Saturday, June 21, 2008


Commissioner Todd Bosley tells the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) that shortly after taking office nearly two years ago, he discovered that the prior board (Jackson, Regula and Vignos [who remains on the current board]), had no Stark County development plan.

At best, the commissioners cobbled together a patchwork of "fits and starts," but no comprehensive plan.

The basic chart accompanying this report (from COMPASS, which stands for Community Objectives Met through a Partnership of All Segments of Society) shows a stagnated Stark County economy in a best case scenario but a lagging economy when compared to the rest of the United States.

Commissioner Bosley seems to be the only commissioner "stepping up to the plate" to get economic hits for Stark County. Bosley, who agrees with The Report that county economic development is a prime responsibility of each commissioner. He has started an effort to bring an auto manufacturer and auto parts suppliers to Stark County.

The Report is pleased that Commissioner Vignos is stepping down given her dismal economic development track record. However, The Report is unimpressed with the field of candidates questing to staff the board's two vacancies in the November elections.

For Republican John Hagan, economic development? "What's that?" he would say. For Democrat Pete Ferguson, economic development? "Can't we make more tax cuts?" he would say.

For Democrat Tom Harmon, economic development? "I'm for it and I'm working on a plan, but it takes time" he would say. For Travis Secrest, economic development. "I have some glittering generalities to offer, in the meantime - can't we cut taxes more or not raise taxes," he would say.

The Report encourages voters to put the heat on Hagan, Ferguson, Harmon and Secret to "step up to the plate" and offer a comprehensive plan with specific ideas - whomever does so should be the candidate for voters to support in November.

Question: What should the candidates for Stark County commissioner be saying about Stark County economic development?

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