Canton mayor William J. Healy, II is making some mighty poor decisions for the city of Canton these days.
A major one appears to be a decision to hire Attorney Gary Johnson (a Cleveland lawyer) to do labor negotiations for Canton.
Why is this a poor decision?
For a number of reasons.
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has featured as the graphic for this story, a letter from Canton attorney Robert Tscholl setting forth quite clearly why the Healy move is unnecessary.
Tscholl's baseline position is that no outside (the Canton Law Department) help is needed. And, if it were, the place to go would be local legal counsel (not necessarily Tscholl) who are highly capable and competent. Tscholl told The Report that his fee, if he were to be hired, would be $140 per hour. But, again, he sees no need for Canton hiring anyone.
It is more than a bit hypocritical of the mayor of Canton to go to Cleveland for legal help or, for that matter, a workers' compensation claims processing company; while trumpeting jobs for Canton and Stark County.
What is this fixation that Healy has with Cleveland?
Healy's move to Johnson has an eerily resemblance to North Canton mayor Tom Rice's hiring of Johnson which ended up costing North Cantonians about $40,000 in premium legal fees.
In the Rice case, local political science professor (Mount Union) and political consultant (Rice campaign adviser - 2003 mayoralty campaign) Jack DeSario was the connecting point between North Canton via Mayor Rice and Attorney Johnson.
The Report is not aware of any statement by DeSario disclosing any role in the Healy/Johnson connection. Nor does The Report know of any documentation indicating that DeSario had anything to do with the Healy/Johnson connection even in light of DeSario having served as Healy's political consultant in his 2007 mayoralty race.
Only time will tell whether or not the Healy/Johnson connection (which The Report agrees with Tscholl is not needed) was because of "Johnson's" outstanding labor negotiating credential that Healy gave as his reason for hiring him on a recent "Points to Ponder" show or there is something more to it.
Another negative on this whole situation, is the mayor having the contract come in at $14,999 so that he could do the deal without council scrutiny and approval.
At the very best, this Healy decision was a very poor one in terms of justification!