (getting about 66% of one year transition money [per Nichols in the video above, Vinton county got eight years of transition money])is indication to the SCPR that Republican members of the Stark County delegation to the Ohio General Assembly (OGA) were not effective in protecting (Republicans being in supermajority control of the OGA) Stark County taxpayers from the sudden and substantial cut of $2.3 million annually beginning in 2019.
    • State Senator Scott Oelslager (29th Senate District),
    • Kirk Schuring (48th House District), and
    • Christina Hagan (50th House District
And, of course, Republican governor John Kasich ought not be left out.



One has to wonder whether or not there will ever be an electoral consequences for Oelslager and Schuring, despite their combined 54 years in the OGA (now, with this election, switching seats for the third time to avoid being out of the OGA because of term limits).

The "term-limits" idea, by-the-way, was a Republican initiated plan to help regain control of the OGA after Democrats had been in control for many years during of the Vern Riffe era (1967-1994).

How hypocritical can Oelslager and Schuring be as evidenced in their skirting an electoral reform they initially supported?



While the SCPR is not a fan of Jackson trustee James N. Walters, who, despite his touting his being a Christian minister, The Report sees as being an arrogant guy who would be every bit as inaccessible as Oeslager has been (especially in the last several years) as a member of the Ohio General Assembly.

Maybe there is not enough difference on the "inaccessible" factor to justify Oelslager's continuance in office.

But good thing would be that a Oelslager loss would reverberate in the halls of the OGA and within the Stark County delegation to the OGA and perhaps the inequity of the application of things "one-time-transition" money would not happen going forward.

Look for local Republican leaders to "convince" Walters to withdraw from the race in order to pave the way for Oelslager's continuance in office.

And certainly do not look to the Democrats under the weak leadership of Chairman Phil Giavasis to find viable candidates to challenge either Oelslager or Schuring.

Shame on Oelslager and Schuring for allowing Stark County finances get slammed by the governor and the Ohio General Assembly.

Overall, considering the massive loss of local government funding and now this $2.3 million blow to Stark County finances, Oelslager and Schuring, have been relatively unproductive as senior legislators in protecting Stark County political subdivision (cities, villages and townships) government.

The total loss to Ohio on the MCO sales tax exemption matter is at $597 million and there is some $200 million lost to Ohio political subdivisions (local examples include Stark County government and the Stark Area Transit Authority (SARTA).

Stark County will get $1,471,853 of an projected annual loss of $2.3 million to be applied to the county revenue factor resulting in a 2018 total loss of $828,147 or about 34% of the usually expected Justice System Sales Tax (JSST) annual revenue of (as pointed out above ) of $2.3 million.

Listen to Nichols explain the revenue loss (3:12):



As can be seen in the lead graphic for this blog, the Stark County auditor's office is projected to receive (including its Information Technology operation) a huge (percentage-wise) increase (20.3%) over its 2017 "operations" budget.

But, perhaps, Stark County taxpayers should be grateful to Director Nichols (acting for the commissioners) in his exercising oversight/due diligence on the auditor/IT request for it could have been an even larger increase over 2017, to wit:


Perhaps as much as 22.6%!

The SCPR has made inquiry with Auditor Harold for the specifics of the huge percentage-wise increase.

Harold's response will be shared in future blogs in this series.

Not included in these budget numbers is a large capital improvement of the auditor's office complex on the second floor of the Stark County Office Building.

Another noteworthy increase that needs further examination is the $510,107 in the Sheriff office projected appropriation.  Moreover, the SCPR thinks that there is some "hidden" money (not in the intentional sense, but by reason of how the budget is structured) that should at least in part be attributed to the sheriff's office, to wit:


The SCPR in ensuing volumes of this series will deal with justifications for the auditor's office increase by far and away largest increase in Stark County taxpayer money 2018 budget appropriation as well as other notable factors (i.e. the sheriff's office factor) in the county commissioners getting to a "targeted" 2018 operational outlay of $68,210,208:


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

SCREWED? (GONZALEZ & GIAVASIS) CORDRAY IN, WHALEY ET AL OUT?




On September 17, 2017, former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez and Democratic Party political operative Louis Giavasis (brother of current Stark Dems' chairman Phil Giavasis) proved that they lacked the political astuteness of former Dems' (before Gonzalez) chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

In 2006, Maier demonstrated that his political senses were first-rate when he identified Ted Strickland as a shoe-in to win the Democratic nomination for governor and go onto getting elected governor in November, 2006.


Maier, Jr. angled the Stark County Democratic Executive Committee into endorsing Strickland over Flannery (usually, in contested races, party organizations do not endorse candidates) and thereby won an indebtedness of Strickland to him which The Stark County Political Report (SCPR) thinks Maier parlayed into getting Strickland administration jobs for his brother George, Jackson Township trustee Steven Meeks, Stark County commissioner Gayle Jackson and who knows whom else.

Mark the analysis of the SCPR:  yesterday entrant into the Democratic field of candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor; namely, Richard Cordray will runaway with the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Here is a LINK to a WOSU account of Cordray's gubernatorial announcement.



Back on September 17th, Louis Giavasis (who is suggesting that he may in 2019 run against "independent" mayor of Canton Thomas Bernabei) and Randy Gonzalez were heralded by the Nan Whaley campaign for endorsing her, to wit:


TWO STARK COUNTY LEADERS ENDORSE NAN WHALEY FOR GOVERNOR
Monday, September 11th, 2017

Two longtime Stark County elected leaders, Jackson Township Fiscal Officer Randy Gonzalez and Stark County Clerk of Courts Louis P. Giavasis, recently announced their endorsement of Nan Whaley for Governor.

“I’m endorsing Nan Whaley because Ohio needs a Governor who understands the challenges and opportunities of our local communities,” said Gonzalez. “We need a fresh face with bright, bold new ideas who will get things done for Stark County and Ohio. And that’s Nan.”

Gonzalez has served as Jackson Township Fiscal Officer for over 20 years and is the former Stark County Democratic Party Chair. Giavasis served as Plain Township Trustee for 23 years and is now Stark County Clerk of Courts, a post he’s held since 2015.

“As a Mayor, Nan Whaley understands our communities, and she understands boots-on-the-ground government,” said Giavasis. “Nan will be a Governor who helps local communities in Stark County and all across Ohio. We don’t need another politician from Columbus or Washington D.C., Ohio needs Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley as our next Governor.”

Nan Whaley issued the following statement in response:

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of these tremendous local leaders,” said Whaley. “Our communities have been left behind by politicians at the Statehouse, and Ohioans want change. Momentum is growing for our campaign and, with support from leaders across this state, we’ll work together to ensure Ohio’s best days are ahead of us.”


Hmm!

Although the SCPR doesn't think either Giavasis or Gonzalez are the brightest political figures in Stark County, it was highly surprising to see them come out for Whaley when it was the not-so-best-kept-secret that it was only a matter of time before Cordray announced.

Duh?

The SCPR watched on live streaming (Monday evening) as before-Cordray-announced Democratic candidates Whaley, Sutton, Schiavoni and Pillach debated in Cleveland.

The winner?

In the SCPR's view:  Betty Sutton.

Experienced in government-wise and articulating with some specificity her views, Sutton stood out.

The least impressive?

You've got it:  Nan Whaley.

In Dayton where she is mayor in a governance system in which the mayor is more or less a figure head, Whaley spoke on Monday night as if as mayor she was prepared to step into being governor.
Starting in 1914, Dayton's government was changed to the "weak mayor" manager-council form. In this system, the five-member commission selects the city manager, who holds administrative authority over the municipal government. The mayor is simply one of the five members of the city commission. The mayor's only power over the other commissioners is as chairperson of the commission. 
Source (Extract) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Dayton,_Ohio
Only the political naive would believe that line.

Apparently, Stark County clerk of courts Louis Giavasis and Jackson Township fiscal officer Randy Gonzalez have taken that line in "hook, line and sinker!"

The only remaining question should Cordray become governor:  Will he remember that they endorsed Whaley and did not give him a chance to earn their endorsement.?

Pretty dumb politics on Giavasis'/Gonzalez's part, no?

In the final analysis, it may turned out that they will have to muse to themselves should Cordray win the governorship:  "we are screwed!"

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

"POLITICO'S"—WOMEN RULE—WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP THAT EVERY STARK COUNTY "POLITICAL ASPIRING" WOMAN SHOULD VIEW




"WOMEN RULE" SPEAKERS

LINK
"WOMEN RULE" HIGHLIGHTS

As far as Stark County leadership goes, there are some (just like men):
  • very capable women,
  • so-so capable women, and 
  • "she doesn't belong here women," (e.g. Christina Hagan, Kathy Catazaro-Perry)
Among current/former elected officials, The Stark County Political Report (SCPR) places in the superior group:
  • Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton
    • also:
      • a former county recorder,
      • a former county auditor, and
      • a former mayor of Canton,
  • Alliance City Council member Julie Jakmides,
  • Stark County Court of Common Pleas judge Chryssa Hartnett,
  • former Massillon City Council member Nancy Halter,
  • Canton City Council member Chris Smith,
Among current appointed officials who belong in the "superior" group include:
  • Angela Cavanaugh (chief building official for Canton/Stark County),
  • Jaime Allbritain (chief deputy treasurer),
  • Anita Henderson (product development manager/Auditor's IT office),
  • Deborah Forkas (chief executive of Stark Co. Job/Family Services), and
  • Andrea Perry (safety director for Canton).
Of course, the SCPR is partial to women in leadership being the father of three highly accomplished daughters.

Moreover, wife Mary (an elected official on the Stark County Educational Service Center, SCESC; also a former Lake SD board member) is top notch as a "show'em" by action woman leader.

Mary taught 35 years in the Akron Public School System and 10 years at the University of Akron.  Additionally, she served as an educational consultant for Carson Dellosa and a PRAXIS facilitator for the Ohio Department of Education. Lastly, she was among the very first National Board Certified Teachers in the nation and the state of Ohio.

A thing about Mary and her National Board certification which is a tribute to her professionalism and dedication to being the very best prepared teacher that one can be is the fact that she took on becoming certified as she neared retirement from the Akron Public Schools.

For years and years the Stark County Educational Service Center has been a male bastion.  Mary has been a member of the SCESC for 10 years.  While she has enjoyed being on the Board with four men, it will be different now with the election of two women to the SCESC on November 7th.

Women now control the SCESC 3 to 2.

Interesting, no?

The U.S.A. and Ohio's political subdivisions including Stark County government, the county's cities, townships, villages, and boards of education have way too few women in leadership roles.




LINK to the Rutgers website.

It is heartening that three of the six candidates for the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor are women.

While the SCPR is not a big fan of Mary Taylor, at least the Republicans do have a woman in the mix for the Republican nomination.

LINK to headline supporting article

Obviously, men are not getting the job done in leading the U.S.A. in a qualitative primarily in the peoples' interest sort of way rather than in a personal political ambition/political party interest way.

Seemingly, sexual harassment "by men in power" (who view women as "sex objects" and not leaders in the making) is yet another barrier in a long historical list that women have to and have had to overcome for women to be seen as having qualities that merit them achieving leadership.

Kudos to Politico for putting on today's live stream on empowering women to be all that they can be as leaders in America from the White House to the schoolhouse without regard to gender.

Monday, December 4, 2017

AN ARTICLE FOR STARK CO CONNECTED POLITICIANS TO READ! ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO APPROVE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S JOB PERFORMANCE



AS "ALL-IN" TRUMP SUPPORTERS

JIM RENACCI & CHRISTINA HAGAN

ARE EITHER

IGNORANT OR CONSUMMATE OPPORTUNISTS

&
A "MUST" READ FOR
EVERYBODY ELSE

Yesterday morning as I sat down to breakfast on a scrumptious cinnamon roll and  coffee, as a usual contemporaneous routine I opened by absolutely favorite "for readers" e-mail which list noteworthy reading material for those of us who wish to be informed persons.


LINK to the Lewis Vanity Fair article.

The Stark County Political Report is not fond of government bureaucracy:  local, state and/or federal.

However, the reality of the human condition is that an important function of government is the general welfare as undergirded by provisions in the U.S. Constitution and the Ohio Constitution which provisions are a grant of authority by ordinary citizens for elected and unelected officials to look out for our good.

Because of the polarization in Washington and Columbus and, yes, even sometimes at the local level of government on the basis of partisan political party considerations and/or the political ambitions of particular politicians, Americans by and large yearn for the draining of what President Donald J. Trump has aptly coined as being a "political" swamp.

For those of us who "hunger and thirst" for government and government officials which/who put personal/political party interests in at least second place in making decisions which affect the finances, health and safety of we—the hoi polloi, a guy like Trump and his promise to "clean out the swamp" has at least a "let's take a look" appeal.

But "a look" is all Donald J. Trump ever merited.  The Report is steadfast in an abiding desire to have political swamps cleaned out whether they are in Canton, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio or Washington, D.C.

Trump, Renacci and Hagan (or Gibbs) are hardly folks that will do the job.

They are all rock-ribbed Republicans that will do nearly anything for their individual political ambitions or if they are in control or strongly influence Republican Party processes they have been and will again be "all-in" for their political party over the interests of everyday people.

Now nearly one year in office, it is clear that if anything "the swamp" is swampier and his administration is largely staffed by incompetent people.

And here is a specific example.

On Friday night the Republicans finally got a major piece of legislation (not ready for presidential signature because the Senate and House have to come together on differences).

At the last minute, Trump insiders (perhaps the DeVos family) tried to have inserted a provision that would have exempted Hillsdale College from endowment taxation (LINK).  Democrats and four courageous Republicans stopped the "carve out" for the supposedly philosophically conservative (does this include "fiscally" conservative?) connected institution.

Why doesn't Trump tweet about that "swampish" maneuver?

The value of reading Lewis' article is to put clothing on an uneasy feeling abroad in our country that the evidence is that Trump et al are generally inept/incompetent governors and need to have the brakes put on them.

As we all know, the primary test of being in good with the President is to blindly follow and support whatever he says and does.

"Unquestioning political loyalty to Donald J. Trump" is exactly what the SCPR sees, for the most part, as the political posture of current Republican 16th district congressman Jim Renacci (now running for governor of Ohio; 93%/94% of the time favoring Trump positions  [LINK]) and current Republican Ohio 50th District state Representative Christina Hagan.


When Renacci defeated then-incumbent Democrat John Boccieri in the 2010 off-year congressional elections, he badgered Boccieri about voting in the 90% category with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The turn of events shows what an utter hypocrite Jim Renacci is.

Unless and until Renacci and Hagan disavow "the 'unquestioning' loyalty Trump mantra," Stark Countians, indeed Ohioans (Renacci) should not consider for a nanosecond voting for either.


Either Renacci and Hagan don't have the ability to think for themselves or their political ambitions have gotten the best of them.

Hagan, in particular, is offensive.

Hardly a woman for other women and, for that matter, men to model after her.

Let's see, among her "ANTI-middle-class agenda" positions, Hagan:
  • wants to take the right of women to have control of their own bodies in instances of rape, incest and life threatening health conditions away,
  • wants to jeopardize the health of all of us in eliminating the power of health care providers to require those who deal with all of us to be vaccinated with a flu shot,
  • wants to gut the Affordable Care Act so that millions lose their insurance because it becomes unaffordable,
  • is "bananas" for gun use expansion apparently even "automatic" weapons the lack of control of which has empowered indoctrinated, insane and demented to mow down scores of unsuspecting Americans
On her website, Hagan devotes space to telling one and all what a good person she is.

Kind of unbecoming for the faith that many of us know, to wit:



How many times have we heard self-lauding "I'm-a-good-person" statements only to see the person "fall-from-grace" in good time.

That Hagan has bragged to local Republican leaders that she is out to create a Hagan political empire hardly bespeaks a person who subscribes to the Good Book admonition:  "Not by power or might, but by my spirit, saith the Lord." (Zechariah 4:6)

Christina Hagan is all about political power and might by which she wants to impose her values on the rest of us.

Thankfully, it appears that Hagan's political game plan is falling apart.

Her father, John, recently lost his trustee's position in Marlboro Township.

Her Ohio 16th congressional district race is floundering.  She has bragged that she would raise $15/16 million for the May 8, 2018 GOP primary and $1.5 million for the general election.  She has yet to raise her first $1 million.


Should Hagan decide to abandon the congressional race (which the SCPR thinks she will) and opt to run for a remaining two years in the Ohio House (the 50th District which includes her home in Marlboro Township), already filed Republican candidate Reggie Stoltzfus has told the SCPR that he is not about to step aside for her.

Stoltzfus attended a Mike DeWine for governor rally in North Canton Ohio on November 13th.

But no Christina Hagan.

Think the probable GOP nominee for governor joined now by Jon Husted as his lieutenant governor candidate  (sorry! Jim Renacci) didn't take note?


While the SCPR thinks that if elected governor will be supportive of the president when it is reasonable to be so, but like the current governor (Republican John Kasich) The Report believes DeWine will not hesitate to be unsupportive (unlike Renacci and Christina Hagan) when Trump is at his best outlandish self which seems to be nearly all the time.

Getting back to Hagan absence at the DeWine rally; think that in a Hagan/Stoltzfus contest in the May 8, 2018 Republican primary for the 50th Ohio House District that DeWine/Husted won't weigh-in (at least behind the scenes) on behalf of Stoltzfus?

Does not bode well for a Hagan political empire emerging in Stark County.

Christina Hagan is a case of a little success (getting the Ohio House Republican Caucus appointment to fill out the term of Todd Snitchler [March, 2011]) going to her head

As an "under 30" she has ballyhooed herself as an up and coming political power to be reckoned with.

Hagan has gotten quite a bit of national notoriety in extreme-right-wing-religious-Republican-Party-connected politics of late.

She mistakes this sheltered political existence for general electorate acceptability.

Nonetheless as we know from the election of Donald Trump, anything can happen in our political system and that "anything" can be quite damaging to our democratic-republican system of government.

Fortunately, Trump has continued to "shoot himself in his 'political foot'" and therefore he is disfavored by an overwhelming majority of Americans.

Hopefully, his discredit among most Americans will taint the candidacies of Jim Renacci and Christina Hagan so that Stark Countians and Ohioans will not have to suffer through political lunacy at the state of Ohio and the county (16th or 50th districts) level.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

STARK CO COMMISSIONERS MEETING: PUBLIC SPEAKS - CITIZEN TIM ARAL

TIM ARAL
Civically Engaged


An attendee at most Board of Stark County Commissioners' weekly meetings:
  • held at 1:30 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room on the second floor of the Stark County Office Building, 110 Central Plaza, Canton, Ohio 
is one Tim Aral:
    • a citizen of Louisville, Ohio, and 
    • a member of Local 1200 of the United Steel Workers (USW) which represents Tim and his fellows who work at the Stark County Job and Family Services (SCJ&FS) unit located in Canton.
Aral is listed in a October 31, 2017 Stark County auditor's office database report as being an "eligibility/referral specialist 2" and having been an employee of the SCJ&FS since October 1, 2001.

On Wednesday past, Tim availed himself of a weekly space on the meeting agenda that the Stark County Commissioners provides any who would like to address the commissioners with their concerns.

Aral's concern voiced on Wednesday (not acting as a representative of his union) was nonetheless  "the decline of the union (i.e. organized labor) movement" not only in Stark County but across Ohio and indeed the nation.

In addition to his statement in support of unions, he issues an invitation to visit his union hall in an upcoming Canton community event.

Aral's core point on unionism:  Unions are being attacked on all sides.

If it were not for the strength for "public sector" union shops, the decline of unionism in America would be even more dramatic that the following Bureau of Labor Statistics chart shows:


Here is a video of Aral's presentation.  (2:14)



It is common knowledge (even without seeing the BLS chart above) that there has been a gigantic reduction in union membership in America Washington University sociologists Jake Rosenfeld and Patrick Denice, and Jennifer Laird, a research scientist at Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy.
over numerous decades.

According to a USA Today article:


Average weekly earnings for nonunion private-sector male workers would have been 5%, or $52, higher in 2013 if the share of union workers had remained at 1979 levels, according to the study out Tuesday from the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute ahead of Labor Day. That’s tantamount to a loss of $2,704 annually for the average nonunion worker.

The article was based on a study by:

Washington University sociologists Jake Rosenfeld and Patrick Denice, and Jennifer Laird, a research scientist at Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy.

While not presently a USW union official, Aral was a USW vice president when the union negotiated with Stark County commissioners and the Deb Farkas of the SCJ&FS, to wit:


Here is a copy of the contract that Aral was a part of the union negotiating team on:



There is no doubt that Aral has a point.

"Private sector" unionization is about as low as it can get.

And "public sector" unions in Ohio have been under attack by many Republican politicians and elected officials in Ohio over many years (e.g. 1958 and the "right to work" fight which was defeated decisively).

In 2011, anti-union Republicans (Stark Countian Republicans Christina Hagan and Kirk Schuring voting in favor of passage, but Republican state senator Scott Oelslager voting "no") in the Ohio Legislature passed Senate Bill 5 (signed in March, 2011 by Republican governor John Kasich) which would have severely weakened Ohio's public sector unions, to wit:


But Ohio voters saw Aral's argument as being a valid concern and voted overwhelmingly to reject the move by Ohio's anti-union Republican elected officials (i.e. in the Ohio Legislature) to subdue "public sector" unions.  (Note:  the Stark County vote mirrored the statewide vote)


Note:  Stark County Republican legislators Christina Hagan (the 50th Ohio House District) and Kirk Schuring (the 48th Ohio House District) voted "yes" on enacting SB 5.  Republican state SenatorO Scott Oelslager voted "no" on enacting SB 5.

Ohio is among a grouping of six states in which "public sector" unions are doing quite well.  

According to an October 31, 2017 Stark County auditor's office database report provided on a public records request by The Stark County Political Report (SCPR), there were as of the date of the report some 363 union employees at the SCJ&FS.

Overall, the auditor's office listing shows some 490 employees (union and non-union) at SCJ&FS.

Take a look at the database of as of October, 2017 listing of employees:



Note that the highest paid is at $45,448 (annually) and $21.85 hourly.  However, this is not the full story on pay.  To account for a union member's healthy benefit package one should bump up the annual/hourly rate by at 1/3rd.

Another factor to focus on is the "lowest" paid position at SCJ&FS.

The lowest paid employee on the report which is the basis of this blog is $28,993 (annual) which computes at $13.91 hourly.

$13.91 hourly is roughly the equivalent of what a person might hire in at let's say Sam's Club.

But the big difference has to be in the fringe benefits offered unionized public sector employees as compared to non-union employers.

This is where the USW really does a bang up job for its members.

No way, one would think, do the likes of Sam's Club's non-union employees make upwards of $5.00 more per hour additional over base wages in non-cash benefits that unionized public sector employees get.

There is little doubt to the SCPR that overall union membership benefits all middle income Americans though an large majority of them are not union members.

On Wednesday the SCPR spoke individually with Aral.

Here is the video of that conversation.



The lesson of Tim Aral to the SCPR is that he is passionate about the benefits of being a union member and that as a citizen he is willing to speak out for his values no matter that he undoubtedly senses that as a believer in organized labor he is subject to being pilloried by those who think unionism is a detriment rather than a held to the overall economy of the United States of America.

A SCPR "hats off" to Tim Aral for standing up for what he believes in participating in civic engagement with local government leaders.

Friday, December 1, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! STARK COMMISSIONER RICHARD REGULA WISHES MOTHER MARY REGULA A HAPPY 91ST!


(MARY REGULA PHOTOS FROM NATIONAL FIRST LADIES LIBRARY WEBSITE)

As far as The Stark County Political Report is concerned, the Mary/Ralph Regula family is the classiest political families in all of Stark County.

Today's focus on the matriarch of the Regula family, Mary.

At Wednesday's regular meeting of the Board of Stark County Commissioners, Commissioner Richard Regula took time out at the end of the meeting to wish his mother a "Happy 91st Birthday" which in fact was on November 29, 1926.

Here is a 26 second video clip of Commissioner Regula wishing "mom" a Happy Birthday.




Readers of the SCPR should take a moment to get to know the rich background that Mary Regula has in contributing to the well-being of Stark County, the state of Ohio and, indeed, to the United States of America.

From the website of the National First Ladies' Library (which Mary founded) located on Market Avenue, South in Canton.

First, the timeline on her founding the National First Ladies' Library:




Next, (from the same website her biography:

Our Founder & President Emerita: Mary Regula 

Mary Regula has had a varied career as a schoolteacher, Congressional spouse and mother of three children. She has distinguished herself in service to her community and nation through dedication to education, her involvement in numerous volunteer activities, and personal leadership. She also reaches out to people through her inspirational and historical programs.   Mary received an honorary doctorate in Humanities from Mount Union College in May, 1999, and, in May 2004, The University of Akron bestowed on her an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in Education.   She was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame in October, 1999.   Her most outstanding accomplishment is being the founder of the National First Ladies’ Library.

Community service, TV appearances, and numerous civic awards have kept Mary in the forefront of issues regarding women in today's society. Mary appeared on the "TODAY" show as Chairman of the "Made in the USA" project and discussed the organization's mission to encourage Americans to buy products manufactured domestically. As President of the National Congressional Club, she was interviewed by Roger Mudd on "McNeil-Lehrer" where she defended Congressional spouses' right to work. She received special award recognition from the League of Women Voters and a Presidential citation for her community outreach on women's issues from Malone University in Ohio. In 1996, she was the first woman to receive the Women Helping Women Award from Soroptomist International. She was also made an honorary member of the organization. Mary also serves as an honorary member of "PACE", which is a project that serves domestic violence victims. Mrs. Regula's background in American History, in which she received a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Union College in Ohio, has served her well. She is a member of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, the Smithsonian Society, National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Ohio Historical Society. 

Mrs. Regula's leadership and activism in the area of education demonstrates her commitment to lifelong learning. She taught on both the elementary and secondary levels. She is the former President of the National Cabinet of Mount Union Women, where she founded the first National Student Women's Scholarship. She is a well-known speaker and lecturer and regularly lectures on topics related to women, United States history and First Ladies. Her presentations include "First Ladyship: Powers and Influence", "Ohio's First Ladies", "Life of Mary Todd Lincoln", "Miracle in Philadelphia", "Inside the White House", "Our Nation's Capitol", and "Christmas at the White House".

It was through Mary's research on history and First Ladies that she discovered the educational void regarding information about First Ladies and other women who have contributed so much to our nation's history. Determined to make it easier for others to learn about these great historical figures, Mary assembled a board of 13 people to raise the funds and hire a historian to create a complete 40,000-entry bibliography on all first ladies from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama.   It is the cornerstone of the National First Ladies’ Library and now the First Ladies National Historic Site.   Mrs. Regula currently serves as the National First Ladies' Library's Founding Chair and President.


Mary is married to former U. S. Representative Ralph Regula and resides on a farm in Stark County, Ohio. They have three children and four grandchildren. She is a member of St. Timothy Episcopal Church.

Undoubtedly, "all of Stark County" joins son Richard in wishing Mary Regula a very Happy Birthday with more to come!

Thank you Mary Regula for your service to Stark County, the state of Ohio and America.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

CHRISTINA HAGAN: TRYING TO MAKE THE BEST OF A BAD TURN OF EVENTS FOR HER 16TH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN?

CHRISTINA HAGAN - THE ANTI-GOP-ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATE

A DESPERATE POLITICAL PLAY!

(Source:  Hagan Facebook page)

November 29, 2017 has to be a trying date for the campaign of Christina Hagan (R, Marlboro Township).

Tonight 16th congressional district opponent Anthony Gonzalez will be on Hagan's home turf (i.e. Stark County) raising large amounts of campaign finance money courtesy of the renowned Canton-based Timken family who constitutes Stark County's foremost industrial/manufacturing enterprise which has provided Stark Countians jobs since 1901.

And the event will be held at the posh Brookside Country Club which borders a community which is one Stark County's haven for the wealthy; namely, Hill and Dales.

Gonzalez (a former Ohio State Buckeye football star and Indianapolis Colts professional player) upset Hagan's political aspirations apple cart recently in announcing that he is seeking the Republican nomination on May 8, 2018 to succeed current congressman Jim Renacci who is abandoning the seat to seek the Republican nomination for governor.

It is obvious that Gonzalez has been recruited by Washington-based organized Republicans to challenge Hagan for the nomination.

Apparently, the Washington GOP movers and shakers do not put much stock in an "unsourced" poll being bandied about by Hagan in the November 24th edition of The Hartville News, to wit:

Christina currently leads in polls to replace current Congressman James Renacci ... 

Has Christina adopted the ways of Donald J. Trump in inventing stuff out of whole cloth?

While there is a Republican alternative to Gonzalez and Hagan (Kit Seryak of Rocky River); with the with the departure of Republican state Representative Tom Patton of Strongsville from the congressional district race (citing personal/family reasons), make no mistake about it:  it is Gonzalez versus Hagan to succeed Renacci.

The Report does not believe that personal/family factors is the cause for his withdrawing from the race.

Unlike Hagan, Patton appears to be a political realist who can read "the handwriting on the wall."

The Stark County Political Report's money is on Gonzalez.

First of all, he lives in the district and Hagan does not.

Moreover, he has out fundraised her so far by about a $6 to $1 margin despite Hagan having a huge jump start in entering the race.

Most tellingly,  Gonzalez appears to be much more politically palatable to the type of Republican who makes up the 16th congressional Republican voter base.

Hagan is in the assessment of the SCPR, an extreme right-wing religion-based (as a part of her political profile) candidate who connects only with fringe Republicans.

Exactly the kind of crowd that Gorka appeals to.

The Report's perception of Sebastian Gorka based on having seen him on political talk shows is that he is likely even more out there politically than Hagan (that's hard to believe, no?), to wit; (from a Wikipedia article)

During his time in the Trump administration, Gorka gave a series of combative interviews with the press in which he defended the administration's positions on national security and foreign policy. 

Various national security scholars in academic and policymaking circles have characterized Gorka as fringe. Some critics have challenged his academic credentials, his views on Islam and radicalization—as well as his motives for identifying with the Order of Vit├ęz or supporting the EU-banned Hungarian Guard.

Hagan and Gorka:  a political match made in Heaven?

In addition to her Gorka association, Hagan is all-in with President Donald J. Trump and his family.



The SCPR has taken the step that with Gonzalez in the race, Hagan is finished as a viable candidate for the GOP nomination.

Moreover, The Report thinks that should he become the Republican nominee, Gonzalez might want to think twice maybe three times before associating too closely to the president.

Even though the 16th has been gerrymandered (with Christina's help in her work as a Republican representative [the 50th Ohio House District]) to make it difficult for any Democrat to seriously challenge a Republican candidate, the president in working hard to make a Democratic challenge.

The current field of Democratic candidates is not going to get the job done.

The filing deadline is February 7, 2018.

Look for Washington-based organized Democrats to watch their internal polling numbers closely.

Should it appear that a well-financed and known Democrat (e.g. current Democrat governor candidate Betty Sutton) can be competitive, the 16th could be on the front lines in the battle to determine whether Republicans or Democrats control Congress on January 1, 2019.

With the entrance of Gonzalez into the race, it is clear that that organized Republican decision makers worry about the likes of a Christina Hagan as the party's standard bearer in November, 2018.

Look for Hagan to drop out (like Patton has) and run for two more years as state representative for the 50th Ohio House District.