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Friday, January 30, 2009

DISCUSSION: WHEN SHOULD WE TAKE MAYOR HEALY AT HIS WORD?


One the problems with all too many elected public officials is that if you check their statements and actions on any given topic, you are likely to see that they are a bundle of contradictory statements/actions.

The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) thinks that Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II ("tongue in cheek") deserves an award for his believability.

Working our way back from today to the beginning of his administration.

1. His hiring of Warren Price as service director. Of Price, Healy said:
"I am thrilled to have Warren Price join my team as service director," "With his valuable experience in local government and his strong work ethic, I know he will be an incredible asset to my administration and the people of Canton." (The Rep, 1/29/2009)
Rewind to November, 2007. Price applied for the service director job. Healy selects Price's predecessor - Tom Benernbei.

How could Healy have failed to hire an "incredible asset?"

2. Healy's hiring/firing of Tom Bernabei and service director and chief-of-staff.

Healy: "Tom Bernabei did a great job, ... a wonderful public servant."
Six months after giving his chief of staff a glowing review, Mayor William J. Healy II has fired Thomas Bernabei, a veteran of city government. The move drew harsh criticism from some council members. (quote and reference to Healy evaluation of Benabei - The Rep - 01/26/2009)
Ever heard about "actions speak louder than words," Mayor Healy?

3. There is the matter of Mayor Healy hiring a Cleveland firm to do Canton's workers' compensation claim representation.

As The Rep framed the matter (01/16/2009):
During his mayoral campaign in 2007, Healy received campaign contributions totaling $4,600 from four associates of 888-OHIOCOMP and $500 each from the Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo and Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, who are both under investigation by federal agents, according to The Plain Dealer.

During an interview in December, Healy said the campaign contributions did not influence his decision to select 888-OHIOCOMP. Citing his campaign theme of bringing positive change to Canton, Healy said he picked the firm because it offered an opt-out clause after six months and because it would consider opening a branch office in Canton.
Do you believe Healy?

4. And there is the hiring/firing of the finance director Frederick Green. The hiring was announced January 11, 2008. Four months later Green was fired.

Four months on the job and the guy gets fired?

Who interviewed this guy anyway?

Mayor Healy.

Really.

Someone with Mayor Healy's business experience can miss the mark this widely?

When he hired Green, this is what Healy had to say:
Healy said the finance position is key [emphasis added], since the city's revenues are not projected to grow significantly, if at all, this year and next year. 'We need someone who can look at the way we're spending money and find ways to trim the fat, Healy said in the press release. From what we.ve seen and heard thus far, I think that.s exactly what Mr. Green will be able to do for the city of Canton. (The Rep - 01/11/2008)
FOUR MONTHS LATER, YES - FOUR MONTHS LATER:
Frederick J. Green was fired by Healy in May. Healy made the announcement Monday [of a replacement hire] in a press release (07/29/2008) In explaining the decision to fire Green, Healy said in May that the administration decided "to go in another direction." With Green as finance director, Healy had said the administration "had a difficult time getting through the (city) budget (process)," (from The Repository/07/29/2009)
Does the mayor's hiring skills belong in "Ripley's World of Believe it or Not?"

So with all the foregoing in mind, The Report awards Mayor William J. Healy, II it coveted "tongue-in-cheek" Most Believable Character ? award.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Healy seems fond of going in "another direction." My question is "what direction?" Going in circles is not a direction. How can I have confidence in a Mayor, who lacks confidence in his own decisions? His commitment to bringing positive change to Canton apparently had an "opt-out" clause.

As Healy's actions speak louder than words, I wait for the other shoe to fall, with the feeling that right now, Tom Bernabei's silence speaks louder than words.

Anonymous said...

Ever hear of "out of the frying pan onto the fire?" Well we will soon see that the Price is wring for Canton. Warren spent his time on Alliance City Council acting as Steve Okey's lackey. He was divisive and difficult and loyal only to his mentor. Canton and Healy both desperately need a leader who will gain the trust of the service department employees and who will build relationship bridges. Price is wrong for the task. He is a yes man through and through and I suspect his appointment was a calculated move because he is a much more credible scapegoat than Bernabei would ever be. This appointment is no solution, its an abomination

Anonymous said...

You don't usually "fire" folks from these positions. Especially in Tom B's case. He did Healy a favor to work for him, because if he didn't, the City of Canton would have crumbled and would have been annexed by now. If they had a disagreement, he would have let Tom B resign not fire him.
Very bad blood and it all has to do with the current investigation. I'm sure Tom B. knew the Canton PD was investigating Healy, but didn't say anything to him because it WAS HIS JOB!