Michael Mouse, a former Canal Fulton councilman, told the Stark County Political Report (SCPR/The Report) about a month ago or so that given the way the Stark Right to Vote Committee (which he was once a member of) was going about collecting signatures, they would need 20,000 to 25,000 signatures to get the 13,950 signatures needed to get the group's "repeal" of the Stark County commissioner imposed 0.50 sales/use tax (January, 2009) on the ballot.
Even if the initiative gets to the ballot box, the group will have a head-to-head fight with nearly every county official on the actual repeal issue. Such has been the prediction of Stark Commissioner Todd Bosley.
The SCPR remains skeptical that the Stark Right to Vote Committee will get the necessary 13,950 valid signatures for the fight at the ballot box to materialize. Some 15,500 (unvalidated by the Stark County Board of Elections) have been collected so far. (9-1-1 committee sticks to 2011 dispatching plan, Kelli Young, The Repository, July 9, 2009)
If they are successful, one has to wonder whether nor not Stark County Board of Elections deputy director Jeff Matthews will lead the Committee in fighting for repeal.
On Tax Day, Tea Day Matthews appeared on stage of WHLO's Matt Patrick Show (on location) to urge resistance to the tax. This is the same Jeff Matthews who is the chair of the Stark County Republican Party. Apparently, he in cahoots with party operative Jason Wise (president of the Massillon Republican Club) want to make the imposed sales/use tax an issue in upcoming Stark County elections.
The SCPR believes that Matthews has a conflict-in-interest. Being an official at the Board of Elections (BOE), his unit of government has gone to the Stark County commissioners for more money when the ability to complete all the BOE's legal obligations on holding Stark County elections.
So now he wants to help financially hamstring county operations?
There are interesting days ahead. If the Stark Right to Vote Committee successfully get their initiative on the ballot and gains a repeal, then the 9-1-1 reorganization plan will be in great jeopardy and general Stark County government operations will likely go on life support.
There is one more possible consequence of a victorious Stark Right to Vote Committee effort.
It could spell defeat for Commissioner Todd Bosley when he runs for re-election in 2010.
Fixing 9-1-1 was a key to Bosley defeating the then incumbent Richard Regula in 2006. Should 9-1-1 not get fixed given that Bosley will surely be in the lead in fighting the repeal forces, then Bosley faces a tough re-election battle in 2010 - with one caveat.
What is the caveat?
Can the Stark County Republican Party come up with a viable candidate?
This is not an insignificant question.
Chairman Jeff Matthews and his predecessor Curt Braden (Stark County Republicans) have through their weak leadership undermined the Stark GOP's ability to compete countywide.
What Republican would want to wage political warfare with Todd Bosley with a weakened Republican Party in support?