Tuesday, March 3, 2009


The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has learned that over 100 applied for the newly created position of 9-1-1 Project Manager.

Today, the Stark County Council of Governments 9-1-1 Governance Committee will interview six finalists for the Project Manager position.

The person selected with have the responsibility of paring down the current 11 9-1-1 dispatch centers down to one, with - in all likelihood, a back up.

The political career of Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley could hinge on how well the reorganization of 9-1-1 goes. Democrat Bosley ran in 2006 on fixing 9-1-1 and, in the opinion of The Report, won on the issue. His opponent, Republican Richard Regula, fell completely on his political face in hem-hawing around on his failure to repair the broken system.

Bosley took political risk by convincing fellow commissioners Harmon and Vignos (now retired) to vote for a increase in the county sales/use tax part of which increase is to be used to fund the 9-1-1 rehab.

Stark County safety forces were surprised by this bold move. Though a number of village/city and township safety officials are into protecting their respective turfs, the sudden prospect of having money available put them in a spot of not being able to say no. Especially in light of the additional financial fact that the creation of a countywide system relieves most localities of dispatching expense. Money that the subdivisions need to apply to other local government functions.

Now to the candidates for Project Manager:

Mark Busto
is one of two of the six candidates who has the most direct experience managing a 9-1-1 dispatch operation. He has been with the Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center since 1989. Busto is a guy who has worked his way up through the ranks. This attribute has to warm the hearts of everyday Stark Countians. He is now the Executive Director of RED and has been since 2008.

Joseph Concatto
wants to come out of retirement to be 9-1-1 Project Manager. Up until Republican Janet Creighton-Weir was defeated by Democrat William J. Healy, II in November, 2007. Concatto served the Creighton administration as service director, safety director and chief of staff. Pre-political involvent, Concatto was Fire Chief of Canton. Moveover, he had been a member of the Canton Fire Department since 1969. His relevant experience to the 9-1-1 Project Manager position is centered in his management responsibilities. He did oversee the construction of a fire station in Canton. And he oversaw the move of Canton's dispatch center from city hall to 30th Street.

Tim Kerstetter comes out of private enterprise. His current employer is Diebold (since 1995) where he is Director of Corporate-wide Safety Wellness operations. At Diebold he has managed large operations. For Stark Countians who are interested in a "fresh face," Kerstetter might be an attractive alternative.

Tom Nesbitt
is an interesting candidate. Most of us Stark County political observers fell off our collective chairs when we found out Nesbitt (Safety Director for Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II) was applying for the 9-1-1 Project Manager position. His move was the first "public" sign that all is not well with the Healy administration. Again, here we have a candidate who has generalized management experience. Nesbitt came here from Nebraska where he spent years with the Nebraska Highway Patrol working in and managing Nebraska's statewide communications system.

Rich Peterson
of Nimishillen Township Fire Department (NFD & CenCom Dispatch) is almost a mirror image of Mark Busto. Peterson is also Service Manager at Kempthorn Motors. He has been with the NFD since 1984 and the head of CenCom 9-1-1 Dispatch which is located at a newly constructed fire station in Nimishillen Township.

Richard Tenan
has a curious history. His current employment is with communications consulting company GeoCom. GeoCom was hired by the Stark County Council of Governments to do a study of Stark County's 9-1-1 system of eleven dispatch centers. So Tenan wants the opportunity to fix a system he had a hand in critiquing. He has management experience in setting up and operating 800 megahertz communications systems which is the system that Stark's 9-1-1 wlll use.

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