It is becoming more and more clear to the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) that Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II is prepared to take the "great" city of Canton down with him in his political troubles.
The Report has had a conversation with an area politically powerful person who insinuates that politicians in high places (e.g. Columbus and Washington) now see Canton as a liability in terms of doing anything extra to help Canton pull itself out its economic blight.
Who's to blame?
The political turmoil that Jamie Healy has brought to Canton in his coming into office in January, 2008.
The turmoil began when it became apparent to local political observers (including The Report) that Healy and Canton City Council were not going to hit it off. Healy's one chance to bridge over to Council was through the goodwill that his services director and chief of staff Tom Bernabei had with many council members. In hindsight, The Report's take is that this was likely a major liability for Bernabei because it is likely (given Healy's hubris) that the Mayor viewed the relationship suspicicously.
Next we had the 1888OHIOCOMP matter and associate contributions to the Healy campaign along with the revelation that figures being investigated by the FBI in the Cuyahoga County government corruption investigation had contributed to the Healy campaign.
Next was the dramatic press conference by Healy in which he outed allegations that he was involved with a 16 year old female.
Then the firing of Bernabei.
Number next. Safety Director Tom Nesbitt (brought in by Healy from Nebraska only a year or so earlier) announces he is applying for 9-1-1 Project Manager as part of the Stark County Council of Governments (SCOG) revamp of 9-1-1 into an efficient and effective emergency services unit.
Next there begins to emerge a possible pattern of folks who made campaign contributions to Healy end up with city contracts. So much so that even The Repository editors (whose employer has a publishing contract with Canton) call for Healy to pledge that anyone who contributes his campaign will not be considered for a city contract.
As a Nesbitt sequel, he announces that he will be leaving the city in the near term future.
The Report on an ongoing basis investigates the connection between out-of-town contributors and the Healy administration. The question: Why are folks from Maumee, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Columbus and Akron contributing to the TeamHealy Committee.
After being promised by Director of Communications Adam Herman that a TeamHealy person would respond to The Report's questions about the contribution, The Report has received no contact. The Report did make a follow up call to TeamHealy's campaign treasurer; only to be ignored.
What does Healy/TeamHealy have to hide on the Mayor's campaign finance reports?
Yes, The Report believes that the political cloak and dagger world that William J. Healy, II has brought to Canton is hurting Canton terrifically.
The area "politically powerful person" is on to something.
While Healy is mayor and enveloped in controversy, Canton will stay put - at best, but more likely it will regress.
Know Healy as The Report does, it is hard to believe that he would be willing to take the city of William McKinley down with him.
But isn't that exactly what he is doing?