Sunday, September 27, 2009


UPDATE (09/28/09)

Giavasis contacted the SCPR to state that Mike Stevens was not hired as Plain Township administrator because he wanted to remain as Lawrence Township trustee.

If the answer to the question posed in the graphic above is "yes," then Plain Township trustee Louis Giavasis deserves to be re-elected to one of the two trustee positions up for voting this coming November.

He is opposed by Diebold employee Scott Haws and Dawn Campanelli.  The SCPR will cover their campaigns in later volumes of the SCPR "ELECTION 2009" SERIES.

Louis Giavasis is an interesting political study for Stark County students of politics.

He is a guy who appears to be largely non-political but the reality is that he is enmeshed in partisan Democratic politics.

For instance, he now works in the Stark County clerk of courts office held by Nancy Reinbold.  Clerk Reinbold got her job from guess who?  Louis's brother Phil who used to be Stark County Common Pleas clerk of courts until he decided it was more remunerative (and therefore more retirement benefit enhancing)  to be the Canton
Municipal clerk of courts.

Reinbold (the wife of  long time Stark County Court Common Pleas judge - now retired - Richard Reinbold in the opinion of the SCPR is beholden to the Giavasis political family.  When Phil moved on, he was hostileto anyone who wanted to consider running for the county clerk job because he - Phil - had determined that the job was to go to Nancy Reinbold.

So now you have Louis in the clerk's office.  Hmm?  Politics or merit?

On the other side of the political coin is the reality that Louis has been in the running for "political" jobs in the past, only to come up empty.  If he is so politically connected, how can this be?

In part, because he is a bit of a loose canon on township governmental decision questions and,in part, because within the Stark County Democratic Party there are a number of divisions.  An example:  Louis being part of the Giavasis wing (Phil's political machine) of the Stark County Democratic Party makes application with the Healy administration which is controlled politically by the "TeamHealy" political machine of the Stark County Democratic Party.  It would not necessarily be beneficial for Louis Giavasis of the Giavasis political machine to expect a political advantage with the TeamHealy folks. In fact, it was (when Louis applied) a big negative.

That's how Stark County Cemocratic politics works.

Notwithstanding the SCPR's understanding of how caught up Louis Giavasis is in the inner workings of Stark County Democratic Politics, yours truly thinks Louis is one of the very best, if not the best, township trustee in Stark County and, perhaps, beyond.

One of Giavasis' prime political skills is to be able to work with co-equal officeholders.  Being township trustee or county commissioner is challenging because of the egos involved in holding office on a three person board.

Giavasis' success in Plain Township, the SCPR believes, is attributable - in the main-  to spreading the glory around.  Never, in the SCPR's conversations with Louis, has he taken full credit for Plain's successes as a exceptional example of how township government can work well for citizens.  He always has made it clear that Plain's success is attributable to all three trustees.

While many Stark and Ohio townships are having severe financial/economic hardships, Plain Township is relative secure; especially on the financial side of the equation.

And, Giavasis is currently on the threshold of breaking through on a major economic development coup for Plain.  As early as Wednesday of this week, Stark County commissioners could decide to release $2 million in federal stimulus money loan guarantees so that a Boston developer can get the money he needs to create 129 new (a mix of full/parttime) jobs within two years.
Get this folks.  The $2 million is only a guarantee (somewhat like FDIC (protecting bank deposits) and the money will be repaid to Stark County so that the county can seed other economic development projects.

In 2000, the Oakwood Square shopping complex went belly up because its anchor tenant Giant Eagle move one mile to the west to Washington Square.  But, to protect its territory, Giant Eagle negotiated a lease to to prohibit a competing grocer from going into Oakwood Square for what seems to be an eternity.

Louis Giavasis has fought Giant Eagle tooth and nail on this issue ever since his election in 1993 after being appointed to the office in 1992.

There are other successes that Giavasis likes to point to:
The Plain Township parks system, and

the fact that Plain Township officials saw the financial/economic downturn coming as much as five years ago and have created reserves to create the buffer they need to weather the hard times.
The SCPR is impressed by Gaivasis.  So much so that yours truly wonders why, in the face of the rumored Tom Harmon step-down as county commissioner after the first of year, Stark County Democrats would choose anyone other than Louis Giavasis as his successor?

If Harmon does resign, then politics will enter in bigtime, and Steve Meeks (former Jackson Township trustee) has a much thicker political relationship with Stark County Democratic Party chairman than does the Giavasis family.

One of the most powerful families in Stark County politics, is the Gayle Jackson family.

Gayle (a former county commissioner)  is now with the lottery commission having been appointed by Governor Strickland on the recommendation of former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. who Strickland is highly indebted to because Maier was the first Ohio county chairman to endorse him for governor in 2006.

Her son, Shane, works for Maier as chief deputy making more money than Massillon mayor Francis Cicchinelli, Jr, and is the political director of the Stark County Democratic Party.

Her daughter, Lisa (wife of Stark County recorder Rick Campbell) works for guess who?

Plain Township.


The "so" leads to the question  as to what political role did Louis Giavasis have in helping her land the job?

The SCPR believes substantial.

Lawrence Township trustee Michael Stevens was the odds on favorite to get the job when it came open several years ago.

The SCPR believes that Maier and Louis' brother Phil leaned on the Plain trustees to opt for Lisa.

The Campbell hiring folks is a apt description of the inner workings and realities of Stark County politics.

Is Louis Giavasis up to his eyeballs in Stark County Democratic politics?


However, the SCPR believes he is likely the very most visionary (e.g. Oakwood Square)of all Stark County trustees.  Moreover, he understands and teams up with Plain Township other two trustees to configure and implement township government efficiencies and plan in advance and install financial mechanism to keep Plain Township richly solvent.

A huge Giavasis strength is his persistence.  Witness the Oakwood Square project.  he has been working on this project for nearly 10 years!

All of this goes to prove that being highly political does not necessarily mean that one is not a high quality public official.

Many times it does.

But not in the case of Trustee Louis P. Giavasis.

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