UPDATE! (March 28, 2008)
Can Stark County benefit from either (Hagan or Ferguson)?
In the past few days, articles are running in The Rep detailing due to a Stark County budget shortfall how Stark County Recorder Rick Campbell has had trim employees because of a 15% cut in funding by county commissioners, how Stark County Treasurer Gary Ziegler may have to initiate staff reductions, how Stark County Clerk of Courts Nancy Reinbold has had to put pay raises aside and how Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson has had to suggest that he may be turning convicted criminals out own the street.
My questions is this. Is this what Stark County voters want from the commissioners? Should who can make deeper and faster cuts be the test of who wins in November as between Ferguson (the Democrat) and Hagan (the Republican)?
Can Stark County benefit from either?
In November Stark Countians will have to choose between Democrat Peter Ferguson (who likes to be called DOCTOR - a chiropractor), and current State Representative (50th) John P. Hagan - a plumber by trade.
During the campaign Ferguson postured that the Stark County commissioners have not done a good enough job being efficient with taxpayer money. I attended a meeting where Ferguson claimed that Stark County government officials had in the last allocation of the county budget put in requests for $79 million but that they only had $50 million to parcel out.
Now I ask you, on the face of it, doesn't this seem like a suspect claim? Recently, the commissioners made a new round of cuts. Question to Ferguson: were these enough? If not, where do the additional cuts come from, in specific?
I have asked sitting Stark County commissioner Tom Harmon about Ferguson's claim. Harmon - a fellow Democrat who contributed to the Ferguson campaign - said that Ferguson's numbers were not accurate (isn't this great - Ferguson [and keep in mind Harmon's close friend and possibly our next new Stark County commissioner] cannot get is numbers correct?)
John Hagan, on the other hand, seems like a rather vapid candidate. He had no real opposition in the primary and therefore said nothing significant as to why he would be a difference maker for Stark County. Hagan certainly hasn't been a difference maker in the Ohio Legislature for Stark County. Just ask all of the boards of education, administrators, parents, teachers and children of Stark County's school districts.
What is this: the "twiddly-dee; twiddly-dum" race?
Who would be better? Why?
This will be a hotly contested race in Stark County. It is an open seat with Republican Commissioner Jane Vignos retiring. If Democrat Ferguson gets elected, then he will team with Commissioner Tom Harmon to control the commissioners' office.
If Republican John Hagan wins, then he can continue "career politician" path and he will join with Democrat Todd Bosley to wrest control of the commissioners' office from Tom Harmon.
The stakes are high for Stark County and the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT promises to provide Stark County voters with information and independent analysis so voters can make an informed choice as to who would be best for Stark County come November.