It is never a pretty sight, but there are unending examples, in the political history of America, of "political arrogance" that end up doing a politician in.
Are Stark Countians about to witness a local example?
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has been a political observer of Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II for a number of years.
The Report has had an inkling from the beginning of his political questing in Canton that Healy has a haughty tinge to him. He may now be into full-blown arrogance.
On what basis?
1. Born and schooled in Canton (also Kent State/associate degree) he expatriated from Canton to New Jersey (bachelor degree from Rowan) and then to New York to attend "the Stern School of Business." (Remember "the Stern School of Business" - it's his main claim to fame, before, of course, he became mayor of Canton)
His first time out on the political hustings was to contest the right to be the Democratic mayoralty candidate (he lost narrowly to long term Democrat Bill Smuckler in the primary) against Republican Janet Weir-Creighton.
2. Healy: A man who had never run for anything in Canton or Stark County (remember he had relocated to New York) prior to the mayoralty foray. Apparently, he felt compelled (in the motivational sense) and perhaps entitled to run for mayor of Canton (2003) because his father was a long time state representative for Canton who lost a mayoralty contest to Republican Richard Watkins in 1999.
3. Having lost to Smuckler, Healy decided to take on sitting Democratic state representative Mary Cirelli in the Democratic primary (2004). Healy won.
4. Ineffective in the Ohio House (he probably would say because the Democrats were in the minority - but he was never a major player in the Democratic caucus) he decided to run for mayor again in 2008.
When you have been prepared at the "Stern School of Business," aren't you just wasting your time and talents being 1 of 99?
5. In 2007, he defeats Creighton.
Wow! Canton had not had a Democrat mayor since Sam Purses (1991).
6. After Healy defeated Creighton and took office, he was quick to bash Creighton for leaving Canton in a huge mess.
One has to wonder. Was he setting himself up to be the Sir Galahad of Canton?
7. His campaign name: "Team Healy."
Oh yes, a real team player this Healy. He came out of nowhere to run against two established city of Canton Democrats in Democratic primaries (Smuckler & Cirelli). Moreover, this Democratic team player probably has a much worse relationship with the 100% Democratic council than did Republican Creighton.
8. During all his campaigns Healy had difficulty attracting energized organized labor support, even though he is a Democrat.
From The Report's perspective, Healy - ever the suit, white shirt and tie guy, just didn't seem to fit with workaday folks. Moreover, he took positions on issues important to organized labor that union leadership didn't cotton to.
And he just loved to repeat ad nauseum his business credentials and his masters degree from where? You guessed it. New York University's Stern School of Business.
9. There is a highly officious side to Healy. Remember officiousness is the first cousin of arrogance.
An example of his officiousness: He is known to take people aside and tell them how to dress. Of course, from a man who is the most impeccably groomed and dressed man in Stark County except maybe for Jimmy Babcock.
10. We all know his penchant for firing.
Perhaps, there is a lot of George Steinbrenner (New York Yankee owner - did I say New York) in Healy. When a person is perfection personified in his own mind, it is hard to brook the "merely" near perfect, let's say for example, former Yankee manager Joe Torre and, closer to home, former service director and chief-of-staff Tom Bernabei.
11. Ah, the anonymous letters; the Healy request for an FBI investigation.
The Report has this gnawing feeling that the Healy FBI move was a gambit devised by a person well taken with his own intelligence.
12. There is a report in The Rep today that indicates:
- Healy will be less of a give-and-take mayor in his relationship with council.
- Healy has an marked inability to work with those who disagree with him.
- Healy cannot work with strong administrators; he fires them or they look to leave.
- He apparently does not trust his own law department to do labor negotiations.
We all what a bull leaves behind in the china shop. Wreckage, that's what. Apparently, that will be the consequence to Canton as Healy embarks on his quest to be a stronger mayor.
Kind of like: "Pride goeth before a fall."