Thursday, March 12, 2009


The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) is astounded over the controversy that the Marlboro Township trustees have unleashed.

Rustic Marlboro Township? Who would have thunk that a family who has devoted its life to the well-being of their community could have end up have two family members indicted and prosecuted for crimes that have their origins in guess what? community service! Wow!

Kyle Devies, who is a young man, but who was even a younger man several years back when he - get this - VOLUNTEERED - to fix the broken township computer system.

Kyle began his volunteer work back in the good old days when the township trustees deeply appreciated community people stepping forward to help out. Nowadays, Marlboro has a couple of "wheeler-dealer" trustees who have brought "big city politics" to this bucolic community and to an office which officially is "non-partisan."

Tim Wise, a member of a politically initiated Stark County family, is an interesting "political" person to The Report. The Report has always thought well of the Wise family and believes that Tim is a deviation from the Wise family political standards. His brother E.E. Jr. (currently city administrator for North Canton) is highly respected within the Stark County political community and not just among Democrats (his affiliation) but among the entire Stark County political establishment.

Is Tim a case of "the political black sheep" of the family who is frustrated at not having achieved at his father's level (Earle E. Wise, Sr. - a kingpin of Stark County Democratic politics and a retired 5th District Court of Appeal judge) and is out to prove himself as a politically powerful player in Stark County?

Added on to Tim's frustration might be his brother's prominence in Stark County politics. E. E., Jr. ran very respectable and relative close campaigns for county recorder (losing to Republican Jane Vignos) and probate court judge (losing to the hugely campaign financed Dixie Park - her husband's money).

The Report believes that both E. E. Sr. and Jr. have to be horrified at what Tim has done in helping to create the ugly political mess (totally unnecessary) with the Devies family in Marlboro.

Dave Wolf?
How did he come to have a hand in creating this mess?

The Report believes it is a "religious Right" political thing with him. No sooner had Wolf taken office as trustee and he was knocking on Marlboro Police Chief Ron Devies' door.

Was this a "let's get to know each other session?" The Report thinks not. Rather it was a "orders from God Almighty" encounter which didn't last very long. It only lasted long enough for Wolf to hand Devies a video tape done by a religious Right South Carolina sheriff by the name of Ray Nash with the Wolf admonition to Chief Devies "this is how I see things."


Presumably, how law enforcement should be run.

Well, the Chief had a little bit of police training and experience himself and predictably blew-off Wolf by continuing to police Marlboro as he and his predecessors always had.

The Report believes the Chief did the right thing by Marlboro. Religious Right folks are known for their "take over tatics" of local government (mostly boards of education). If Wolf is the religious Right firebrand The Report suspects he is, then Wolf may be trying to bring fundamentalist (religious) political values and programs to the township. The Nash intro may be Chapter One of a book full of religious grounded prescriptions.

Again supposing The Report is correct and Wolf embodies "religious fundamentalism" in political action; it is more than a touch ironic that someone who embraces "family values" would attack a Marlboro family which is the personification of family values.

Whatever the motivations of Wise and Wolf, they have created a firestorm in Marlboro Township.

And The Report believes Wolf, at least, now realizes this and that is why he met with Chief Devies last weekend to try to diffuse the community volatile situation; pleading with the Chief "to call off the dogs" (an unfortunate metaphor if dogs is the word that Wolf actually used).

Finally, The Report believes that the trustees control of how this scenario is going to play out. Even if the Stark County grand jury refuses to indict the Devies, these two trustees have unleashed damages galore: the Marlboro community, the Marlboro police department, the Devies family and to each of themselves.

And just think, it all began with a young man wanting to help out his community by volunteering.

The message: Indeed, NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED. Especially when folks come to the table with a political agenda.

Here is a history of the Devies family civic involvement in Marlboro community life as written by Ron Devies:

1. My father Gene Devies was one of the organizers and charter members of the Marlboro Fire Company. He was the departments second ever chief. After he retired he served on the board of directors for the fire department. My mom was on the Ladies Auxiliary and back then when there would be a fire in the middle of the night the ladies would get out of bed too and make coffee to take to the firemen. They also kept canned hams so they could also fix sandwiches and take to the firefighters. One day no one was free to drive the fire truck to a fire and my mom loaded up little Denny and Bob and drove the truck to the fire scene.

2. My oldest brother Gene started on the fire department as soon as he turned 18 in 1957 and rose through the ranks and retired as chief in 1995.

a. His son Rob joined the fire department when he turned 18, went to EMT and Paramedic school and worked with me at Alliance Ambulance before going to the police academy and working with Denny and I on the police department. Rob has quit all of that now and is a Lieutenant for the Alliance City Fire Department

b. Gene's son Mike is a Captain on the Marlboro Fire Department.

3. While Bob has never done anything in those areas, he specializes in police & fire screening and treating related problems. He was instrumental in the organizing of the Stark County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) that sits down with police and fire departments and debriefs them after a catastrophe.

4. Denny was a cop from 1971 till his death in 2003. While Denny was never an EMT he did work as an ambulance attendant from 1969 to 1974. (that was before they had EMTs) His wife is a surgery nurse.

5. Me, I was on the Marlboro Fire Department from the time I turned 18 in 1976 till I retired after becoming police chief. I was the fire departments first EMT,I was one of the organizers of the fire departments EMS Division and started the fire investigation bureau in 1995 under Chief Gary Haines. I was an EMT-Paramedic from 1977-1993 with Alliance Ambulance and then later Gold Cross after they purchased the company. I started as an auxiliary patrolman in 1984 and now Chief today. Barb is a emergency room nurse. Kyle is a Firefighter-EMT and joined the fire department when he turned 18.

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