The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report/SCPR) has learned from a highly reliable source that Stark County Commissioner Tom Harmon is at it again.
Helping his political friends get public jobs that the general public never gets a shot at.
Harmon himself was originally appointed by Stark Democrats as county commissioner when former commissioner Gayle Jackson left for a Strickland administration job (probably at the behest of and certainly with the assistance of Stark County Democratic Party chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.)
The beneficiary this time?
Canton City Councilman Greg Hawk who is the owner/operator of Original Arcade Coneys (located at 215 West Tuscarawas St) and who is Canton City Ward 1C precinct committeeman.
In addition to owning and operating his own business and being a paid Canton City Council member, Hawk is now also working for Massillon elected official Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. Hawk joins Stark County Democratic Political Director Shane Jackson (who is Gayle's son) in the Massillon clerk of courts office. Shane's sister Lisa is the Plain Township administrator. A job she landed after she left the Stark County recorder's office because she had married Recorder Rick Campbell.
Why is The Report making a deal out of the Hawk hiring?
Let's see, three jobs he has. Okay he owns and operates his own business. This is wonderful. His second job is as an elected official. This is fine too. He went out got himself elected.
And The Report would be fine with him having a third job with local government, if The Report believed that he was the best person for this job. He may be. But who did he compete with to get the job? Let's see the list. Many very able Stark Countians have no job.
Stark organized Democrats (as Republicans like Janet Creighton and Jane Vignos did) are really loading up political insiders with jobs in taxpayer provided jobs.
If the general public only knew the degree to which Stark Republicans and Democrats alike set aside taxpayer funded jobs for their political cronies and allies, Stark Countians would likely be less likely to support city income tax issues, county sales/use tax issues, et cetera.
Yours truly has generally supported tax initiatives. Because? Because government does take money. However, our elected officials need to run government operations as if the money was coming out of their own pockets.
When we taxpayers get a growing sense of being abused by our elected leaders in their hiring practices, then it is time to stop and take a hard look.
These elected leaders may think they are playing us taxpayers for being fools, but they aren't. We are very much aware of what they do. A word to the wise: unless these leaders stop excluding the general public and stop it soon, we (voters who normally support funding government) will dry up their money.
The Report knows of and has reported on and will continue to report on Stark County politically connected folks who seemed to end up with a disproportionate number of public, taxpayer funded jobs.
A mission of The Report is to give readers an independent look at how political partisans use taxpayer dollars to provide for their political friends and for their families. Oh, they don't do direct hires. But they mask the hirings by having fellow officeholders do the hiring.
The issue is not the competence these folks have for these jobs. In some cases, the hirees are not competent (remember Ohio congressman Wayne Hays and Elizabeth Ray), but out-and-out incompetence is the exception rather than the rule.
The prime issue is whether or not the general public had a fair opportunity to get these jobs?
The Report has also learned that there may be something in the works at the hand of a Stark County Democratic Party and elected official to send a Stark Countian to Columbus to the Ohio treasurer's office so that a local taxpayer funded job opens for that official's relative.
Stay tuned. The Report is on this story and will be watching closely to see if it materializes.
The Report's guess is that this official is so utterly arrogant that the plan will proceed notwithstanding that the official is being watched with hawkeye precision.