Saturday, July 12, 2008


Politicians come and politicians go. Stark County has had many, many politicians come and go over its history. But it has been short of leadership - especially of late.

The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) is beginning to believe that Commissioner Todd Bosley may be the authentic leader that Stark County so desperately needs if the county is going to be all that it can be.

He defeated Congressman Ralph Regula's son Richard in November, 2006 largely on the 9-1-1 issue and on a lot of hard and nonstop political campaign work.

In the process he antagonized the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., (the chairman) wing of the Stark County Democratic Party. And, especially, the Jacksons; that is Gayle Jackson (the former Stark County commissioner) and her son Shane (who is an appendage to the chairman).

Early on in Bosley's term Shane was sending Bosley directives on how the Maier/Jackson wing of the party thought he ought to vote on various issues. But now that Bosley has gotten settled as a commissioner and made it clear he is his own person, Jackson, Maier et al have backed off.

We Stark Countians are beginning to see the fruit of having elected this energetic and perhaps, visionary, young man. Bosley thinks big. He went after Volkswagen. He lost. But he's undaunted. He's out pursuing other auto manufacturers.

He hasn't forgotten his campaign promise to fix Stark County's broken 9-1-1 system. Though he differs in approach from Jackson Township trustee and SCOG (Stark County Council on Government) chairman Randy Gonzalez, Tim Swanson (Stark County sheriff) and Jackon fire chief Ted Heck (all one-central-dispatch-unit advocates) and a few others on solving system problems, The Report believes that he will hammer out an workable compromise.

Other matters on Bosley's plate include trying to bring a solar energy company to the county and making the county owned Molly Stark facility a state-of-the-art recycling facility.

The Report initially endorsed Tom Harmon as commissioner when the position came up for appointment when Gayle Jackson moved on to the Ohio Lottery. However, Harmon has given The Report pause for thought as to whether or not he has the political gumption to make the hard decisions he needs to make to move Stark County forward.

The Report has learned that Harmon feels he owes his party (or shall we say the Maier/Jackson wing of the party) for his appointment in the first place. If this assessment of Harmon is accurate, then Harmon will not turn out to be the kind of commissioner Stark County needs at this critical juncture in its economic development.

The question: How do you assess the Bosley performance after nearly half way into his first term?


Anonymous said...

Whatever! He's all talk with no results!

Anonymous said...

he seemed to handle the SCJFS issue pretty well by giving the boot to a failed director!

Anonymous said...

As someone who knows Todd quite well, i can assure the first the author of the first comment that he is most certainly not "all talk". Todd never seemed to get the memo that elected officials are supposed to be jaded and only interested in getting himself reelected.
On the post itself, meanwhile, i can tell you Martin is way off base as far as todd's relationship with Johnnie Maier and Shane Jackson. Maier has offered advice when asked, but has never made an effort to control Bosley and I know for a fact that the two of them get along just fine. I'm willing to bet that no one actually bothered to ask either of them how they feel about the other.

Martin Olson said...

The Report believes that Bosley does have a "working" relationship with Maier (after all, this guy is the party chairman).

But The Report has first-hand witnessed Maier ridiculing Bosley for being overly ambitious (e.g. Bosley telling confidants right after being elected commissioner that he was ready to take on Ralph Regula).

So anyone who thinks these two have a close relationship is a tad on the politically naive side.

On the voting matter, The Report knows of an e-mail sent by Shane Jackson (Chairman Maier's protege) to Bosley excoriating him for entertaining the notion of voting for Stark County Engineer Mike Rehfus' request for a license plate increase of $5 (which Bosley eventually did vote for). Moreover, it is a matter of public record that Shane's mother (former Commissioner Gayle Jackson) was adamantly opposed to the requested increase.

The Report is satisfied (from discussions with highly informed sources) that this is not the only instance where the Shane Jackson/Johnnie Maier nexus has had an opinion on how Bosley should vote.

The Report does, in deed, go to the source of materials for confirmations or denials.

One more note. Most Stark County politicians do not handle the scrutiny of The Report very well.