Friday, October 3, 2008


As readers know, the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) is unimpressed with any of the sitting commissioners except Todd Bosley.

Bosley is, unfortunately, "a committee of one" with any energy or ideas at all directed toward economic development from the Board of Commissioners perspective.

He needs help.

Tom Harmon has the potential to be that help. However, it appears that he not only has retired as Canton Municipal Court clerk, but also as a "mover and shaker" for the county. He is on easy street and wants to make as few waves as possible for himself.

The Report thinks that the Stark County Republican Party made a huge mistake in matching up its best candidate (Travis Secrest) against Harmon. If Secrest defeats Harmon, it will probably be the biggest political upset in the history of Stark County elections.

Harmon is particularly difficult for Secrest because Harmon is a poiltical schmoozer going back many years. He lives by his political connections and he works overtime at cultivating these contacts for his personal political benefit. For instance, he was the driving force behind Mike Hanke (formerly general manager at The Repository) being selected as the county administrator. Why? The Report believes that Harmon was looking down the road to the huge advantage this would bring him with plenty of free ink right around election time.

The sacrificial lamb should have been state Rep. John Hagan. He is not nearly as sharp as Secrest and he is nowhere in sight on the high energy and superior quality of ideas level as Secrest.

The Report will chalk this bad move to former Stark County Republican chairman Curt Braden. Hopefully, current chair Jeff Matthews will not repeat this mistake in the future.

The Report publishes below the essay submitted by Travis Secrest (as requested by the editors at The Rep):

After reading the essay, ask yourself? Couldn't Stark County benefit enormously if this candidate were to be elected Stark County commissioner?

The essay:

For years our County Commissioners have been very passive when it
comes to economic growth. Because of this, we are bleeding jobs. As
County Commissioner, I will take an aggressive approach to stimulating
our economy by working to bring more jobs to Stark County.

First, a county development plan must be created. Without a plan, we
have no coherent direction. We have been without a plan, and as we
look around our neighborhoods, we can see the direction that has taken
us. It is necessary to realize that business owners concern
themselves with one thing - how they are going to make money. With a
development plan in hand, I will work to court businesses to expand
and show them how moving to Stark County will benefit their company.
We need to sell Stark County to both national and international
companies to bring the jobs home.

Second, it is necessary to look to the future so we bring in
companies that will stay in Stark County. One of the most dynamic
industries I will work to bring is the one which will be growing
rapidly within the next five years – alternative energy. We can bring
businesses which develop solar panels, hydrogen car technology, bio
fuels, fuel cells and geothermal energy to Stark County which will
bring more jobs and anchor our new economy for the 21st century. We
can work hard to bring some of these companies to Stark County to
replace the thousands of jobs which we have lost within the last four

Third, we know the level of difficulty will continue to grow for
individuals who are looking for a job close to home, and we cannot
afford our future Commissioners sitting on their hands and waiting for
companies to move to Stark County on their own like some of our
current Commissioners.

As County Commissioner I will work hard for the people of Stark
County. You will always be welcome in my office to voice your
concerns. Bringing more high paying jobs for you and your family is a
cornerstone of my plan for the County. For more information on my
campaign, I encourage you to visit my website at and e-mail me to offer your feedback.

Thanks again for your work,


No comments: