At the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) hearing last Thursday at Glenwood Middle School, (located, I am told by a reader, in the city of Canton - not Plain Township) the Healy administration did show up to speak about American Electric Power's (AEP) 52% rate increase proposal to be applied over the next 3 years.
Most likely, many Stark County citizens will wish Canton economic czar Robert Torres had stayed at home.
As readers/viewers of the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) will see in the accompanying video, Torres threw the full support of the Healy administration behind AEP's request.
The Healy administration has made a huge political blunder in being so staunchly behind the requested increase. AEP did lean on the economic development leaders within the "rate increase" zone to show up in force to support AEP. It was like a parade without end of economic development and chamber of commerce types at the hearing praising AEP for its "good works" in their respective communities. Only Union Metal (from the corporate community) clearly stood up against AEP on its request.
Torres (listen up at the end of the video) was roundly criticized many of those attending the hearing.
The Report had reservations about Healy when he ran against Creighton. For the years The Report has known Healy, no one is more impressed with the academic/business credentials of Mayor Healy than guess who? You've got it! Yes, indeed, Mayor William J. Healy, II himself.
Healy, obviously, is not connecting with the predominantly working class folks that inhabit Canton. He is more in tune with the Stephen Katz's of the world (Katz is a key figure in the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce) than everyday people. The Katz's of Stark County will abandoned Healy in a heartbeat if Stark County Republican chairman Jeff Matthews can come up with a strong Republican candidate for the next Canton mayoralty race.
Sooner or later Healy et al will have to be asking Cantonians for a Canton tax increase. But if the AEP proposal sails through, there will be no money for the citizens of Canton to pay in increased taxes. Perhaps Healy can ask AEP to make a substitute donation to city coffers - the good public citizen AEP is.
To repeat. Healy was not at the hearing. No elected official was at the hearing (only appointed ones).
Judge for yourself. Look at the video. The ask yourself. Does Healy's unqualified endorsement of the AEP rate increase proposal please you?