Thursday, October 1, 2009


They used to be tight with one another.

But that is all changed now.

Nimishillen Township Fire Chief  Richard J. Peterson and Commissioner Todd Bosley couldn't be further apart.

Yesterday,  in a one-on-one conversation with Bosley, the commissioner told the SCPR that Peterson is working with the Stark Citizens Right to Vote Committee to have Stark Countians vote "No" on Issue 5; a "no" vote being "not to retain the 0.5 imposed sales/use tax" voted by the commissioners in December, 2008.

The SCPR took Bosley's comments to mean that he thinks Peterson is running a 5th column-esque movement in which Peterson and his sponsors, the Nimishillen Township trustees are working to undermine the Stark County Council on Governments Governance Committee's effort to fix the county's broken 9-1-1 system.

Bosley said that Peterson is "the Wizard behind the curtain" who is providing the anti-tax movement with information such as cited by movement spokesman Charlie Snyder that 9-1-1 does not need $5.5 million a year.

Why would Peterson do this?

Bosley believes that it is because Peterson was not selected to head up the Governance Committee's effort.  He lost out to Joseph Concatto for the position of project manager to put together the Countywide 9-1-1 Dispatch Center.

There is heavy irony in this falling out between Bosley and Peterson.

Fixing 9-1-1 was a collaboration between Peterson and Bosley going back to the days that Bosley was a Nimishillen Township trustee.  Fixing 9-1-1 is the reason, in the opinion of the SCPR, that Bosley was elected over sitting commissioner Richard Regula in November, 2006.

Bosley says that the 9-1-1 plan he has been pushing, is a plan conceived and constructed by Richard J. Peterson.

So what went wrong between Peterson and Bosley?

Two things, according to Bosley:

One - Peterson was not selected as project manager (even though Bosley fought tooth and nail with Gonzalez trying to get Peterson) and

Two -  Nimishillen Township Fire Station Number 3 (which houses Nimishillen's CenCom Dispatch Center) is to be phased out as a surviving Stark County dispatch location under the SCOG plan.

Back in June the SCPR reported that Peterson was "a fire chief scorned" and, moreover, yours truly was of the opinion that Peterson was already working to possibly scuttle countywide centralized dispatch.

So between June 30th and September 30th, has Peterson been marking his time, waiting to pounce on SCOG and Bosley?

Bosley thinks so.  And he hopping mad.  In fact, like Howard Beale of the movie Network, Bosley is, in effect, saying of Peterson "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

Bosley is out talking to media big time.  Not only is he talking to the likes of the SCPR, The Rep and others; the commissioner is going the extra step.
He sent yours truly the following link to an Alliance Review article dated, get this, March 8, 2008 which reveals a different sounding Chief Richard Peterson.  Politician Bosley does do his political research.  And he will beat an opponent's head in with it!

For Bosley, his tiff with Peterson appears to be more than "let's agree to disagree."  No, the Bosley offensive has the markers of being an all out offensive to smoke Peterson out and discredit him.

Bosley says that Stark Right to Vote Committee leader Tom Marcelli was quoting Peterson (according to Commissioner Tom Harmon, per Bosley) in The Rep's endorsement interview on Issue 5 which was held on September 29th.

Moreover, Bosley says that Charlie Snyder's (who acted as spokesperson for the anti-tax group) questioning of  the need to fund Countywide 9-1-1 Central Dispatch at the rate of $5.5 million annually could only come at the coaching of Peterson.

Snyder, according to Bosley, - on his own - would not have a clue as to the amount needed to run a centralized dispatch center.

Additionally, Bosley says that Peterson has been out trying to disaffect other Stark County based fire chiefs from their support of a countywide dispatch.  Bosley specified that North Canton Fire Chief John P. Bacon is a primary target of Peterson's effort, but that there are others that Peterson is working on.

Get the idea of the scope and the ferocity of  the Bosley political attack on Peterson?


What is the SCPR's reaction to this hubub?

No surprises here.

The SCPR was the first to say that Peterson was badly stung in being rejected as project manager.  He has been highly critical of Joseph Concatto to yours truly from the time it became known that Concatto was selected over him.

While the SCPR has not made a final determination as to whether or not to vote to retain the tax or to vote for its repeal, yours truly is leaning towards supporting retention.


What turns yours truly off, and likely most Stark County voters, is the personal agenda of many of the of cast of characters who have involved themselves in this political fight.

Peterson and the Nimishillen trustees fit the "personal agenda" billing in their trying to force Nimishillen's CenCom on the rest of Stark County.  They have a lot of explaining to do to Nimishillen taxpayers about the continued utility of Fire Station #3.

Many Stark County politicos fill the "personal agenda" billing in their working over Stark County taxpayers by seemingly using Stark County government as a personal employment agency.

Why would Stark County taxpayers want to fund support for the sales/use tax increase?

What public official's relatives, friends and political supporters will end up on the county payroll, if taxpayers decide to retain the tax?


Most of the Stark Citizens Right to Vote Committee appear to be irrational on whether or not the tax is to be retained.

Take Charlie Snyder.  Three of the four reasons he gave, as spokesperson for the Stark Citizens Right to Vote, as seen/heard on his Repository video, were out there somewhere.

Reason #1 - The implied "we are going to punish Stark County as a whole" for the tax imposition action of the county commissioners.   The anti-tax group remedy to the commissioners' action bears no rational relationship to whether or not Stark Countians need to have an up-to-date 9-1-1 system and whether or not Stark County government needs more money for day-to-day operations.

What would be rational is for these folks to work to defeat Bosley and Harmon when they run again and thereby send the message that any commissioner that does not afford citizens the right to vote on taxes will not be abided by Stark County voters.

Reason #2 - A $22 million tax increase would be irresponsible,  a point made by Snyder, if that was the plan.  But he misstates the total revenue that is to be generated, if Stark voters decide to keep the tax and the commissioners implement the promised termination of an existing tax.  The increase at the end of the day should generate about about $11 millon annually.

Certainly, Snyder knows this.

Is it irresponsible/irrational to misstate the facts, Mr. Snyder?

However, Snyder does make a point that is rational in this argument.  Sales/use taxes are regressive.  The rationality:  0.5 percent on a person earning and spending $20,000 a year is a lot more burdensome that 0.5 percent on a person who spends $20,000 a year but has total annula income of $50,000.  It is simple, basic math.  Even Charles Snyder can figure this out.

Reason #3 - $5.5 million is too much to put into making 9-1-1 viable, according to the Stark Citizens for the Right to Vote Committee.

Okay, Mr. Snyder; what should the cost be?   In his comments, Snyder said that the hodgepodge of  Stark communities are currently spending $6.8 million.

So is it logical that Stark Countians should continue to spend $1.3 million a year more (in the context of a fragmented collection of communities) that the proposed $5.5 million for a system that is not working at an acceptable level?

Reason #4 - Mismanaged funds?  That's what Snyder says, then he goes off on a non-sequitur about the alleged theft in Stark County treasurer Gary Zeigler's office.  Stolen funds are not mismanaged funds.   Hello there, Charles Snyder? 

 There you have it folks.

Those of us who want to do what is best for our community in the long term have to wade through the maize of personal agendas and irrationality/irresponsiblity to get to the correct decision.

Democracy is messy, isn't it?

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