Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley generates a lot of passion either pro or con in the Stark County political scene.
Witness this e-mail sent to yours truly in response to the blog: JACKSON TWP FISCAL OFFICER RANDY GONZALES "THE QUINTESSENTIAL - BACKROOM POLITICIAN?" PUSHING FOR HEALY "OUT-OF-TOWNER" NESBITT?
Now the e-mail: (from a person who identifies him/herself as "Stark Citizen")
while there certainly are politics going on behind the scenes, its much less about who they DO want than who they DON'T want. they do not want anyone tied to Bosley. Bosley is disliked (more by D's than Rs) and not trusted. He's not one of the D insiders. And frankly, he is seen as a hot head with poor judgment by just about everyone who knows him, has worked with him, or observed him as commissioner. CenComm is a disaster....huge debt, few communities it services...Bosley wants HIS guy in there, and that aint gonna happen.The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) understands the passion that Commissioner Bosley generates in Stark County politics. So that is why The Report set up this discussion on Bosley with the graphic "Hothead or Fire in the Belly.)
The Report take on Bosley is that he is a "fire in the belly" guy who is on quest to bring Stark County back to life after years of a string of mediocre at best commissioners.
But The Report understands the different perspective (hothead with a personal agenda who is bent on having his own way) and will, from time-to-time revisit this discussion.
Democrat Bosley started out his political career being elected trustee in Nimishillen Township over incumbent and fellow Democrat Arthur Lynch. This was a signal that Bosley was not going to be a party loyalist. And if there was any doubt, it was eradicated when Bosley took on fellow Democrat Russ Goffus in a dispute in which Bosley questioned Goffus' ethics in his circuitous purchase of a township vehicle.
From the perspective of The Report, Bosley's challenge of Goffus took someone with a lot of political nerve. Mind you, Bosley sat next to this guy in Nimishillen Township meeting after meeting after meeting and conducted township business until Goffus was defeated in November, 2005. Was the Goffus defeat a vindication of Bosley?
In 2006, Bosley decided to take on the son of the then Congressman Ralph Regula, Richard Regula. No other Democrat in Stark County was ready to take on this fight. Bosley was little known in Stark County outside of Nimishillen Township.
No one, including yours truly, thought Bosley could win. But Bosley did and he ran a superlative campaign focusing on incumbent Regula's failure with fellow Republican Jane Vignos to fix 9-1-1.
Here is a graphic of Bosley's Nimishillen/Stark County electoral prowess:
Bosley defeats Regula who had the notorious Stark County political consultant (D&R Consulting) and Mount Union political science professor Jack DeSario managing his campaign.
Shortly after being elected, Bosley, feeling full of himself, announced to astounded Stark County Democrats that he was ready to take on Congressman Ralph Regula two years down the road.
Yours truly's take on this political egoism was to say in print (via the comments section of The Repository) to Bosley: "do a job as Stark County commissioner first, then think of other offices to seek."
That in the judgment of The Report is exactly what Bosley had done.
Let's just tick off some the things Bosley has generated and/or worked upon since he became commissioner (not in any particular order and not intended to be an exhaustive list).
* for taxpayer efficiencies:
- pushed to have the health departments of Canton and Stark County merge.
- pushed to have the Stark County sanitary engineering/county engineer functions merge.
- pushed to sell Molly Stark
- introduced and gained passage of the imposition of the county sales/use tax to provide funds to create a true countywide, state-of-the-art, 9-1-1; all to the astonishment of the likes of Randy Gonzales and at great political risk to his chances for re-election
(which The Report thinks is the least impressive part of the Bosley track record to date; the question - has Stark County realized any net gain in new jobs due to a Bosley/county commissioner initiative?):
- worked to get VW to Stark County and now is working to get Fiat to come here.
- is setting up a program with Chevron to replacing "on their last legs" Stark County jail heating boilers with alternative energy "wood fired" boilers.
- is working with Stark State College of Technology solar energy folks to devise a solar energy collection system on the expansive roof of the jail.
- worked out a deal with the Stark County Veterans Commission to provide more of county budget monies as required Ohio law even in the face of a very tight county budget.
- worked with Lawrence Township officials and Summit County's city of New Franklin to solve an roadway access dispute.
- voted, in the face of countervailing pressure from then fellow Commissioner and fellow Democrat Gayle Jackson (now with the Lottery Commission) to approve an increase in the Stark County license plate fee which provides the County Engineer Mike Rehfus with the resources to maintain Stark's highway system.
- as part of the imposed 1/4 of 1 percent (net) sales/use taxes took Stark County off the brink of financial insolvency.
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