The SCPR suspects that part of Canton City Council manifest inability to deal with the scheming Mayor William J. Healy, II has something to do with the leadership of the Stark County Democratic Party and peripheral Democrat office holders weighing in on council members to hold their fire on Healy.
Stark County Democratic Party chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr is no friend of Mayor Healy. Yours truly has heard Maier inveigh against Healy frequently. Moreover, Maier - under the right conversational conditions - will tell how Healy's father, when he was state representative, worked to undermine Maier when both were in the state legislators.
But Maier does have a county party to hold together. Maier likely sees that it does Democrats no good to be viewed countywide as a squabllng, bickering and infighting collection of politicos. Accordingly, he is probably pushing key Council Democrat such as Council president Allen Schulman to tamp down on the anti-Healy rhetoric.
Schulman has to be restive under the clamp down. Schulman suspects that Denczak-Henderhan (daughter of former Council president and Democratic stalwart Ray Denczak - who [Denczak-Henderhan] voted twice in recent primaries as a Republican), is another Healy generated opponent of a sitting Canton City Council member.
Healy was heavily invested in the Bob Harper (a former Republican) campaign to unseat Healy-critic Greg Hawk. Healy even resorted to double-hearsay rumors touching on Hawk and even tried to elevate the "rumors" to a law enforcement issue (through others - the coward Healy is).
If Schulman concludes that the Denczak-Henderhan candidacy is a Healy effort to get him, then the gloves will come off and Healy will have put himself in open warfare with one of the most powerful Democrats in Canton city politics in Schulman.
Schulman speaks warmly and highly of Chairman Maier (a view obviously not shared by the SCPR).
Yours truly has heard Maier wax eloquent (or at least, as eloquent as Maier can get) about Schulman is probably the chief individual financier of the Stark County Democratic Party.
So Healy has to figure that in a mano-a-mano confrontation (even if by proxy, i.e. Denczak-Henderhand) with Schulman, Maier, as he is so apt to do, will project the facade of being neutral for the sake of party unity but will in reality side up with Schulman.
The SCPR sees this Schulman/Denczak-Henderhan battle as a public eruption of the simmering Council/Mayor fight that is ongoing but largely unseen by the public.
Organized labor will openly side with Schulman. They will pressure individual council members to declare for Schulman.
An opening shot at Healy was taken in today's Repository by letter to editor writer Captain Jack Angelo, Fraternal Order of Police - Ohio Labor Council.
A little background, please.
In The Rep's Ed Balint's piece on May 12th reporting an contract agreement between Canton and its police unions, Mayor Healy portrayed thusly:
Healy said [Gary C.] Johnson's involvement was "integral" to reaching an agreement with the FOP. Given his statewide experience with government labor talks, Johnson recommended a fact-finder (the neutral third-party). Healy said the selection of the arbitrator may have influenced the negotiations.Lawyer Gary C. Johnson of Cleveland is a one time protege of Healy campaign consultant Jack DeSario, who Healy appears to be enthralled by. Johnson made campaign contributions to Healy in 2008.
Now, Angelo's response:
Mr. Johnson wrote a proposal that was so outlandish, the FOP walked out of negotiations after 30 minutes.In the end Healy's scheming, craftiness, agressiveness and maliciousness will not work. The Mayor keeps digging himself a deeper hole.
Mr. Johnson did help to make the negotiations last nearly six months while he ran up the tab for the city.
The reason we were able to come to agreement was because of attorney Kristen Bates Aylward [of the Canton Law Department specifically hired to do union negotiations], Safety Director Tom Nesbitt, police Chief Dean McKimm and Chief Deputy Thomas Ream being able to see that Mr. Johnson was clueless about negotiations and to write a sensible proposal that benefited both the city and the union.
It is disturbing to read the comments made by the mayor after the union acted in good faith during terrible economic times. Mr. Johnson took more than $8,600 from the city and laughed all the way to the bank.
Sooner or later, open Demcratic warfare will erupt in Canton and not even pleas for "party unity" will save Mayor Healy.