Saturday, July 26, 2008


The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) knows that its "tough" being an elected official these days.

The Report has learned that Commissioner Tom Harmon will defend himself from what he views as unwarranted political attacks.

At a recent area civic organization meeting, Harmon was (according to one of The Report's sources) getting "unfairly" pummeled by a questioner. After abiding the unfairness for a period of time, Harmon gathered up his things and respectfully left the meeting.

That is one version of this incident.

Another one suggests that Harmon wasn't long-suffering at all. And, to the astonishment of the attendees; after a number of "hard-to-field" questions, packed up his stuff and left.

The Tom Harmon The Report knows squares up with the patient and abiding Tom Harmon rather than a "don't ask me hard questions" or "I'll take my ball and go home" Harmon.

The Report endorsed the selection of Harmon to replace former Commissioner Gayle Jackson when she took a Strickland appointment to the Lottery Commission. The Report has written a number of letters to the editor/comments in The Rep challenging Harmon to be the kind of leader The Report thinks he can be.

A good starting point would be to take out
his list of goals for Stark County he articulated upon in The Rep and keep an accounting of the concrete achievements he has had in pursuit of those goals - and - report the specifics to we Stark Countians.

The Report sees that Harmon has two major hurdles to overcome to begin making real progress on his goals

First, he needs to separate himself from (in the view of The Report) a too close of a relationship with the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. wing of the Stark County Democratic Party (Maier, DeHoff, Gonzalez, Giavasis, Catazaro-Perry, Reinbold, the Jacksons, et al). The word is that Harmon somehow thinks he owes Maier, et al, for his appointment. Such is an inappropriate reason for how one handles oneself in public office.

Second, Harmon needs to be more attuned to everyday people. The Report understands that a public official has to work with chamber of commerce types and other "establishment/management/corporate ownership" types to get anything done. But he needs to keep his ear to ground and be receptive to the input of day-in, day-out Stark County citizens.

Question: Who is the Tom Harmon you know - a measured, patient and reflective person or an impatient "pop-0ff?"

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