Friday, March 6, 2009


The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) showed up at the interviews that the Governance Committee of the Stark County Council of Governments (SCOG) had scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at the Stark County 9-1-1 Center for candidates of the Project Manager position of the "new" Stark County 9-1-1 countywide system.

The Report learned long ago that politicians with an agenda abhor the light of day. Who was the first to object to The Report sitting in on these interviews for a "public" position. You've got it. None other than Randy Gonzales.

The conversations posed in this blog are paraphrases of the actual conversation.

Gonzales: (to The Report) You don't think your going to sit in on these interviews, do you?

THE REPORT: Yes, I do. These interviews are to fill a public position.

Gonzales: We may be asking questions the answers to which could prove embarrassing to the interviewees. The answer could cause an applicant to lose a currently held job. (this answer is actually a combination of reasons for the exclusion given by Gonzales, Stark 9-1-1 Director Tim Warsler and Massillon Fire Chief Tom Burgasser)

THE REPORT: That's part of the territory, when people apply for public jobs. If I am need access, I will be looking into whether or not there has been a violation of Ohio's Sunshine law, and if so, filing litigation for remedies provided for in law).

Gonzales: We are going to call the prosecutor's office to find out whether or not we have to let you sit in.


The assembled interviewers asked The Report to vacate the interview room while they check with Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero's office.


Predictably, Ferrero's people (remember John Fererro was formerly the head of the Stark County Democratic Party) (also, Ferrero is a member of SCOG at large: a conflict-in-interest?) - being part of Stark County's political network - sided with Gonzales, et al.

All of the foregoing raises the question: Why The Report thought it important to cover the interviews?

Answer: The Report believes that Randy Gonzales had a pre-interview agenda to push for Canton Safety Director Tom Nesbitt to become the selected Project Manager. He wouldn't want the public-at-large to know about the credentials of the candidates before the decision of whom to hire was a done deal. The "privacy" thing is phony-baloney. It's like an attorney who asserts the attorney-client privilege to protect the attorney; not the client.

Busto, Kerstetter and Tenan had no chance at all from the get-go because they are not politically involved and connected. The Report did talk with Mark Busto before his interview and it is clear to The Report that Busto is as qualified, if not more, on "9-1-1 credentials" as Rich Peterson (the fire chief of Nimishillen Township). But he is apolitical. Peterson, in addition to Nesbitt and Concatto, are very much politically connected.

Back to Jackson Township Fiscal Officer Gonzales (who also works for another Stark Democratic Party kingpin Phil Giavasis - Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts).

The Report has written before that Gonzales is the de facto chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party. All one has to do is go to a Democratic candidate fundraiser to see Gonzales huddled up with one or another of his political confidants.

The Report believes that all important Stark County open public positions are filtered through Gonzales more than titular party head Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

Does a party stalwart or a stalwart's relative need a public job? Check with Randy. He has the political clout in Stark County. Gonzales' own son (who ran against Scott Oelslager - the 51st - two elections ago) works for Stark County Recorder Rick Campbell. Best qualified of 300,000 plus Stark Countians for the job? Could be. But it also could be that his father is a jauggernaut Stark County politico.

The Report has not figured out why Gonzales is fronting for Nesbitt. A newcomer to Stark County, who is an out-of-towner that Mayor Healy brought into Stark to be Canton's safety director and who already wants to leave? In time, as the recently deceased Paul Harvey used to say, we will get "the rest of the story."

Had The Report been allowed into the interview, non politically connected folks like Busto, Kerstetter and Tenan would have fared much better. Because the interviewers would have known that The Report would share the credentials of the non politically connected with the Stark County community.

In the opinion of The Report, Randy Gonzales is a backroom political deal maker of the first degree. But he is not the only one in Stark County: Phil Giavasis, Kim Perez, Gary Zeigler, Janet Creighton-Weir, Jane Vignos (especially in their days as county auditor), et cetera.

The Report's objection?

These are public jobs. They are not Gonzales' or for any of the other Stark County politicos' (Democrat or Republican) to hand out.

The Report predicts that either Tom Nesbitt or Rich Peterson (sponsored by Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley) will be the choice presented to the full SCOG assembly.

Peterson is a Stark Countian who has vast experience in 9-1-1 operations (reference: CenCom of Nimishillen Township) is a no-brainer choice over Nesbitt.

The Report ends this discussion with the following question: Mark Busto with all of his experience and "time-in-grade," doesn't even get a smell?

Doesn't this whole process smell to high heavens?

1 comment:


Why is all of this stuff so "Top Secret"?

Jobs postings, interviews, council/commissioner/trustee, etc meetings ALL should be on public access television, via Time Warner Cable on a DAILY basis.

These folks have been hiding in the shadows since beforethe days of Papadopoluos and Shaheen .....

Let's get all of this public business out where the public can see it.