Thursday, March 19, 2009


On January 17th, the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) took its camera to the MRDD (Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities) facility at Whipple-Dale to hear CEO/Supertendent Michael Miller's pitch for the upcoming (May 5) 1.4 mill operating levy.

First, The Report makes the point that we were not favorably disposed to MRDD because of negative experiences with MRDD's administration prior to attending the January 17th public meeting.


Because The Report made a request through its public relations arm for an interview with CEO/Supintendent Michael Miller and he totally blew yours truly off.

A public official is not entitled do what Miller did.

But The Report was undeterred by Miller's snub and went to the January 17th meeting and buttonholed the superintendent after the meeting.

The Report's impression of Miller did not improve with the "up close and personal" encounter him at Whipple-Dale Center.

As you can see from the chart in the graphic that accompanies this post, Miller and MRDD's board only got religion on the need to make cuts after MRDD's financial crisis was in full bloom.

When asked about MRDD's failure to see financial problems coming, he simply hem-hawed around the question.

Another issue that Miller has unsatisfactory answer for is the fate of its Eastgate and Southgate schools. The missions of these two schools are described this way on MRDD's website (
Eastgate Early Childhood and Family Center provides education from birth through age five and Rebecca Stallman Southgate School educates students up to the age of 22.
The Stark County commissioners, in particular Commissioner Todd Bosley, are concerned that one or both of these schools will be closed.

When asked, Miller simply says there will be changes.

What changes?

Miller refuses to get specific.

According to The Repository, he did say at last night board meeting that "another 190 employees at the Rebecca Stallman Southgate School and Eastgate School also could be laid off."

The Report has been hearing rumblings of great dissatisfaction with Miller from within MRDD operations and is in the process of tracking down the specifics.

The Report is inclined to support the levy, but is still mulling it over. Miller is a super negative. Everything else about MRDD is a positive.

Eastgate and Southgate are of critical importance to Stark County's 17 public school districts.

Witness this exchange between Miller and a citizen asking a key question. Why can't Miller take a 20% cut? Everybody else in Stark County seems to be taking cuts or losing the jobs altogether.

Here is the video of Miller and the citizen.

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