Thursday, June 26, 2008
DISCUSSION: MAYOR HEALY ANNOUNCES RETENTION OF CANTON YMCA. IS CANTON/STARK COUNTY ON-THE-MOVE IN REBUILDING THE LOCAL ECONOMY?
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) had a lengthy discussion with Mayor Healy at his Mayor's Night, June 25th.
The Report applauds Healy for making himself available one-on-one as a highly accessible mayor to talk with Cantonians. And, as a matter of fact, to any Stark Countian. Mayor Healy is a "regionalist" who believes that Canton is inextricably tied to Stark County and all northeast Ohio communities stretching from Canton to Lake Erie. Healy predicted that northeast Ohio (Cleveland) will be the leading edge of a national economic recovery.
As seen in the accompanying video clip, the mayor describes how he made a huge, forceful and determined successful effort to keep the Canton YMCA (YMCA of Central Stark County) within the city limits of Canton.
But it appears that the mayor is only beginning. With economic development director Robert Torres at his side, Mayor Healy talked energetically about projects now underway to jump-start Canton into recovery.
Healy said that with Services Director Tom Bernabi and Safety Director Tom Nesbitt taking good care of their areas of responsibility, he is spending 75% to 85% of his time working on economic development projects. He ticked the projects off: Hercules ($178 million - 600 permanent jobs), the Federal project ($30 million), and the Mahonning Road revitalization program ($17 million which received a $650,000 grant on Wednesday).
Healy wouldn't reveal new projects in the making but asserted that before long he would be making additional announcements on new enterprise taking hold in Canton. The mayor sees himself as a "broker" who is out finding deals for those willing to take on the risk.
The Report did ask Healy about a comment made on The Report to the effect that council members had difficulties with him. The mayor denied any difficulties with Council other than referring to an understandable need for members to get used to working with a new administration that has a different approach than Janet Creighton did.
The Report caught a different perspective from a high administrations source who acknowledged to The Report that there are, in fact, troubles between Council and the mayor. But the source expressed confidence that the rancor would abate with the passage of time.
One other note. Although he applauds county Commissioner Todd Bosley for his effort to bring an auto manufacturing facility to Stark County, he assessed the effort to be in its infancy and indicated that the Bosley effort would not bear fruit anytime soon.
The question: Is Mayor on the right track in leading the way to a recovered Canton/Stark County economy?
Posted by Martin Olson at 3:05 PM